I have learned my lesson: before and after makeovers are much more impressive if you have a picture of Before.
I took the sleeves off my favourite dress last summer – despite the seams being both sewn and overlocked they were still coming adrift in places – and happily drafted a post about it. Only to find that I had no pictures of the dress from the four plus years I wore it avec sleeves. Despite wearing it probably twice a week, year round, all through that time.
Late last year I decided to move to a mostly me-made wardrobe. As I wrote in Ten Ways to a More Ethical Wardrobe, “Obviously, this is a long-term, take-it-a-step-at-a-time proposition. Still, the freedom inherent in being able to decide for yourself what cloth, cut and colour you want, instead of being forced to choose from a limited number of options, is very alluring.”
It was the extremely limited number of options available in ladies’ underclothing that finally sparked my rebellion. I was used to my clothing preferences leaving me with reduced choice in the vast ocean of mass-produced fashion. I wasn’t expecting to be left with no choice but a scratchy, lurid beige thing which didn’t even resemble the image on its own label. (I bet you didn’t know beige could be lurid. Neither did I.)
Some years ago, I lived in a house with a passive-aggressive electronic doorbell. Not only would it ring when someone pressed the button next door, it would also reprogram itself. No matter whether you selected a classic bing-bong or something more reminiscent of Big Ben in a jolly mood, what you got, sooner or later, was Oh, Susanna. Which would insist on playing right to the very end, regardless of how soon you had opened the door, thus inhibiting conversation with the unsuspecting perpetrator.
Not surprisingly, this (and the other ills which electronics are heir to) rather soured me on electronic doorbells. Instead, I yearned for a classic old-fashioned mechanical doorbell, such as had resided on the door of our previous residence. This yearning only grew when we moved to our present home and discovered that you could still see the marks on the door where such a mechanical doorbell had previously been.