I used to have a slight obsession with Peter Pan Collars. I went through a phase where I made so many dresses and blouses featuring them that I think I used to wear one for most of the days in a week. Despite the abundance of these collars in my daily dress I still wouldn’t have described my then style as being particularly twee. However, one day, for a reason that I can no longer recall, I suddenly decided that I was too old to wear them any longer. Perhaps it was for no rational reason at all, and just the result of one of the many crises of identity women encounter in the years preceding their thirtieth birthday.
Despondent at having lost such a beloved and sizable portion of my wearable wardrobe, one that I had spent may hours making and was kind of synonymous with my personal style, I even recall googling “When is it too old to wear a Peter Pan collar” in the hopes of finding a definitive answer as to whether I could still wear them and look age appropriate. I find the irony of this memory so humorous in hindsight, as such a trivial concern could only be the privilege of someone young enough to wear a Peter Pan collar.
The past few years have seen my life change so drastically in pretty much every conceivable way. Since pregnancy and childcare initiated an extended hiatus from sewing (and fashion and everything other than caring for my kids), I have not given Peter Pan Collars another thought….
…That is until I stumbled upon this gorgeous dress by Sezane on Pinterest the other day.
Everything about this dress appealed to me and I just had to have one like it.
Coincidentally when I paged through a recent Burda magazine a few days later, this blouse caught my eye, and I immediately thought it perfect for the basis of the top part of this dress. I made a fair amount of modifications to the pattern, removing the back pleat and inserting darts to make it more fitted. I cut the blouse 3cm below the waist marking so that it would have a semi-dropped waist, like that of the dress that inspired it. I also removed the gathers in the sleeve and did not make a concealed button stand.
For the skirt part I used this pattern. I’ve had it for many of years and have made a number of skirts from it which have always turned out really well. I excluded the waist band and zip closure, but otherwise kept true to the original pattern.
I’m not sure that the dress is age appropriate necessarily, but in my old age I don’t really care too much. The older I get the more I cognizant I am of how important it is to stay true to oneself, in fashion and in every sphere of life. I’ve gained the wisdom to realise that life isn’t so black and white, that nobody worth worrying about will be offended by the shape of my collar. Personal style should be just that: personal, and age should not determine nor dictate what a person wears.