'frock consciousness'

This term was coined by Virginia Woolf as she tried to understand the relationship women have with their clothes. In her reflections she wrote "still I cannot get at what I mean". 

This statement rings so true to me, I have a deep distrust of clothes as so often they are used inappropriately to define a whole person and their worth and yet I also have a deep love of clothes. They're something that fascinates me; I enjoy getting ready for an event (often more than the event itself!), planning outfits, designing new garments, dreaming up the perfect dress and yet I can't clearly describe why they demand so much of my attention. I'm like Jane Austen, who talked about clothes in great length in her letters, but in her books always described the silly or frivolous characters as the ones who cared about clothes. Think of Lydia Bennet, Mrs Elton or Mrs Bertram. Hilarious but all stupid.

Rosemary Hill describes brilliantly, in her lecture delivered at the British Museum, the conundrum of clothes.

"The conundrum of who women dress for, the unspoken question of why we mind about our clothes, as Austen herself did, when we know that the effect on other people is most often negligible at best and at worst deleterious, has never gone away. The correct answer today is that we dress for ourselves, but that isn’t quite true either. We dress to say something about ourselves and the question is: to whom are the remarks addressed?"

Frock Consciousness is a term for the indescribable connection we have with clothes. For better or for worse, they are inextricably linked to the human experience, lets make them mean something good.