The Modern Day Dress Doctor Calling — Inside Out Style


Did you know that back at the turn of the 20th Century there were women known as the Dress Doctors, who taught in universities how to develop your style and create and curate a wardrobe of clothes that you love to wear and that fit, flatter and express your personality, using concepts from the world of art?

Historian Lynda Przybyszewski goes into detail about these fascinating women in her book The Lost Art of Dress and she was interviewed here about the value of what these dress doctors offered their students.

These concepts they taught are ones I teach now, as a modern-day Dress Doctor, all is not lost. 

modern day dress doctor

The knowledge still exists and you too can learn it just like the women who followed the original dress doctors did.  

One of the elements of creating attractive outfits based on the aesthetics of design mentioned in this interview I covered in this blog post all about those artistic elements of design, harmony, rhythm, balance, proportion and emphasis.

It saddens me that mass manufacturing was probably one of the reasons why so much of this knowledge disappeared for a long time.  When clothing stopped having to be handmade to fit the wearer, with all the choices of colours, patterns, fabrics and styles being related to the person who was going to inhabit the garment, this meant that the level of personalisation that used to be a normal part of getting dressed disappeared.  

As a child many of my clothes were made by my mother or as I grew up, made by me.  I often felt at that time they were inferior to shop-bought clothing, like my friends were wearing.  Those mass manufactured garments were marketed as the better option.  The more fashionable, the more attractive, the ones you should be wearing.

Now I realise that the ability to adjust a pattern and select colours and fabrics is actually the key to creating your own style and looking great in your clothes as you get to make the choices rather than having to fit yourself into what’s currently available in the marketplace.

So many of my clients have gone back to sewing clothes (as I have too) as an addition, or instead of, buying retail, and this is so they get the option to personalise their clothes to their unique, body, colouring and personality.  

Rather than be at the mercy of mass manufacturing, whose standards and methods are getting worse and worse over time (because everyone is trying to squeeze down costs, from fabrics, to construction, to how much workers are paid), the way to become an empowered shopper and consumer is to become educated in what works for you (just like the Dress Doctors of their day empowered their students) so that you can make the best choices, and know what to buy and what to happily leave in the store . So that when you go home from a shopping trip empty handed you actually feel satisfied and great, because you didn’t buy anything because there was nothing for you) rather than feeling like a failure because you think that there is something wrong with you.  

This is why I’m so passionate about teaching women how to find their own style, to discover the colours that make them shine, and to teach how to put outfits together in a way that’s both aesthetically pleasing and feels authentic to the wearer.  

It’s why I’ve been writing this blog since 2008 as my mission is to teach both the science and art of colour and style so that you are not at the mercy of sales assistants (who just want to make a sale) and fashion designers who just want  you to be dissatisfied with your wardrobe so you buy into whatever the latest fashion trend or fad is that they’re selling.

So if you’d like to be the boss of your wardrobe, in charge of what you wear and adore what’s inside your closet, then I’d love to have you inside my programs, whether you start small with Evolve Your Style or one of my Style Masterclasses (such as my Outfit Masterclass) or you jump in to get your complete style education with 7 Steps to Style, that will give you the knowledge you need and the support along the way (because you didn’t learn this at school).  

The Modern Day Dress Doctor Calling


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