CWPWRDD DILLAD: Click here to see bigger images
Roger Fenton is a librarian that's looking for some advice on how to enjoy clothes.
How would you describe your style?
For me, clothes are something you wear to protect your modesty and to keep warm. I think that if men have an interest in clothes and style that it's a sign of weakness in their character. I was raised without any interest in clothes and style. As a family we didn't have a lot of money so we had to be very careful how much we spent on clothes. I remember buying all our clothes in charity chops and at the bargain basement in Sears. There was a mark of cane on us as we grew up in America. The church where I grew up was very conservative and regarded spending money on luxury things such as make-up, hair dye, going to the cinema or expensive and stylish clothes as a sin.
I've seen a photograph of your mother and to me she looked like she always smartly dressed.
I always felt like she dressed in a way hat would scream, 'I'm a poor woman, I'm a poor woman' because I'd always compare her to other women and would think, 'why do you have to look like such a poor woman?'
You've raised four children. Did that mean that you had to be careful with money?
To ensure that we could receive our adoption allowance we had to keep track of every penny we spent over a period of ten years to prove yearly that we were eligible to claim the payments. That discipline of keeping track of every penny we spent meant that we questioned every purchase – do we really need to buy this? On average I don't think that I spent more than £50 a year on clothes.
I've seen an old picture of you and I think that you may have been wearing the same shirt then as you are today. When was that photograph taken?
That picture was taken when Rhys arrived at our house in November 1981 and I still wear that shirt today and see no problem with that. I don't like spending too much money on clothes and I also want them to have been produced humanely – I don't want to buy anything that's been made in a sweatshop in the third world or that's harmed the environment at all.
What kind of clothes do you have in your wardrobe at the moment?
Most of my clothes have been left to me by people who've died. When relatives die I seem to inherit their clothes!
Why have you chosen to have this make-over and to change the way you dress now?
I'm 61 now and feel it's time for me to break free from my past restrictions, from the constraints of my childhood. I feel my style's quite dowdy. The children have been complaining for years that I need to do something about my image. So now that they've stopped bugging me I've decided to do something about it!
Eleanor: The clothes that I've chosen for Roger aren't cheap but they're good quality from Howies that use organic material and Patagonia that use a lot of recycled materials.
E: I've also bought Roger some Barber jackets that have been made from materials made in the UK so their Carbon footprint is less. Roger's been quite conservative when it comes to shoes over the years – lots of trainers and plain black shoes, so this time I've gone for shoes that are a little bit more interesting but are sill made in a morally correct way. I hope that after this experience that Roger will see the benefit in investing in good quality clothes.
Nia: How do you feel after the make-over?
I feel very different. I would never have worn red before, but I like it – it's opened up a whole new world for me! Now I know that it's not hard to look tidy, I don't need to look dowdy.
Nia: You look very smart, do you feel smart?
I feel very nervous about what other people will say after seeing me in such different clothes to the ones that they're used to.
Nia: I have to say that the difference in you is quite remarkable, especially after you've gotten rid of the beard.
That's what I'm most nervous about, I'm not sure if having no beard will last.
Nia: You mentioned that this make-over will free you from your past; do you still feel a little guilty wearing expensive new clothes?
For the past ten years I feel like I've been changing on the inside and now, for the first time there are visible changes on the outside as well. I don't want my past dictating my future anymore. I can now put my past where it belongs – in the past. I feel my transformation is drawing to a close and that this is the last hurdle. I think Eleanor has put me on the right path, a path that I'll be following through my sunset years.
- CWPWRDD DILLAD