In high school clothing was a source of stress. Even though I went to a school with a uniform - there were still non-uniform items - shoes, coats etc.
Most of my clothes were picked out by my Mum, which was quite mortifying for a teenager.
One day, my Mum came back from the shops with a new winter coat for me. It was a red quilted coat with an off-white fleece-fur lining. I really didn’t like it and knew that wearing it to school on Monday morning, would attract many unkind comments. I remember feeling frustrated and anxious.
Monday came and I went to school. The jibes did come.
'Where did you get your coat?'
'Is it from Father Christmas?'
I braved it out and eventually the unkind comments died down. A few people told me that they liked my coat.
It’s horrible to experience bullying. Children can be very conforming - they want to fit in and be like everyone else. People can be very afraid of any kind of difference. Being judged on your clothes or appearance is a harsh thing. It isn’t until later that you realise being different or individual is a great thing.
I think sewing your own clothes really supports self-acceptance. You can make things which suits you or doesn’t suit you, but you develop a better understanding through trying out. You don’t need to follow trends or the crowd, if you don’t want to. Ever.