Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Alas, poor Wiksten! I knew him well.

If I like something enough and it fits me well, I'll wear it to death. I knew it was time to look for a replacement for my bamboo Wiksten skirt when people started saying things like, "Oh, I recognised you from down the street because you always wear that skirt." It's true, I've been wearing this skirt almost daily for the past two or three years. It's my jeans. This is what it looked like when it was new and above is part of what it looks like now: lived in, is perhaps the right word! The indigo bamboo is supposed to fade and it's only a little bit frayed in places. It has really stood up very well to such intensive wearing and that's something I ask of my faves. The thing is, you never know what will become your fave in advance. I thought I'd made a mistake when I bought this skirt in a frenzy of clicking madness, trying to buy something, anything in a Wiksten update - in which items are snapped up and the shop empties within half a second (I'm not actually exaggerating). After managing to buy it I realised I had bought a skirt two sizes too big for me. Oops. So I took it in at the side seams and proceeded to wear it all the time, forever.

The problem now is, I can't find anything I like to replace it. I bought a skirt in Zara, but when I put it on for the first time it already had a hole in the pocket where the overlocker had missed one side of the fabric, then I noticed a loose thread, pulled it and the entire hem came down. I felt a bit silly hand mending a skirt I'd just bought! Oh, and however much you iron it, it still looks wrinkled. Not going to be a fave. This is why buying well made clothes works better for me. I need them to last oh, ten to fifteen years.

I have basically worn the same uniform for the past few years, but those favourite pieces are starting to look really tired: my navy Sessun booties are still very much in rotation and once the squeaking was sorted out have stood the test of time brilliantly; but my fave Sessun navy crew neck jumper is now short sleeved, rather than 3/4 length sleeved. It's also skin tight and it could do with an intensive session with a Remington Fuzzaway. I still wear it though, because it's so rare to find things I really love to wear. And my total bestie fave beige APC cashmere jumper (also worn practically daily for four years) is going to need elbow patches soon. And this is the thing, my guilty little secret: I'm always all oh, clothes blah blah wonderful, but if I look at myself I wear the same things over and over, most of which are pretty old. My favourite trousers to wear are these nondescript navy things - I think they're from Topshop a couple of years ago. I suppose I could spin them into being called "cropped cigarette pants" but actually they're just crappy cotton trousers that are ankle length. They're not interesting and they certainly aren't flattering at all, but I always have a pair of crappy navy trousers that I get attached to. I buy a new version of them every year. They're totally shit and I wear them all the time. I'm wearing them right now!


erica said...

this is too funny, claire! i have this very sad navy cashmere cardigan from jcrew that is half its weight after a vigorous de-pilling. plus, there are several holes on the shoulders from an unfortunate encounter with a cat.

most of what i wear is falling apart. i just bought a new pair of jeans and several SA reverse seams because i was tired of wearing black leggings and ratty cardigans.

we should do a feature of bloggers exposed, because i'm pretty sure i'm not the only one who changed out of the outfit of the day into old trousers and a threadbare t-shirt.

quick question: is margaret howell worth the price? will her pieces last for 10+ years?

If Jane said...

oh yes! and i saw you in this skirt in paris!!!
(well even if you are wearing the same things over and over, or similiar articles of clothing, it shows that you know what looks good on you and you have taste!!!) c'est chic claire!

Anonymous said...

Loved this post, and can totally relate to it. I think that with certain items of clothing we develop a sort of intimacy, not based on how fashionable or expensive or flattering they are. For some unclear reasons, they become family.

Anonymous said...

your text made me laugh. great!
I have to say ditto on the whole last paragraph.

Claire * Lola Is Beauty said...

Oh, I forgot to mention my threadbare big wrap cardigan that I bought 15 years ago! I mostly wear it at home but sometimes it's so cosy it gets an outing.

Erica - we should totally do that expose feature - I would love to see bloggers letting loose in their old faves. I think it would be liberating! The thing is, I wear these clothes out of the house as well! I love Margaret Howell's clothes and they are really well made/basically perfect. They probably will last for 10+ years, but the prices still always make me balk. £250 for a cotton shirt? I have never bought anything there for the sole reason of price. (Though my friend lives next door to her, so hopefully one day I'll get to ingratiate myself over the back fence and score some old samples!) Oh - they do have good sample sales, but I always miss them...

If Jane - that's the one!

Mia - please show me your "family" clothes!

Anon - Oh good! I feel so much better, I am going to wear these trousers all week now!

Marie said...

so nice reading this...
i find it hard to find clothes that fit me right and feel good to wear, but when i do it's hard to let them go :))

Bombay Beauty said...

wonderful and true. but i take it one step further. i wish i could somehow know which of my purchases will become my homey, all-purpose uniforms and then buy enough of them to last a lifetime!

i have worn one pair of black jeans at least 3 days a week since 2007 (allowing them to rest on alternate days). i bought them in london at selfridge's for what i thought was much too much money. but every time i where them i feel taller and in my imagination my legs look a bit rock starish (underline in my imagination, but that counts too no?)