Love is blind


sure, clothing is, among other things, a tactile experience. i'm drawn to beautiful material, and i like to feel comfortable in what i'm wearing, but first and foremost, it's a visual thing. that's how i first am attracted to something.
always.
it's how i recognize that something is (or is not) "me."

if you lost your vision at this point in your life, after dealing with the bigger issues that would need to be addressed, how would you adapt your style?*

And in particular, how would you choose new clothes?

*this is just another question to generate thoughts about style and choices, and in no way means to make light of the serious issue that is vision impairment. (but let's face it, a person still has to get dressed.)

13 comments:

enc said...

I might go mono-chromatic. Maybe that's a cop-out. But it seems so right.

Jessica said...

I would also go monochromatic. Probably in all black, so I always looked pulled together. I'd only purchase items that felt absolutely luxurious against my skin. If I can't see how great I look, I may as well be able to feel it! Maybe I'd add a scarf for a pop of color.

Carlene said...

What an interesting question!

I'd hopefully have some kind souls who know me very well to help me shop. I think I can tell the garments I already have by feel, and I probably would just keep wearing what I have until I wore it out.

Philosophically, I think my thoughts would finally begin to turn to other things besides clothing. And I'd save tons of money by not buying magazines.

Iheartfashion said...

I'd have to rely on my husband, who knows my taste best (and has a great fashion sense himself). Also, I suppose I'd be much more interested in the tactile quality of clothes. And I'd definitely wear dark oversized glasses all the time a la Wintour.

-h of candid cool said...

id recognize my old clothes by touch and smell. and id prefer to stick to a slim silhouette.

Alexandra said...

I'd probably ahve to rely on friends to pick clothes for me. My wardrobe would be greatly simplified, I assume.

Imelda Matt said...

oh this totally freaks me out!!!! I don't have an answer so I'll get back to you.

UniformLady said...

I am freaked out, too. I wonder if that would make me a tshirt person..:(

Duchesse said...

I guess I'm not ironing, so I would wear a lot of matte jersey and silk knit in black and cream. I'd sell all my jewelry and wear one 8 carat emerald cabochon ring.

greying pixie said...

My PhD research entails working quite closely with disabled women on their clothing requirements. My findings are that women with increasingly failing eyesight still take colour very seriously and will take a friend along shopping in order to establish exact colours of garment. Obviously they still have a memory and colour still involves emotions even if they cannot see it.

Of course texture and feel are important, but the other factor that needs to be taken into consideration is fastenings. Large buttons and reliable zips. One idea I picked up was to have increasingly large buttons going down the front of the garment so that the blind wearer could ensure that they were buttoning up correctly by placing the correct size button in the correct size buttonhole. The effect is aesthetic and functional.

My overall conclusion from my research is that disabled women including blind women take their dress and personal appearance as seriously as non-disabled women and use fashion as a means of self-expression just as much.

editor said...

yes, greying pixie, i would not question a blind person's interest in or abilities on the fashion front. this question was an exercise, as always, in self-awareness. how would attitudes change (or not) towards fashion when your own experience of it was changed - in this instance, limited to feeling it and imagining it in your head, but no visual interaction, personally.
the monochrome choice, for example, seems (i could be totally wrong) to be about ease, simplicity, and avoiding mistakes - a way to always look, to others, "pulled together." some responders would seek help from others to maintain their personal style. either i don't have anyone qualified for the task, or (more likely) i am way too much of a control person ("person" - that's a nicer word than "freak"), but i would never want someone else to pick my clothes. it would be very interesting to try on clothing without being able to see myself, and see if i can accurately tell if it fits well, and then look to see if i was right, or very wrong. to see if going by feeling was something i could trust. as it is now, when i shop online, i am entirely dependent on my eyes to judge if something would fit and/or suit me.

greying pixie said...

You raise some very interesting points, editor. To try clothing for fit without looking would be a very interesting exercise not only on yourself but on a test group - if I ever manage to do it I'll let you know the results.

But when you say 'to see if going by feeling was something I could trust, as it is now, when I shop online' what do you mean? To me the two experiences entail different types of feeling - the first is physical feeling of a garment on your body and the shopping on line is an emotional feeling related to aesthetics, ie. you see the item online, you like the look of it and want to buy it.

With regard to your first point on changing attitudes to fashion in relation to changing experience of ability, my research has concluded that disabled women's demands of fashion are no different from non-disabled. There is a huge presumption on the part of those dreadful mailorder companies specialising in clothing for the disabled that self-expression, fantasy, erotic attraction, etc. come way down the list of requirements of a disabled woman.

Another point, speaking as a designer, is that often women (disabled or otherwise) think they know what they want, until you offer them something they had never imagined possible. When they realise there is an alternative way of dressing they begin to show their pride and confidence in themselves as individuals.

I don't want to sound like I think I'm an expert because blindness and deafness are the physical disabilities I have not included in my research partly for reasons you have mentioned regarding visual interaction.

It's all very interesting.

editor said...

hmmmm, in my comment re. shopping online i just meant that when i, like everyone else, shops online, they have to assess the fit and appeal of something exclusively with their eyes. shopping in person engages other senses.

while people without vision have the same demands on fashion, their experience of their clothing is different, is altered.

again though, please understand, i did not pose this question to analyze what clothing and style is actually like for someone without vision, but merely to explore how readers of this blog think and feel about clothing. if they could not see their clothes, would their biggest concern be about simplifying their life and their choices - some concluded perhaps this would be the case. would others stick steadfast to expressing themselves? possibly, and finding ways to do so. (not every blind person cares about fashion, just as not every person who can see cares about fashion.) and sometimes, if we take out a factor, vision, or insert a new one, money (i once proposed the question 'if you were given an x dollar shopping spree right now, what would you buy?'), it allows us to better see (pardon the pun) ourselves, our choices, our attitudes.