7 Day B&W Challenge: Day 6


‘Seven days. Seven black and white photos of your life. No people. No explanation. Challenge someone new each day’


From Strait-Laced to Stretch-Fabric

Recent Daily Prompts have cumulatively got me thinking about the statement ‘Clothes maketh the man’…

I wrote the other day about spending much of my fifty-plus years on this planet wearing jeans in some shape or form, and how much more easy to wear they are nowadays with the option of being made of softer, stretchy denim. In a comment on my ‘Fashionable’ post Sunny mentioned jeggings, and yesterday on my ‘Elastic’ post Elaine mentioned leggings – both items (along with my jeans) staples in my comfort-based wardrobe – and suddenly it’s got me remembering life before Lycra (or Spandex, as it is known in the US).

Before fabric could be made so forgiving, in order to fit properly tightly-woven cloth stitched with taught thread held everything in, restrictive and restrained. Unless something was knitted, of course, and there the risk was always that it would bag out – stretch with you, but unfortunately remain stretched and expanded until washing resettled the fibres into a more contracted state again. And it seems to me in retrospect that our British culture was as morally strait-laced and stiff-collared as its conventional clothing, as if loose morals could be controlled, contained and constrained within societal strait-jackets.

Traditional rigid tailoring is of course still an option today, particularly for formal occasions – for example wedding dresses still tend to be fitted and boned and corseted – but for more informal wear, many of us prefer the comfortable breathing-space afforded to us by even the most minimal inclusion of  stretch in our favourite smart-casual garments. It’s as if our sense of morality has eased existentially along with the extra ‘give’ of elastane added to our everyday outfits, and personally I think that’s no bad thing.

Because to my mind, our superficial semblance of strict societal morality was never more than skin-deep anyway, simply a surface covering hiding the shameful naked reality of human frailty lurking, latent, underneath.

Daily Prompt: Superficial 

Daily Prompt: Elastic

I really appreciate the impressive elasticity of blogging: However much or little I post, somehow my blog neither looks too full nor too empty. Instead within the supple skin of my chosen blog theme my individual posts can equally comfortably be long or short, complex or simple, and can be posted regularly on a daily or weekly basis, or maybe even only once a month or so.

For someone like me who can be quite erratic in my feast-or-famine posting schedule, it allows for a spectacular level of spontaneity, too. On days when I have a lot to say my blog expands and stretches easily to accommodate my natural flood-plain – but during those times when I hit a bit of a creative block it can just as easily shrink itself neatly and protectively around my drought-ridden dessicated content.

Daily Prompt: Elastic