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We often think of our clothes as things, as possessions separate from ourselves when in reality, they act as a second skin. Your personal style can help you befriend your body and manage your moods, meaning that your choice of outfit can have a profound effect on how you feel. So, to celebrate the power of clothing to help you lean into who you truly are the FiP team have started a new series called #mysecondskin where we’ll be speaking to people from all walks of life about the role that their wardrobe plays in their everyday life. For our tenth instalment, we’re speaking to the founder of @tickover , Bryony Porter. 

Bryony Porter

Bryony Porter (she/her) is a seamster, craftivist and visible mender living on a canal boat in South West England. She enjoys using embroidery as a medium to challenge the fashion industry which exists at the expense of both people and the planet. She spreads awareness by posting her embroidery to her Instagram, @tickover, which has racked up a huge following.

Here’s what Bryony had to say when we asked her about her relationship with her own clothing: 

1. How do your clothes make you feel?

To be honest, clothes more often than not are just clothes to me. The right fit and style can make me feel great. Sometimes I love to dress up in a more vintage 50s style, rarely now-a-days. Sometimes I’m really proud of my repairs and patches, other times I feel very scruffy and wish that I had a fierce wardrobe. Sometimes I want to throw everything out and buy things that my present self would wear, rather than wearing the things I bought years ago and that have been given to me but aren’t really my style… But that’s never going to happen. 

2. What is your most treasured item, that brings you joy?

My most treasured item is this vintage 1950s dress, because its the oldest thing that I own. I love the synched in waist and full skirt. Putting it on after lockdown, I realise it needs a bit of letting out and perhaps a dry clean, that and I need to make an occasion to wear it.

I love the idea that it belonged to someone else before me, where did they go? What did they eat in it? Where has it travelled? And hopefully, when I’m done with it, it will intrigue someone else just as much.

3. Do you believe your clothes are political/ define you in any way?

All decisions are political, including what we chose to buy and wear on our body. Since all clothing is made by human hands, every piece in our wardrobe is connected to garment makers all over the world.

Whilst all deserving of equal rights, dignified working conditions and living wages their individual realties are not often shared. Perhaps the individual that made your jumper is protesting against the military coup in Myanmar? That grew the cotton to make your underwear is fighting for farmers’ rights in India. Against union busting in Sri-Lanka, for the Accord to be extended in Bangladesh, against gender-based violence in Lesotho.

Maybe they have lost their job due to the Covid-19 pandemic and are struggling to feed their family. Or perhaps they have been displaced by the climate crisis, of which the fashion industry has played an enormous part. 

4. Has Covid-19 changed your relationship with your clothes?

Whilst my living as a seamster is dependent on garment workers and I see a direct transaction between the clothing made by others that I alter and repair and the food on my table this is a shift in perspective that I have learned through the pandemic.

I was privileged to be furloughed during the lockdowns of the Covid-19 pandemic for many months and this was highlighted by the stark contrast of my living situation and safety and that of others both that lost jobs and that had to make clothes at detriment to their own wellbeing. The pandemic highlighted the fashion industry as a system that was already broken, like nothing else.

Personally being furloughed gave me the space to do more learning, reflection and “activism” than when I’m working my day job although I was desperate to get back to sewing. Generally I wear a minimal wardrobe and repair the hell out of it, since I was practically living in my pyjamas they gained more repairs than usual. 

5. What are you planning on buying next?

Right now I don’t think that there’s anything that I actually need. I have limited space on my narrowboat for new clothes and can never throw anything away, no matter how old and patched, so getting new clothes comes at the cost of always stubbing my toe on the drawers that stick out from under my bed that I need to force closed. 

We often think of our clothes as things, as possessions separate from ourselves when in reality, they act as a second skin. Your personal style can help you befriend your body and manage your moods, meaning that your choice of outfit can have a profound effect on how you feel. So, to celebrate the power of clothing to help you lean into who you truly are the FiP team have started a new series called #mysecondskin where we’ll be speaking to people from all walks of life about the role that their wardrobe plays in their everyday life. For our ninth instalment, we’re speaking to CEO of Red Carpet Green Dress, Samata Pattinson.

Samata Pattinson

Samata is a British born Ghanaian entrepreneur working across fashion and media. She is the CEO of sustainable Oscars® design campaign Red Carpet Green Dress, published author of The Fashion Designer’s Resource Book, and founder of THE TRIBE™, a global collective, created for women to empower and celebrate each other. Visit SamataHome.com, a portal for her work, personal style and more to discover all.

“Fashion has always been a second skin to me, I never understand when people say they aren’t involved in it – if you wear clothes, you are involved in it.”

Here’s what Samata had to say when we asked her about her relationship with her own clothing: 

1. How do your clothes make you feel?

My clothes make me feel enhanced, protected, seen and understood, comforted, dignified, beautiful, sensual and cultured.

2. What is your most treasured item, that brings you joy?

I treasure all my things differently, but right now I would say I am really comfortable in my Rothy’s slippers and a Headwrap. I also love this bag from Maison Eli which features Cowrie beads which are significant in Ghanaian culture – they symbolise destiny and prosperity. It’s hard to pick as I love all the things I have. I feel carefree and light, in them.

3. Do you believe your clothes are political/ define you in any way?

Absolutely, even existing in western society and being able to dress a certain way to show parts of your skin, to wear certain fitted jeans and to be able to walk down the street without that being against the norm – it’s all political in the context of societies we live.

In addition if I decide to wear something that has a bit more of a statement culturally, whether it’s traditional Ghanaian fabrics with those prints, or if I choose to wear my head wrapped up, all of that is in a way a conversation that gives insight into my views on my culture and that is definitely political.

I do think there’s this idea of Soft or Hard politics in fashion and some of these are politics which are an invitation for a conversation, versus perhaps a T-shirt or item of clothing which shows an alignment to a specific political ideology.

4. Has Covid-19 changed your relationship with your clothes?

No, I always looked for a story first, I always shopped discerningly and never with real impulse because my mindset completely shifted when I started on my sustainability journey.

From a personal perspective, I was always customising, tailoring and fixing the clothes I had, beyond initally being really selective about what I bought and so on, so it hasn’t really changed me a great deal.

If anything it’s giving me the opportunity to talk to other people about how their relationship with fashion has developed, which has been exciting for me to hear about more people starting and developing their own journeys.

5. What are you planning on buying next?

I honestly don’t need anything right now, I’m always open to seeing beautiful pieces of fabric which can be tied as a top or a head wrap or something but right now I don’t have a need. Or a want. If anything it’s something for my 3 year old who is growing like a tree.

We often think of our clothes as things, as possessions separate from ourselves when in reality, they act as a second skin. Your personal style can help you befriend your body and manage your moods, meaning that your choice of outfit can have a profound effect on how you feel. So, to celebrate the power of clothing to help you lean into who you truly are the FiP team have started a new series called #mysecondskin where we’ll be speaking to people from all walks of life about the role that their wardrobe plays in their everyday life. For our eighth instalment, we’re speaking to Senior Creative at ASOS, Jess Cheng.

Jess Cheng

Jess is an incredibly talented creative and art director based in London. Originally from Toronto, she now works at ASOS as a Senior Creative. Just like Jess’s bio reads “based on a true story”, she loves to share aspects of her life over at @thejesscheng, capturing moments on film or creating reels with her pals in her spare time. Although the main focus of her gram lies in showcasing her latest fashion pieces, from elevated basics to hot pink satin skirts, she has her audience hooked.

Here’s what Jess had to say when we asked her about her relationship with her own clothing: 

1. How do your clothes make you feel?

When I’m out wearing a good outfit? Confident, in-control, and self-actualised – in the best case scenario. The clothes I wear are something I have total control of, and I always try to dress to make me feel my best.

2. What is your most treasured item, that brings you joy?

I don’t tie much sentimental value to my items, and my wardrobe is always evolving. I do own a gigantic fluffy pink hat that I don’t see myself getting rid of anytime soon.

3. Do you believe your clothes are political/ define you in any way?

One hundred percent. The way you visually present yourself is an instant signifier of your identity, without having to say anything. In the past there was a standard ‘uniform’ people were expected to wear to different occasions (e.g. a suit to work, a white dress on your wedding day), but society nowadays is a lot more accepting of self-expression.

Without getting too deep into the semiotics of fashion, I let certain influences and inspirations shape what I like to wear. My style is quite accessible and practical for use. I do enjoy tapping into trends and changing up my look, and I think that also reflects in my personality as well. I don’t like subtlety or elegance, I gravitate towards bright colours and interesting cuts. 

4. Has Covid-19 changed your relationship with your clothes?

I’ve always leaned into a comfortable and casual aesthetic, and Covid was just an excuse to add more interesting joggers and sweat sets to my wardrobe! Sneakers over heels, any day!

I want to diversify my wardrobe with some more standout pieces with texture or pattern. I want to get my hands on a vintage LV multicoloured bag or a Charlotte Knowles top.

We often think of our clothes as things, as possessions separate from ourselves when in reality, they act as a second skin. Your personal style can help you befriend your body and manage your moods, meaning that your choice of outfit can have a profound effect on how you feel. So, to celebrate the power of clothing to help you lean into who you truly are the FiP team have started a new series called #mysecondskin where we’ll be speaking to people from all walks of life about the role that their wardrobe plays in their everyday life. For our seventh instalment, we’re speaking to product Designer and podcaster Stephanie Irwin.

Stephanie Irwin

Stephie (@Stephieirwin) is the host of the Fashion Originators Podcast (@fashionoriginatorspodcast) where she interviews game-changing fashion entrepreneurs.  She distil’s fashion content down to what’s important, creating solutions that are fun, inclusive and data-driven. Alongside podcasting, she is a product designer and associate lecturer at London College of Fashion.

Here’s what Stephie had to say when we asked her about her relationship with her own clothing:

1. How do your clothes make you feel?

My clothes make me feel whatever I want to channel in that given moment – whether its a luxurious black roll neck for coziness,  or a loose fit blazer over jeans so I feel casual yet put together. With time, I’ve learned that great fabric is the most important thing in a piece helping you feel a certain way. 

2. What is your most treasured item, that brings you joy? 

100% my Acne Studios camel coat. Not only is it a classic that elevates even the most lazy outfits, but it was the first purchase I ever made with my staff discount when I worked at Yoox net a porter! 

3. Do you believe your clothes are political/ define you in any way?

I think the most political thing one can do with shopping is to avoid fast fashion, take good care of your clothes, and REALLY think before making a purchase. Resell or rent out pieces you don’t wear much.

4. Has Covid-19 changed your relationship with your clothes?

100% – I’m far less judgmental of sweatpants!

5. What are you planning on buying next?

I’m in a phase of life where I’m trying to be super sensible with my cash, and only buy things that I could either sell later or keep  forever. I’m eyeing up some Mejuri diamond hoops, but think it will take a few more months of saving before those can happen! 

We often think of our clothes as things, as possessions separate from ourselves when in reality, they act as a second skin. Your personal style can help you befriend your body and manage your moods, meaning that your choice of outfit can have a profound effect on how you feel. So, to celebrate the power of clothing to help you lean into who you truly are the FiP team have started a new series called #mysecondskin where we’ll be speaking to people from all walks of life about the role that their wardrobe plays in their everyday life. For our fourth instalment, we’ll be speaking to Fashion is Psychology’s very own Maisie Allum. 

Maisie Allum

Maisie is a passionate Psychology of Fashion undergraduate at London College of Fashion, she applies her analytical and inquisitive skills to fashion business with the aim to positively enhance wellbeing. She is also the Editorial and Social Media Assistant here at FiP! 

Here’s what Maisie had to say when we asked her about her relationship with clothing:

1. How do your clothes make you feel?

I suppose I aim for my clothes to make me feel good about myself! I want my outfits to enhance my body and to be empowering. Or if I’m feeling not so good they can act as a sense of comfort.

2. What is your most treasured item, that brings you joy? 

My most treasured item might actually be my latest buy! I think it’s because it’s the first time I’ve splashed out and brought from a small business, and I’m proud of myself for that! It’s this gorgeous Khaki velvet jumpsuit that I can dress up or down and I know I will have it for a very long time!

3. Do you believe your clothes are political/ define you in any way?

I think people would get a pretty good sense of who I am based on what I wear but I’m apprehensive to say it defines me. I probably dress more depending on my mood at the time so the clothes I choose can be varied. In some ways, they can be political because I try to avoid wearing brands that go against my morals.

4. Has Covid-19 changed your relationship with your clothes?

I’d say yes! Since Covid I’ve gone months without buying anything, it has definitely made me slow down in lots of different ways! Also, I appreciate getting dressed up more, I’m sure you can relate! Having a good outfit for the park has made me so happy!

5. What are you planning on buying next?

For a while now, I’ve had in the back of my mind that when everything opens up I’d really like to invest in some more statement pieces. I want to be feeling myself once we can finally enjoy the things we’ve been robbed of again. I’ve got my eye on bright summer knitwear at the moment!

Follow @fashionispsychology on Instagram and use the hashtag #mysecondskin for your chance to be featured. 

We often think of our clothes as things, as possessions separate from ourselves when in reality, they act as a second skin. Your personal style can help you befriend your body and manage your moods, meaning that your choice of outfit can have a profound effect on how you feel. So, to celebrate the power of clothing to help you lean into who you truly are the FiP team have started a new series called #mysecondskin where we’ll be speaking to people from all walks of life about the role that their wardrobe plays in their everyday life. For our fifth instalment, we’re speaking to sustainable style blogger and stylist Rosette Ale.

Rosette Ale

Rosette (@thriftqueenlola) is a sustainable style blogger and stylist who loves sharing thrifty style inspiration and tips as a secondhand clothing enthusiast. Her love for fashion and environmental interest lead to the birth of @revivalldn, a slow fashion reconstruction brand specialising in the repurposing of textile waste. Revival aims to propose a new way of thinking about clothes, opening the consumer’s eyes to the potential of their unworn and (about to be) discarded garments.

Here’s what Rosette had to say when we asked her about her relationship with her own clothing: 

1. How do your clothes make you feel?

My clothes make me feel eccentric, bold and confident; I’m a lover of bright colours and bold prints as I love to stand out! Also, I buy a lot of secondhand/vintage so these make me feel unique abs special as (usually) no one has the same item.

2. What is your most treasured item, that brings you joy? 

A vintage jacket I bought about 10 years ago! I think it’s the oldest time I own and it any favourite thing ever. The print is so 90s and unique and it feels like it’s made from duvet type of material which is kinda strange but I love it!

3. Do you believe your clothes are political/ define you in any way?

In some ways yes I do. I use clothes as a form of self expression so they reflect who I am (the different layers of my personality) and also what I want the world to see/know about me. But also I am not my clothes, I am so much more than that; my clothes just give you a sneak peak!

4. Has Covid-19 changed your relationship with your clothes?

Slightly but not massively. I had a wardrobe clear out in the first lockdown and it felt so refreshing but instead of giving them to charity like I usually would, I actually took some time out to revamp and rework some items. Also, the pandemic really showed me how much I love charity shops and I’ve missed them so much!

5. What are you planning on buying next?

I don’t have plans to buy anything at the moment but as soon as the charity shops open, I’m going to have a good browse. Spring/Summer is my fave season so hopefully I can find some nice bright pieces!

Follow @fashionispsychology on Instagram and use the hashtag #mysecondskin for your chance to be featured.

We often think of our clothes as things, as possessions separate from ourselves when in reality, they act as a second skin. Your personal style can help you befriend your body and manage your moods, meaning that your choice of outfit can have a profound effect on how you feel. So, to celebrate the power of clothing to help you lean into who you truly are the FiP team have started a new series called #mysecondskin where we’ll be speaking to people from all walks of life about the role that their wardrobe plays in their everyday life. For our third instalment, we’ll be speaking to fashion designer Richard Kolapo. 

Richard Kolapo

Richard is a designer and pattern cutter at Euler after studying Menswear fashion design at London College of Fashion. 

Here’s what Richard had to say when we asked him about his relationship with clothing: 

1. How do your clothes make you feel?

They make me feel accomplished mainly, sometimes sexy, at other times unique, stylish or cosy.

2. What is your most treasured item, that brings you joy? 

DEM Pantz by @bamboorazaq– they are the original samples. I think the mere fact I named them Dem Pantz brings me joy. I called them this on a whim.

3. Do you believe your clothes are political/ define you in any way?

Yes, now I think about it. They exhibit my understanding and appreciation of different women’s skin tones, body shapes and forms of beauty.

4. Has Covid-19 changed your relationship with your clothes?

Yes, I thought more about the psychology of how people will navigate lockdown in terms of spending, what they would like to buy generally and what they might appreciate most from me.

5. What are you planning on buying next?

I’m planning on buying more underwear as I cut many pairs up to help make patterns for some lingerie I’m trying to develop.

Follow @fashionispsychology on Instagram and use the hashtag #mysecondskin for your chance to be featured.

We often think of our clothes as things, as possessions separate from ourselves when in reality, they act as a second skin. Your personal style can help you befriend your body and manage your moods, meaning that your choice of outfit can have a profound effect on how you feel. So, to celebrate the power of clothing to help you lean into who you truly are the FiP team have started a new series called #mysecondskin where we’ll be speaking to people from all walks of life about the role that their wardrobe plays in their everyday life. For our second instalment, we’ll be speaking to founder and influencer Charlotte Williams

Charlotte Williams

Charlotte is the Founder of @sevensixagency which specialises in building unique brand marketing approaches, it runs influencer partnerships and management division with the aim to amplify the visibility of the most interesting yet overlooked content creators. She is also co-host of @sustainablyinfluenced, a podcast centred on discussions about ethical consumerism.

Here’s what Charlotte had to say when we asked her about her relationship with clothing: 

1. How do your clothes make you feel?

Depending on the outfit my clothes can make me feel so many different things. If I am feeling anxious, sad or uncomfortable in my skin certain loungewear or PJs can leave me feeling comforted, supported and relaxed. Whereas, certain dresses can make me feel happy and excited. It depends on the material, texture and history behind the piece. 

2. What is your most treasured item, that brings you joy? 

I weirdly don’t have any pieces I treasure more than others. I love all my clothes individually and everything I own excites me, even down to my pyjamas! 

3. Do you believe your clothes are political/ define you in any way?

I feel like I wear clothes that make me look and feel good. My style is colourful but also quite classic and is perhaps reflective of my personality. 

4. Has Covid-19 changed your relationship with your clothes?

I have spent the majority of the last year wearing loungewear, which is very out of character for me. I’ve recently made an effort to wear some of my favourite or more expensive/dressy pieces on a regular basis so they get worn rather than just sitting in my wardrobe like they are on display in a museum.

5. What are you planning on buying next?

Nothing, I actually don’t need anything and have so many pieces I haven’t worn in a long time so am just excited for the weather to warm up so I can get rotate my wardrobe.

Follow @fashionispsychology on Instagram and use the hashtag #mysecondskin for your chance to be featured.

We often think of our clothes as things, as possessions separate from ourselves when in reality, they act as a second skin. So to celebrate the power of clothing to help you lean into who you truly are the FiP team have started a new series called #mysecondskin where we’ll be speaking to people from all walks of life about the role that their wardrobe plays in their everyday life. To kick things off we’ll be speaking to Fashion Psychologist and FiP founder Shakaila Forbes-Bell

Shakaila Forbes-Bell

Shakaila Forbes-Bell is a published Fashion Psychologist, consultant, experienced marketer, writer and founder of Fashion is Psychology. She has worked with global fashion brands like Next, Sainsbury’s and AfterPay to help consumers understand the psychological significance of their clothing and beauty choices. She has bylines in renowned magazines including, i-D, Glamour and Marie Claire. Her work investigating the impact of racial diversity in fashion media has been published in the International Journal of Market Research.

1. How do your clothes make you feel?

No matter what, my clothes always provide me with a sense of control because I use them to navigate my moods or help me enhance my existing feelings and I’m not alone. More than two thirds (64%) of Brits believe that the way they dress can boost their moods and make them feel better about themselves. Every morning I tap into how I’m feeling and try to align that with what I’m doing for the day. For example, if I wake up feeling low due to lack of sleep or discomfort I’ll wear something super comfortable and soft as a way to self-soothe. Whereas if I have a busy day with back to back meetings I’ll wear something I associate with confidence and gain some strength from that to help me to get my -ish together and do what has to be done!

2. What is your most treasured item, that brings you joy? 

My older sister was my absolute favourite person in the world and sadly she passed away due to cancer in 2018. We used to dip in and out of each other’s wardrobes constantly. A love of clothing was something we shared and every time one of us bought something new it was meant with intense questioning, sizing up and of course laughter. One year, I had my eye on a maternity dress she bought from ASOS to wear at Christmas. I would borrow that dress all the time and she would laugh at how even her maternity clothes weren’t safe from my prying eyes! Now when I wear that dress, all of those cherished memories come flooding back and fill my heart with joy.

Left, my late sister and I being photobombed by our cousin’s legs, Christmas 2014. Right, our mother helping me shoot content for this piece in May 2021 and forgetting to move her foot! How can I wear this dress and not smile?

3. Do you believe your clothes define you in any way?

I believe that my clothes tell a story of me, what I’m inspired by and what I’m currently feeling. If you look at old pictures of me through my hipster phase (green leopard cardigan anyone?), my Lily Allen phase (exclusively dresses and trainers), my video vixen phase (where less was more) you’ll see a pattern. I’ve always been someone who used my clothes to tap into different parts of me, to express myself and my eclectic tastes. 

4. Has Covid-19 changed your relationship with your clothes?

The lack of commuting has given me much more time to consider what I want to wear every day which now leans on the side of comfort. Now that I’ve started going back into the office once a week, I’ve heavily incorporated comfort into my work wardrobe. I’ve realised that I can get a lot more done in my smart trainers than in those cute loafers which look way more ‘professional’ but give me blisters and distract me from my work.

5. What are you planning on buying next?

At the moment nothing but I am waiting for a few things that I bought on pre-order: A Telfar bag in pool blue and the Soraya dress from Hanifa. I’ve realised that the gratification you get from shopping lasts much longer when you buy something on pre-order. I could be having a stressful day and remember that something I’ve wanted for ages is making its way to me!

Follow @fashionispsychology on Instagram and use the hashtag #mysecondskin for your chance to be featured.