Friday, May 10, 2013

Do you actually WEAR your favorite clothes?

photo - L.A. Times

Yesterday, when I was getting dressed, I reached out for my favorite silk jacket.  It's from Eileen Fisher, it's a color she calls cobblestone, which is sort of bronze/grey/green, and when I wear it I look tall and thin and young, and AMAZINGLY stylish.

I reached.  And then I pulled back.  WHAT?????

Somewhere in the back of my mind lurks this voice that says "oh, save that for a special occasion..."

Really?  At my age?  It's not like I'm going to get dirty on the playground, nor spill chocolate milk on myself at lunch. (mmmmm....chocolate milk....)

What's the worst thing that can happen? 
  • I might be the best-dressed person at work.  (Oh bother) 
  • Or I might eventually wear the jacket out; fabric fatigue, snags, a strained seam. 
  • Even now, spilled food is not completely impossible.

Now what's the worst thing that can happen if I DON'T wear it?
  • I'm NOT the best dressed person at work.  Even though I could be.  What a waste.
  • The jacket might wear out just hanging in my closet.  Fibers break down eventually, but the "wear"could just be a more subtle falling out of style, or no longer fitting me. What a waste.
  • I'll spill something on a piece of clothing that isn't as amazingly wonderfully fabulous as my silk jacket, and I will spend the rest of the day wearing something both sub-optimal AND spotted.
Wear the best stuff.  Every day.

27 comments:

  1. It took me a while to give myself permission to wear that expensive chashmere sweater on a regular basis (we moved to a cooler climate about three years ago), but if I have learned anything from your blog it is to 1)shop less, 2) buy more expensive, and 3) wear it. 1) and 2) are a piece of cake for me, 3) took some effort. Apart from getting the most out of a purchase, there is also the intangible reward for allowing myself to dress well for any humdrum day at the office.

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  2. I struggle with this thought too.
    Only to "worst" part I add "I may never find something this nice, well fitted etc. again".
    But then I should add to the other side the possibility that after some time this item may not be as flattering, and then I would have to give it up anyway AND I wouldn't have had all those good moments of wearing it and loving that.

    Have to remind me that and all you wrote.

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  3. Oh what a great post! I struggled with this concept when I started working from home (and still do occasionally). I could of course sit around in T-shirts and yoga pants because well, I don't go anywhere and no one sees me but the cat all day. But then I started dressing "up". Still casual, not over the top. Jeans or chinos with a nice shirt or sweater (yes even cashmere), matching jewelry or a scarf. And wow, I felt more productive, more pulled together, less sluggish. I didn't have to change if I needed to run out for an errand. Plus, the best part, my husband thinks I look fab when he comes home from work, complements me and often offers to take me out to dinner! My mantra...why have it if you're not going to wear it????

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    Replies
    1. This is inspiration. I live in sweats and yoga pants. Thanks for the idea.

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    2. This is so relatable for many of us! When I went from teaching at a college to teaching online, I knew my wardrobe had to change, but I wasn't ready for sweats. I swapped my blazers out for knit versions and a few cardigans. I still wear all of my knit pants and several of my blouses. I consigned or gave away the stuff that was just too dressy to wear around the house, but I kept everything that I could figure out how to work into a more casual outfit. I love and share your mantra (+:

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  4. At the end of your post, I yelled out YES! Life is short...wear your favorites...drink from the crystal...eat on the china...enjoy the moment. I am often the best dressed among the other teachers at our high school. On Fridays, every one wears jeans and school tee shirts...not me...I might wear my best jeans but with a flattering, fun top!! I want to bring my A game every day! If I had an Eileen Fisher jacket, it would be on me right now!

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    Replies
    1. I so agree. Live in the moment. We may not have tomorrow. So Enjoy! And to add.. Why not sleep on your good sheets too? Clothing and things put away usually deteriorate anyways. They are meant to be used.

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  5. AMEN to each of the comments before mine as I also struggle with 'should I put this on today - it's too nice to wear just to go _________ (you fill in the blank)' !

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  6. I also struggle with this- working from home most days, and living in the middle of country I could work in my dressing gown and not ever wear make up- however..if I do make an effort I feel better about myself- at the end of the day who are we really pleasing but ourselves, our friends don't mind whatever we wear,and strangers don't care!

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  7. Yes. Yes. YES!! "Wear the best stuff. Every day." Including the "good" jewelry. Put jelly beans in the crystal bowl. Order the menu item you can't pronounce. Ride the zip line. What more special occasion is there than being alive? Closets are a microcosm of our lives. We shouldn't let the best parts molder away in the corners.

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    1. "What more special occasion is there than being alive?" So beautifully said, Virginia!

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  8. Yes, Virginia, there is a best stuff. Let us all wear it every day as we will and as we may. Thanks yet again, Janice, for reminding us that clothes not only make the woman, they make the closet of the deepest best self.

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  9. Janice, I've been "under construction" (my house, not me) for a while now. I try to keep up with your blog when I can, but today's post really hit me. Yes! Wear it! I guess my problem is that I really get kind of grubby with my projects--gardening chiefly, but also house cleaning, walking a couple of miles a day, generally puttering about in a small village environment. So it's easy to dress like everyone else--jeans, maybe garden clogs or muck boots, you get the picture. So my solution now is to be sure to change up at the end of the day, no matter what's (not) happening, after a shower. thanks a million.

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  10. Since reading your blog, I am committed to looking for quality and wearing it. If I buy something nice, really nice, and do not wear it, what is the point? I am being as wasteful as I was when I over-shopped and bought more things that were less quality. Does anyone think that if more buyers continue to shop less but buy quality that there could be a shift with garments being better made and lasting longer?

    Robin

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    Replies
    1. From you keyboard, to the ears of decision makers everywhere. We vote with our dollars, and at some point, those of us who value quality and a decent life for those who make our garments will be heard by someone!
      thanks so much,
      Janice

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  11. Yes, Yes, Yes! I work with 5th graders. Life at work can be messy. And I still wear my favorite things. I have to remind myself everyday that it's okay :)

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  12. What a great post! I have given clothing to charity because I kept them, with only an occasional wearing, then they were completely out of style. Large shoulder pads etc.
    It is a waste to keep good things hanging in the closet..even if you are more dressed up than the rest of the group!

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  13. I still have trouble with this. And my husband is worse! He finally consented to wear the Banana Republic cardigan I got him (which he'd been saving). The little date tag inside indicated that it was almost 10 years old!

    More than once, we've saved a garment to the point of unfashionableness...

    UGH

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  14. Wear your beautiful clothes. My mom died suddenly several years ago. On a Saturday, we had lunch and got manicures. The next evening she was gone. She was a Chicago Public School teacher who saved her pennies and purchased quality, gorgeous apparel. As I was going through her closet, I found a garment bag that contained an Armani suit. The receipt showed that it was more than a year old. It had never been worn. There are no words to describe how sorry I was that she'd never donned that beautiful suit.
    We buy the things we do because we love them. Wear them. Enjoy them. Feel wonderful in them. Every darn day! xo Beth

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  15. Wonderful advice for early on a beautiful May day. It's time to get ready for the day, and I'll keep that advice in mind!

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  16. Your wonderful post reminds me of a quote I read awhile ago from Simon Doonan, who said women should wear their party clothes every day. While I still can;t dress myself in chiffon for the market, I agree, especially re 'real' jewelry.

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  17. Amen and amen. (With one exception taken from experience...save the silk clothing for after the time period in which you are breast-feeding. Mama's milk ruined my favorite clothes pretty darn quick. Wish someone had warned me about that.)

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  18. Hello Janice
    This is a very good reminder to always dress our best each day, not just for ourselves but as a gesture of respect for all whom we shall meet

    Have a wonderful weekend

    Helen

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  19. Janice, I do wish you would include a photograph of yourself, for example wearing your Eileen Fisher jacket. Do you prefer to be "visually anonymous?" I know photos don't fit into your blog's format. Still...it would be nice to see you!

    From Jan - Guess I will be Anonymous because I don't know what this "Name/URL" means or how that works.

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  20. Oh, what a wonderful post. I so identify with it, and with the thoughtful, touching comments from your readers.

    This week as I packed away my winter clothes, I came across the most expensive and beloved item in my wardrobe -- a stunning deep red cashmere wrap I saved my pennies to buy. Lo and behold, as I re-folded it to put away, I noticed insect holes all along the outside where it had been folded and stored in my closet. I never wore this wrap b/c I was saving it -- now, it is ruined.

    Lesson learned! Wear every beautiful item you own. No day is more special than today.

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