Monday, December 29, 2014

In Praise of "Not Quite Perfect"

It comes as a surprise to nobody that I am not a spring chicken; Dwight D. Eisenhower was President of the United States when I was born... so it also won't surprise you to hear that I have a few... marks of experience and character about my person.

And frankly, it doesn't bother me a bit. I'm not going to dye my hair, nor shoot dubious chemicals into my face in order to try to look younger. After everything I've done in my life, I look pretty fabulous! (your preferences may vary - do you own thing!)

I'm coming around, more and more, to feeling that way about inanimate objects too - particularly scarves and jewelry. Small spots on silk, or tiny scratches on metal, don't bother me much - most people around me can't even SEE the flaws... and frankly, I often find that I can purchase a really gorgeous vintage item for less than half the price of a similar item purchased at retail.

Best of all - someone ELSE had to endure that first scratch or spot!  Let THEM eat the depreciation...

This year, for the holidays, I gifted myself with this lovely gem:



This scarf is no longer manufactured by Hermes, and if they choose to re-release it, it won't be the fireworks jacquard fabric...

All of this babbling is in pursuit of encouraging you to look at non-retail sources for indulgences that you avoid. I can warmly recommend Tradesy, Vestaire Collective, and The Real Real.  Poshmark and Ebay both have lots of appealing things, but exercise caution when purchasing from them - they don't have the best record regarding authenticity of items. (I get no money from any of these companies, by the way)

If you're looking at a scarf, send me a note and I'll authenticate it. For other items, just search on the internet for a collector's group, and ask them! There are collectors for everything in the world...

So we save money, get to own beautiful things, and save the environment by destigmatizing vintage goods. (as if that really needed to be done...) We have unique accessories that nobody else owns, and we're beautiful. Not a bad outcome, I'd say!

Love, 
Janice

p.s. those of you who have purchased the Images and Color Schemes document - which of those would you like to see expanded into a wardrobe?

Carnet
de Mode Ltd

18 comments:

  1. The older I get the more frequently I think of wabi-sabi.

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  2. I love this, Janice. I've been planning a post called "Holes."

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  3. I mend until the mends become the most visible part of the garment! As always, I look forward to reading your writing.

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    1. Wow! Thanks. I'd be interested in hearing which of these sites you have purchased from. My daughter and I have sold on Tradesy. However, the burden of authentication is on the buyer since the seller keeps the item and sends directly to buyer. My one purchase was a "like new" cashmere poncho, which turned out to be riddled with moth holes and had dried food on it (they took it back). I would be nervous about buying a "status" brand like Hermes, since I myself don't have the knowledge to gauge authenticity. I would also love to hear of the "flaws" on your beautiful (and festive) "new" scarf!

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  4. As one who has studied la civilisation française, I really like the more historic Hermès scarves. As I develop my wardrobe, I wear each item more so there are small imperfections. But as a retired child of the 50's who has a passion for travel, I am doing more mending and spot removal. Clothing that is imperfect can be layered. A scarf can cover a small flaw. I am always happy to purchase and use the planner/organizers that you develop. You do a lot of work to help others to avoid costly wardrobe mistakes. I would love to see an expansion of Images and Colour. Merci.

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  5. Of interest...https://www.onekingslane.com/sales/48503?utm_source=Daily&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=70116&utm_content=12/29/2014.4804452.am&utm_term=New_Sales.Button.1.48503
    pricey. Glad I have already got vintage scarves!

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    1. Ouch! Those are WAY over retail - they'd better be perfect, at those prices! Thanks for sharing the source - I wasn't familiar with that seller.

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    2. Some of the more collectible vintage Hermès carrés garner far more than original retail price. There is one I am still kicking myself for passing up when it was a current release.

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  6. That is a stunning scarf - so pretty and versatile. It's the something of the Sun King... the birthdays? the celebrations? festivals? (Can't be bothered to Google).

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    1. The celebrations of the sun king - he knew how to throw a party!

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  7. I just discovered your wonderful blog and spent today doing my own step by step "wardrobe re-boot". Ended up with 44 items (not quite a project 333 but not a bad start) and am so excited to go back to work next week able to get dressed from my streamlined closet. Would love your suggestions on what to do with the (sadly 100 +) items which didn't make the cut and probably need new homes.

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  8. Janice,, thanks for all your good (and interesting) work this year. I still have a ways to go before i have the best possible closet, but it's coming. Hope 2015 is a great year for you.

    ps: Am surprised that you are an Eisenhower baby - would have guessed younger.

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  9. I have gone through my wardrobe and have weeded out everything but the pieces I really like and feel great wearing. I have mostly black with some grey. I have both gold and silver jewelry. I don't like wearing pastels. I have some purple pieces and I want to add another color. I am wondering what a wardrobe with black, grey, deep purple and yellow would look like.

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  10. Oh, I would love to see a wardrobe based on, Fort Carre d’Antibes by Nicolas de Stael. Would you mind throwing in a bit of teal and purple as a few accent colors?

    Thanking you, Diane

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  11. Wonderful post! I find myself feeling the same way (I turned 5 when men walked on the moon). Given that Hermes are hiking up prices yet again (and quality of fabric materials is, according to fans, going down, as in pilling cashmere) resale is going to be the only way I can indulge in a new H scarf once in a while. And probably the silk and cashmere in these pre-owned items will be of higher quality.

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  12. :-) So true! Beautiful scarf! I'm always afraid of the first spot or the first pull when I wear a new Hermès scarf. So I'm quite happy wearing my old ones - colors and styles that aren't produced any longer, especially the extremely beautiful jacquard scarves.
    Have a very HAPPY day! :-)

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  13. This is a fascinating post, Janice, because I see both sides of the polarity. A friend bought an Hermès scarf on eBay, knowing it had a permanent spot. From then on, she fretted that the spot was showing. Like a chipped teacup, the pleasure had been so damaged for her, she could not enjoy its beauty- and I too would feel the same. Oddly, I can live with things on which •I• have inflicted the damage, but buying them that way is less satisfying. Also, there is a difference between damage- the spot that mars a field of white on a scarf-and the patina of wear, as you find on jewelry. They lend different effects. As you point out, it's important to know one's tolerance.

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  14. I would like to say thank you for your blog. I have been reading your blog for a few months now. You have taught me so much about me. I have always just followed my Mom's rule from way back when I was growing up. Black, red and white were always in my closet. They were pretty things however when I looked in the mirror I always thought how horrible I looked. But I never questioned her. Now I know why. I am a brown / beige and green girl. My hubby loves the new look. And keeps telling me to have fun with it. So thank you and have a great New Year. I am looking forward to following you in 15 also.

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