Monday, June 29, 2009

Transformers: How versitle do you like your clothing to be?

Ok, I have two examples for you. One is not that strange, the other gets into a little bit more options in terms of ability to configure. But how versatile do you want your clothing to be?

I was first introduced to the concepts of clothing filling more than one role in your wardrobe back in the late 80s. There was a store that used to be available in my mall back home. I don't remember what it was called (it had some sort of high-tech 80's sounding name). But the concept was that you purchased different lengths and widths of tubes you could use as clothing. Those tubes could be your top, your bottom, or even your belt. The store also sold a few other items to support the tube concept - leggings, basic tops, etc. I never got them to work right, and the store went out after a few years. But the idea was always interesting. Even if it was an extremely 80's idea and took the idea way too far. Why I thought the clothing was attractive back then is completely beyond me. But I had horrible taste in the 80s. Who didn't?

Anyway, whenever I see clothing that can change itself I think of that concept. Here it is in a much more basic form...

I saw an ad from Express in my email today. It was advertising their 3-in-1 sweater: A sweater you can wear 3 ways. Like so...

Express 3-in 1 Cowl Neck Sweater - $34.50

Hmmm, I approve. Especially since they have "Extended Sizes" which means they have an XL available in the gray-black stripe option. Sure. I guess they're trying.

I'm always interested when I see someone trying to create a garment that can be worn multiple ways. On one hand it can be an extremely economical (and fun) item of clothing. On the other hand, it can look really funny. For instance, I still haven't made up my mind about this knitting pattern from Fall 2008 Knitty:

Image from Knitty, Fall 2008. Versatility Pattern

Versatility is a scarf that has strategically placed buttons and holes. You can change it into a cardigan of sorts as well. I personally love the idea, but at the same time think it just looks a little too... I don't know what. But given the recession, I wasn't surprised to see Knitty put this pattern out. And you have to admit, the idea is kind of cool.

So what do you think? Do you like the multipurpose garment? Is limited versitility like Express better (where it's only a shirt - but a shrit 3 ways), or do you prefer the creativity and origami-like idea of Versitlity? Let me know.