Let's say you're a stripper.
Or maybe you just like to wear lavish or fantastical clothes. Filmy things. Sparkly things. Heels high enough to redefine the meaning of high heels.
The thing is, you have very particular needs. A certain slinkiness, obviously. But whimsicality doesn't hurt, either. As it turns out, there are plenty of ways to dress in order to undress for success.
"People like the fantasy stuff," said Rosie Patterson, who has come to know a thing or two about the subject. "One girl wanted to dress like a U.S. Marine, and sailor suits are popular, especially during Rose Festival. Wonder Woman is popular, too. Although everything is generally more low-cut, or high-cut, than the original."
The aspiring stripper should also consider her outfit's durability.
"It's best to use stretch fabrics, so they hold up better," said Gina Patterson, who is Rosie's mother. "These outfits have to hold up better than everyday gowns. Because they go on and off so much more."
This is the wisdom known to women who produce stripper outfits for a living. Which is what Rosie and Gina Patterson do at the Brass Pole, the stripper-themed boutique they own and operate in Southeast Portland. And while it may surprise some to learn such a shop exists, it should be more surprising to realize that a city that boasts something like 50 strip clubs (more per capita than any other in the United States) has only one shop geared toward satisfying the dancers' clothing needs.