It all started in grade school. Though I couldn’t tell you which teacher I read my first Edgar Allan Poe poem with, it was all history after that. Even at a young age I knew that Poe and poetry were going to be something more than just a phase to me. When I found out how much he was associated with the city I was born in, Baltimore, Maryland, I grew more and more curious about all of his work, his life and even his inconclusive death. I’ve made it a hobby to collect little trinkets associated with him like journals, wallets, bags, books and shirts. I don’t do any weird rituals with them or anything. They all just carry this melancholy air about them no matter what the item is.
This specific ensemble was made by a good friend of mine, Samantha J. We both worked together at a school in California and I noticed that she always wore these adorable hand-made skirts and dresses. She makes most of her own clothes with her small business Cat Scratch Clothing. The process was as simple as discussing with her what type of pattern I wanted, buying the fabric, and letting her take my measurements. Interesting enough, Spoonflower, an online fabric distribution company, had more than just one Edgar Allan Poe pattern to choose from. The cool thing about this site is that they allow you to purchase an 8-inch test swatch so you know exactly what you’re buying.
I bought about three yards of the Kona Cotton fabric because Spoonflower was having a flash sale and it was recommended by Samantha J because it was easier to work with and didn’t feel harsh on the skin. The skirt has pockets which is always convenient when you want to look cute but also have somewhere to store your phone or chapstick. The skirt has a zipper on the back side and a button that fastens on the top. The best thing about having this made is that it is meant to fit me so there are no insecurities about not feeling comfortable in it or it not looking right. I was only expecting the skirt but she had enough fabric to make me the tube-top as well. On the inside of the skirt, etched in the waistline is the word “Nevermore”, a haunting phrase from Poe’s renown poem “The Raven”.
This is outfit is the epitome of original. Samantha J never makes the same outfit twice. If you invest an original piece idea to her she will never make the same thing again for somebody else. Paired with some Doc Marten’s this outfit is the Poe-fect (see what I did there?) reflection of my personality and interests. I encourage everyone to relentlessly flaunt who they really are because that’s honestly the only person you get to be. Beyond material things, your most prized possession should always be who you are. Life’s not necessarily about being an open book, it’s about filling the pages with originality and yourself.
Feature image via Baltimore Sun