This glorious International Women’s Day I found myself listening to one of the best short stories I’d heard in a while, on the radio show Selected Shorts. It’s a book called Women in Clothes–and not really a short story but a compilation of true stories, almost like diary entries, from many different women of different backgrounds. It’s about these women’s relationships with their garments, but also much more than that. The stories speak of concerns, insecurities, love, pride, comfort, hard work, toil, strife, gender identity, and even the power of a scented coat.
What I love about these stories is they reveal Clothing as a language of communication. Attire that speaks to you, about you. Sartorial synchronization. What do the inhabitants of your closet do to your personality, your character, your mood? My two favorites: The story Clothes on the Ground, a conversation with a Cambodian garment worker. Simply and beautifully told, it made me appreciate my undergarments a great deal more. And This Person is a Robot about a smell scientist who goes into an NYC coat check and scent-analyzes the coats. Brilliant and hilarious. (And it’s read by the great Molly Ringwald to boot.)
Woman with green thread art by Alan Reid. All other artworks credited on image. All artwork found via MissMoss (one of my favorite blogs ever.) You can fill out your very own Women in Clothes survey on their website, here. Selected Shorts is an amazing podcast, take a listen.