A Short Sartorial History

In Response to the Post Daily Prompt:  New Sensations

I have quite a satorial history, which, to everyone’s relief,  I will try to condense.

I began in my early teens being obsessed with sweatshirts and jeans.  I was a tomboy and dressed like one.  By 16 I graduated to the total opposite of being very fashion conscious and loving high-fashioned clothes.  This I believe was mainly brought about by a change in environment.  When I began high school, we moved from a modest apartment in West Los Angeles, to a much nicer apartment within walking distance to Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, which I often walked down.  I was no longer a tomboy, although I still rode a bicycle and loved sports, especially tennis, which I played all my life.

Myself at 18 in 1960 wearing my much prized Rudy Gernreich red-knit bathing suit.

My First Job

My first full-time job, at 18, was for a high-fashion dress designer, who had a small studio in West Los Angeles, where she created and employed about 5 seamstresses, and one young man who cut the patterns.  I did the office work and modeled her clothing for perspective wholesale clients and fashion critics–a very small operation.  I loved the cloths she made and bought some myself that I could afford, wholesale, of course.

I learned from this job how really good clothes were made.  She used mostly cotton, but it was the best cotton, and all her clothes had hidden seams (the parts were sewn double and then turned inside out so the seams didn’t show.  Very chic.  This job made me conscious of the fashion industry and who was who.   However, being a very over-sensitive kid, still, I didn’t get along so well with this highly temperamental woman designer, who was extremely neurotic herself, and I quit this job after 3 months.   Not long after I left, the government closed her down for not paying her taxes.

I never had another job in the fashion industry.  It no longer interested me, except as a consumer  My taste in cloths didn’t change much for about 15 years.  Mainly, I no longer thought dressing in well-made, high-end clothes, that I really couldn’t afford, was important for my self-image.


Cut to Present Time.

Now I wear mostly jeans and sweatshirts.  However, I do decorate my sweatshirts with my own painted designs, and some of my jeans, too.

Presently, I paint my own designs on cloth, cut them out and sew them on my shirts.  I paint using acrylic mixed with fabric medium.  They don’t wash off with this technique.  I also knit, which I began doing back in the 1980’s.  About 10 years ago, I began knitting ponchos.  About 10 years ago, I also started making jewelry, which I still do–incorporating my knitting with the jewelry.  I’ve also taken two classes at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in Manhattan: A sewing class and a jewelry making class.

XAAB1330A Full Circle

Now at 73, I’m back to where I began:  sweatshirts and jeans.  I love hoodies.  However, now I see a hoodie and I think of how it would look as a background for a design.  I like them over-sized.  For at least the last 20 years, I’ve seldom worn anything other than sneakers on my feet.  I wrote a post on another blog entitled the Ubiquious Hoodie.



A Pictorial History

gayle at 27
My favorite paint suit when I was in my 20’s.  Always loved the paint suit.  I hate unhealthy high heels and never wore ones any higher than these.  I would never have sacrificed health for fashion, and detest that.
Age 27.  This was my favorite dress at this time.  It was in a blue velveteen.  I always like this style.
At 39 in San Francisco, wearing a sweater I knitted myself.  Always loved  jeans.
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At age 70, wearing a hoodie in which I decorated with painted fabric square painted on front.

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