An Elegant Economy As They Say In England (Make-Do And Mend Is Contrary To Make-Do)
In the genuine style of the cottage core industry (not to be mistaken by the commonly artificial one displayed on Instagram), the mindset of make-do and mend has been around for many centuries; however, it made quite a bit of a revival in times of world war.
The New York Times notes that cottagecore is "tropes of rural self-sufficiency converge with dainty décor to create an exceptionally twee distillation of pastoral existence".
Last week I took my father's very olde shoes to the cobbler; he's having new soles put on his favourite boots. My father and I think quite a bit the same. However, my mum is modern and classic in taste and style regarding clothing.
She came into the cottage a few days ago and saw that I was again patching the hem of my blue prairie dress. (You know the one, my darling? I'm in it in nearly every photograph or Instagram story. Smile.)
I snagged it on the rose bushes I was pruning, and it ripped a small tear. She declared, "why don't you throw that tattered thing out to pasture? You've worn it to death. It's threadbare and looks a bit naff." To which I replied, "are you blooming mad? Absolutely not; I have no plans to do such a thing; heaven forfend Mama."
I spent quite a bit of money/ quid on Victorian reproduction fabrics and hundreds of hours making my bespoke garments. Hence, when someone suggests I should discard a piece of my clothing, It gives me pause to wonder if some folks have merely lost the plot altogether. I don't have many bits of clothing, but what I do have are superbly well-made and durable. Imagine wearing the same dress (as they did in the olden days); the garments were well cared for and tended.
The recent fashion faux pas (I thought it rather endearing and far from a faux pas, though I digress) of King Charles removing his shoes to reveal a holey sock is my inspiration for this article. I recently wrote an article about making do, which differs entirely from make do and mend.
Make Do and Mend: to repair and reuse. To follow a philosophy during World War II of repairing clothes that would usually be disposed of due to shortages and rationing.
Make Do: to manage to live without things you would like to have or with something of a worse quality than you would like.
As I read the small article in the British press about King Charles's holey sock, it gave me quite a giggle mug, for I gently patted myself on the back in validation that what I often speak about on traditional values, sustainability and returning to the past has come round' the wagon wheel of confirmation. I wear old-fashioned (Victorian clothing from reproduction patterns) and the underpinnings as well (corset, split drawers, chemise, & petticoat) that I have hand sewn solidly now for a little over four years. I must confess when I embraced my truth and changed my subconscious beliefs about wearing old-fashioned clothing; it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. The actual manoeuvre for me was that I originally went about it backwards. Expressively, I didn't initially change my beliefs about the notion on a foundational subconscious level which must be changed first (it's never about the clothes, a person, etc.). Thereafter the transition of daily wearing old clothing will never be a struggle. It is never about the clothes, or this, that and the tenth. When I hear ladies complain about being ridiculed, taunted, and shunned, I know they still think the world is the problem (and outside of themselves). They believe they grapple with others accepting them (a random woman wearing old clothes) because they are targeted. No. It is that woman's subconscious beliefs, not the world's problems. We are constantly reflecting ourselves onto the mirror of our reality. If I were to discuss with said person (the woman), she would invariably point to the events and blame that, which I must always correct and explain; no, you are the one holding the belief surrounded by an experience or circumstance that confirms the painful thoughts associated with wearing old clothing. I may sound trite to some who do not comprehend me; however, I think the black plague (pandemic) in 2023 is purely the sickness of not accepting personal accountability. How much happier and jolly our big blue marble will be if we hold ourselves accountable for our actions. It is not a nefarious measure; it's actually quite liberating to feel free and share one's truth. I promise you. May we take accountability and proudly shoulder our truth with confidence and delight. Wear those old-timey clothes with enthusiasm and make do and mend. If it is good enough for the Kings and Queens of the world, rest assured, we're in rather brilliant company!
Most affably yours til my next swim, Lady Raquelxxx