Despite the fact that I love to cull my closet, I must confess I do have a number of… ah… older pieces. Items which over the many years of culling I have been unwilling, or sometimes initially willing, but in the end unable, to give away. And I was thinking of these rather geriatric pieces the other day when I read a post on Man Repeller in which Haley Nahman asked five fashionable women to “find and wear the oldest thing they own[ed]”
So what is the oldest piece of apparel in my closet that I can still wear? My most geriatric piece? I’m not talking about something vintage, something I purchased when it was already old. But things that were new when I first wore them. Well… there’s my christening gown. It’s not exactly in my closet, but packed away in tissue paper in a drawer. When we cleaned out the farmhouse a few years ago, and unpacked Mum’s cedar chest, I couldn’t bear to get rid of it. It’s pretty old. Capable of drawing the old age pension in three or four years. But since I can’t wear it anymore… I guess it doesn’t count.
|My oldest piece of clothing.
Neither does the suede midi-skirt that I bought in the early eighties when I worked in pharmaceutical sales. I kept thinking I might wear it again, but this exercise put paid to that. It’s too small now. Likewise a lovely pair of wool Max Mara dress pants. Creeping middle-age middle. Sigh.
I have several old blazers and jackets that I can and do still wear. A long Max Mara tweed blazer from the late nineties that I started wearing again a couple of years ago. A couple of other Max Mara jackets from the early 2000s that I love.
And this Alfred Sung green, gold, and burgundy houndstooth plaid jacket that I bought in… ah… the mid-eighties. Can you tell?
I loved this jacket so much, for so many years. It still fits and is in perfect shape. But those eighties shoulder pads. Oh my.
They. Are. Enormous.
Nevertheless, I was game to see if I could find a way to wear it again. So, I tried my geriatric jacket with my Massimo Dutti khaki jeans, my Stuart Weitzman loafers, and the white Lafayette 148 shirt which I bought at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale in July. I love these jeans with the jacket. I added the Bakelite earrings that I picked up at the Ottawa Vintage Clothing Show
in November, and the vintage bracelet which I’ve had for a few years. The earrings and bracelet look so well together. But the whole look is… a bit blah. Don’t you think?
So I added my green Prada sweater. Changed up the Bakelite earrings for these jade ones that Hubby and I purchased in New Zealand. And this green scarf which I used to wear many, many years ago, in university. I wore it with the green midi-skirt that I was waxing lyrical about in a recent post
. But despite loving the scarf, and the jacket with the jeans, I’m feeling a bit constricted in this. I’d have to start shedding layers at the first sign of over-heating.
So I discarded the sweater. And simply twisted the scarf under the collar of the shirt to add a bit of colour next to my face. This feels better. I do love my old scarf. I’d wear this outfit. Out the door, even, not just to take photos for the blog. If it weren’t for those darned shoulders.
Hubby says he thinks I might be wider in this jacket than he is in his hockey shoulder pads. I was actually thinking more along the lines of a football wide receiver, than a hockey player. Get it? Wide receiver. Ha. I wonder if I could get someone who knows about these things to remove the shoulder pads, and replace them with smaller ones. What do you think?
And since I was digging into my closet and hauling out old things, I pulled out this hat. I bought it new in 1984, the first winter I supply taught in New Brunswick. That would make it… ah… 33 years old. Even older than my jacket. I bought a matching scarf and mittens at the same time, but I can’t tell you where they are. I adore this hat. I wore it all that winter and felt like a million bucks. It looks lovely with the scarf I bought in Ireland, doesn’t it? I feel very Artful Dodger-ish in this.
Okay, let’s sum up. What have I achieved with this endeavour? I’ve identified a couple of pieces that I will have to give away. The idea of wearing them seems impossible now. I realize that I still love this old jacket, but I can’t wear it as is. If I can do something about the shoulder pads, it might be worth my while. And I have reinvigorated my love for my red hat. Or is it orange? Or not quite either?
Now, back to that Haley Nahman article on Man Repeller. I’m sure you thought when you read the beginning of this post… “Man Repeller? Isn’t that the blog that she complained about so vociferously a while ago?” Yep. It is. I was irate about their post on retirees wearing slippers and pastel baggy pants… or something like that. But even though the women who write for Man Repeller, not to mention their target audience, are probably younger than my houndstooth jacket, I still find many of their posts engaging, and witty. And besides, now that I’m not teaching anymore, I have to keep up with the youngsters somehow.
So, that’s it for me today, folks. Time to change out of my good clothes. I’m sure my geriatric jacket is tired after all this outfit trying on. I’d better get it back into the closet. I’m out of here if I can get these shoulders through the door.
Now… where did I put my baggy pants and slippers?
How about you, my friends? Want to play this game? What’s the oldest thing, that you can still wear, in your closet?