While we were conducting customer interviews to explore the idea of Birdie & Claire, and later to help develop the clothing designs, we asked many questions of our interviewees. There was always one that I was most excited to ask: “What is an outfit that made you feel amazing?” We got the idea for this question from the MasterClass, “Tan France Teaches Style for Everyone.” The responses to this question almost always involved a brief journey to a memory of the person we were speaking with. It was always about so much more than the outfit itself – it was the experience and the feeling that made the clothes memorable. Throughout our conversations, the definition of “outfit” varied - we heard about flowy dresses, jumpsuits, skirts and blouses, shoes, necklaces, hats, and t-shirts. What matters is that the item evoked a feeling that has stayed with them.
On top of being fun to ask, this was always such a valuable question because it helped us understand what people wanted in their clothes and how they wanted their clothes to make them feel. These are the qualities that we aim to have in every Birdie & Claire item.
Over time, we will feature the “one outfit” from a number of women – our customers, product partners, family members, friends. We hope these stories stir up some memories for you of the clothes that have made you feel confident and special. For this inaugural edition, I’m excited to share with you my “one outfit” and why I loved, and continue to love, it so much.
My “outfit” is rather simple – it is a V-neck, knee-length black dress. When I was in graduate school, I traveled to Vietnam on a school trip and was able to have it made in Hoi An, a city known for its tailor-made clothing. The experience of getting it made was a blast, and I was lucky to have classmates there who could share the experience with me. I have such a nice memory of all of us picking out fabric, trying on clothes, and giving feedback to one another.
I’d never had anything custom-made before (save for a few items I’ve made for myself – I am a very amateur seamstress), so I shouldn’t be surprised, but I nonetheless feel a special delight whenever I put it on. It is made for me, and it fits like it. It is my go-to dress for work and special events. Whenever I wear it, I feel put together, comfortable, a little dressed up, and confident. I look like me in it. Now having worn it so many times, I have so many memories of the dinners, presentations, and parties it has gone to, and I, of course, always remember where I got it. I can wear it with different jackets, scarves, and jewelry, but I think I most enjoy wearing it by itself.
For as much as I’ve been talking about this outfit, perhaps the thing I love most about it is that I don’t have to think about it when it’s on. When I zip it up, I feel a burst of confidence that stays with me throughout the day. It stays put, and it lets me focus on being myself.
Do you have a “one outfit” that you would like to share with us? We’d love to hear about it at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please let us know in the email if you consent to having your story shared on this blog. We will use first names only or can feature your post anonymously. We can’t wait to hear your stories.