Elevate Difference

Pamela Blouse

I'm not sure I understand why companies give clothing items actual human names. No doubt it is because the article unearths a memory from the depths of the designer's mind of some random babysitter long since forgotten or perhaps a high school classmate with whom they have fallen out of touch. Not knowing any Pamelas myself, I logged onto Google Images in an attempt to view an array of faces that may have prompted the naming of this lovely handmade shirt.

This is where the game show buzzer obnoxiously indicates having made a mistake, as I gape at numerous pictures of Pamela-freaking-Anderson. Sooooo not what I was expecting from this experiment. Okay, back to the drawing board. While my spontaneous research may not have yielded the result I was seeking, the Pamela Blouse gave me better than I'd anticipated. And if I didn't know any different, I'd think this shirt was sculpted just for me. Bigger in the bust, the belly, and the booty, the Pamela Blouse accentuates what I want to show off while covering what my patriarchy-induced self-consciousness seeks to obscure. Working on body image issues is a process, so in the meantime I can get down with the modicum of confidence gained from the tricks of well designed fashion.

Aside from the favorable shape, the blouse is made entirely from an airy cotton double gauze. The lightness of the fabric makes it perfect for summertime, and the durability of the cotton means the shirt can stand up to repeat washing and drying. I chose to wear it with skinny trousers or a pair of dark, hiphugger jeans rolled up to mid-calf, but the lace detail in front combined with the pink and ivory stripes gives off a cutesy vibe that would totally work with a solid color skirt.

Perhaps that's what I love so much about what Diane Reafsnyder has to offer; nothing beats versatility for the utilitarian fashionista. And the fact that she built her company little-by-little from the ground up makes me smile with feminist pride. (Or maybe that smile was because Diane throws in a free gift with every purchase.) The kind of patience and thoughtfulness of a tenacious businesswoman comes through in her creations, whose blend of modern and classic elements can be found on Etsy. While you probably won't see the web's most popular Pam wearing this blouse anytime soon, I can only imagine that, for you and me, that's an incentive to don the shirt ourselves.

Written by: Mandy Van Deven, August 18th 2009