Trouser suits and infashuation.
Trouser suits are back. I suppose they never really went away, but they’ve made a resurgence in the sewing world and it’s enticing to imagine that I could sew one – using the Heather Blazer and perhaps the Chandlers trousers also by The Friday Pattern Company. It feels as though this could be an ambitious project and I had decided to make shirts for summer. So it’s on hold until October. But even thinking about it made me remember trouser suits of my past. Although we called them pants suits back then – a less elegant term.
I’ve owned three – two I bought in my early twenties. The first one was a raw camel-coloured silk number. I wore it with an Edwardian silk blouse I’d bought from a vintage shop and chocolate Brazilian stiletto boots. The slubbed fabric felt beautiful – like supple, handmade paper. The heels of the boots were impossibly high but I walked in them from the Terrace Houses on Coronation Drive all the way into the city once. Extraordinary. These days I wouldn’t make it from the lounge to the kitchen.
The second was a Country Road rose-pink, self patterned kind of damask. It was gorgeous. I’ve never worn a lot of pink but this was a dusty colour like ageing potpourri. Quite possibly I wore it with the same silk blouse – it was a bit of a favourite and had a high ruffled collar and little buttons all down the back.
About six years later, in Melbourne, I bought a third trouser suit specifically to wear to a job interview. It was a heavy cocoa brown silk that slid luxuriously through your fingers. One of the interviewers admitted that she’d wondered what a poet would wear. I wish now I’d asked her if she felt my suit was suitable, because I didn’t get the job. Perhaps it still looked too poet-y and not sufficiently efficient.
I already have the fabric for the Heather Blazer. It’s cream linen featuring a black print of grass trees. It won’t really go with much in my wardrobe but that’s the benefit of sewing – you can always make a this goes-with-that-crazy-impulse-fabric-buy of last month. It’s not how sensible sewers do it, of course. They have capsule wardrobes, a colour palette and seasonal sewing plans.
I fell in love with clothes when I was younger. Or, rather I fell in love with the person they conjured up.
And you know what? When I think about that linen, it’s bold print and an over-sized blazer to slip on in the cool Spring evenings….
Infashuation. It’s a thing.