"New England is quite as large a lump of earth as my heart can really take in." - Nathaniel Hawthorne

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Clothes Loved New and Old

Clothes should last for a very long time.  This necessarily means that they will be used for different purposes throughout their lives. Here are some examples for oxfords, khakis, belts and a few other items.

New: Business Casual and Out with Friends
Items start in this category.  Fresh out of their packages, they have sharp creases and an ironed sheen. 

Gently Worn:  Errands and Daily Life
The cuffs are starting to fray.  There may be small, subtle spots.

Heavily Worn:  Yard work
Items have holes, both from use and sometimes from moths. Patches can be evident.  They are often rumpled.

This approach should not cover all items of course (much of what is required for a summer wedding or a night out in the city will never be worn years later on trips to the composter).  But this approach also applies to areas as disparate as cars and furnishings. 

This perspective resolves many paradoxes, including
  • A frugality combined with an appreciation of more expensive items, and 
  • Why well-off people embrace and expect the use of well-worn items.
One Can:
  • Buy well made things to begin with. 
  • Buy classic and timeless styles.
  • Have two or all three uses in mind when making a purchase.  
  • Combine flattering and comfortable.
  • When in public, never have too many new items nor too many old.  
  • Always keep items clean.  Patch or mend where possible.  
  • Keep the three categories separate in shelves or closets.
Finding clothes that are as close to timeless as possible, flattering and well made, then taking care of them and wearing them as long as possible, will never go out of style.  (And to a lesser degree, photographs of someone wearing classic clothes will never look wildly dated.)