:Clothes DayPosted: March 23, 2008
Clothes Day. Last Saturday was Clothes Day. Ginny always looks so ‘together’, no matter if she’s dressed for the show ring or casually. About a year ago, I’d asked her to help me put together some new Dog Show Outfits. At the February shows, I noticed Ginny ‘fixing’ Tammy’s skirt, the two of them talking about altering the skirt. The three of us finally scheduled Clothes Day.
I had been showing dogs for a number of years before Sondra enlightened me about the importance of appropriate show ring attire. A few weeks ago I eluded to this, “I’m showing Zshoi (Joy is the pronunciation). And, surely I’m wearing my best dress! I’m serious and Sondra will know what I’m talking about.” Here’s the photo of me – last in line – in my best dress from that era…
In the very early eighties, Sondra and I, along with Samoyed breeder/exhibitor Judy Mears flew to Houston for Specialities. I showed my Fox Terrier and Sondra’s pretty black Lhasa Apso, Delilah. The main reason, I thought, for attending these shows was to see Lhasa Apsos from other parts of the country. That was indeed educational, but the biggest lesson I learned was the importance of dressing for the ring. Judy and Sondra sat me ringside, watching different breeds, with the focus on ‘overall picture’. It soon became apparent that clothing was a big part of the ‘picture’, even if it’s subliminally. Later, at our hotel, they marched me across the street to Target. No more Hippie Chick look for me in the ring! Keep those wrap around gauze skirts out of the show ring! I purchased two crew neck sweaters – one royal blue, one red – a tan A-line skirt and – gasp! – a pearl necklace. The total bill was around $30. A bargain, really, for more than one reason.
Prior to that, I did have some experience with sewing, the actual construction of clothes. When I was 10 years old, I asked Santa for a sewing machine, a toy sewing machine. Imagine my delight when Santa brought me a real one! It was an old model – the bobbin looks like a rocket; it doesn’t have reverse – but it works to this very day. A few years later, I babysat regularly for the children of Jeannie Bridge. Jeannie had a sewing room in her basement, which she let me use. The big cutting table was awesome! Shortly after moving to Denver, I took a sewing class…clearly out of my league…one of the students had been accepted at the Fashion Design School in New York City. The others had far more experience than I did. There were three instructors, including a woman in her eighties credited with being the first person to put pink and orange together (which was a popular combo in the sixties). Like I said…clearly out of my league! However, that class was another mind-expanding experience for me. Rather than sewing clothes for economic reasons, one could spend the same amount spent on pre-made clothes for beautiful fabric and sew up designer outfits.
Since then, I’ve taken more classes. Know Your Body, Know Your Style. Custom Fit Your Slacks. There have been more. Over the years, I’ve never lost my love of sewing. It simply, slowly slid down on my priority list. Ginny has a somewhat similar sewing background (maybe she’ll share!), but like me, her love of sewing has too slid down her priority list. I an looking forward to spending some Sewing Days with Ginny! I’ve had several things cut out, ready to stitch together…dog show clothes, of course. What else.
Back to Clothes Day. We all hauled items out of our closets and brought them, along with questions each of us had. For example, I wanted input on my skirt lengths, along with my jacket lengths. Ginny wondered if she should make a pattern from a gored skirt she loves. The print is too loud for a skirt in the show ring, but appropriate for a jacket. Gored skirts drape and flow gracefully in the ring. Ginny had gathered particular colors she thought would look good on Tammy. Blues really accentuate Tammy’s eyes. The shade of blue didn’t seem to matter. All blues looked good next to her hair and skin color. As did a rusty/coral color. Learning that blues are great for Tammy helped me understand why I so loved the outfit she showed Zena in the last day of the February shows. If that win photo ever arrives, you’ll see how great the two of them looked! Tammy wore a light blue crop jacket, with a very flattering cut, along with a black A-line skirt. After trying on several skirts, we learned that Tammy best wears A-line skirts.
In addition to stitching up, renovating, embellishing our own clothes, Ginny and I are going to help Tammy start a Dog Show Clothes wardrobe. Fun, fun, fun! It was fun to introduce Tammy to concepts like garment construction, flattering cuts, building a wardrobe, starting with just a few coordinating, solid pieces and growing the wardrobe from there. Ginny has already checked out A-line skirt patterns. It will be fun to see the coordinating fabrics Ginny helps Tammy select. I’m excited to get started!