Schoolmarm Chic

I have a problem. A thrift problem.

Lately when I play dressup, I’ve caught myself thinking of the style I’m concocting as Gypsy Schoolmarm Chic (swirly typeface in my head).

Liking the whirly wild of the one combined with the sexy stern of the other, I offer it up as a sort of fanfic elaboration of the naughty librarian motif.

Part of the project, frankly, has to do with locating and/or innovating apparel that allows me to dispense altogether with the brassiere (that hateful scratchy mechanism in the tradition of corsets and bound feet). Consequently I gravitate  toward quasi-renaissance accessories in thrift racks which provide, by way of buttons, hooks, ties, and an assortment of latchy catches the strategic cinching and trussing up of collective bits into a shapely yet comfortably wearable form. This granted Madonnaesque tic toward support attire à l’extérieur instigates a slight revision: Exoskeletal Gypsy Schoolmarm Chic— not quite the domain of Steampunk, but retro-dramatic costumery all the same.

Recently I came up short with a raft of self-induced anxiety about this, ahem, fondness for thrifting (which becomes paradoxically frequent in inverse proportion to availability of funds). There I was, all caught up in dramatic and fun! throes of characteristically gothic self-recrimination when of a sudden I was visited by a windfall revelation– or, rationalization, maybe– either way the idea descended with the benificent flutter of virtual rose petals: I could open a resale shop on Etsy.

 Cue chorus of heavenly host. Oh, I know, grand online sales dreams are a dime a dozen. Still, it just might be a workable solution, if not to global belligerence and rampant economic inequality, at least ameliorating a bit the losing equation of household finances. (Theoretical) income could (conceivably) offset expenses ($ if not time). Given how the lowrent resale shops I frequent are so universally void of dressing rooms, this plan as well accounts for the bits that simply don’t fit that I inevitably wind up home with, having raptured over decorative stitching or fabric tooth and thrown my couple bucks down on the secondhand roulette wheel (more soon on affiliated seamstressing badge also currently undertaken).

It further makes me happy that, in allowing some space for (occasionally absurd and undignified) play and exploration, even up against the starchiest of uptight bugaboos like Mr. Worthwhile Use Of One’s Time and Money, I’ve succeeded in pushing past and through simple narcissism (ooh, shudder; tho who’s to say not simply a deeper form of narcissism)– all that dressing up and posing for webcam timer ding (honestly)– push past traditional scruples and modesties, brushing by (clearly) a couple of very widgedy Shoulds, to arrive at a delightful arena for the performance of theatre in the miniature peopled with variable invented personas, each attired expressly to suit her role.

(Quite possibly my imagination runs to the theatrical lately thanks to Julian Fellowes, whose wonderful attention to costumery I’ve been engulfed in lately by way of both video and ebook.)

Floyd thinks I should simply pay more attention to the squeaky hedgehog.

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