A Jacket With A Past

Have you started to think about all the academic literature that will be generated in future years discussing the sociology and psychology of the pandemic?
I have. I picture it like an old-fashioned card catalog. “Pandemic, societal changes. Pandemic, societal impact. Pandemic, societal regression.”

But there will also be “Pandemic, fashion of.”
In the elaborate spending and consumption rules that I have laid down since last March — with a focus on supporting artists and craftspeople as well as local D.C. restaurants — I have allowed myself some inexpensive purchases on The RealReal.
This jacket was one such purchase.
I know, I know. I already have XX (is “XX” a placeholder or a Roman numeral?) black jackets. But this one is different. It has a nipped in waist and is made of a lustrous cotton sateen that gives the effect of satin. I knew deep down inside that it would look good belted . . . even though belts are generally not (or should not be) visible on Zoom.
Also, this Nina Ricci jacket was $30.
Dressed appropriately to WFH

Dressed to WFH if my job were “assassin”
When the jacket arrived, it raised more questions than it answered.
Although not advertised as “NWT” (new, with tags), it came with several tags attached: (1) the original Nina Ricci hangtag, (2) a Neiman Marcus inventory control and price tag, (3) a random handwritten tag, and (4) The RealReal’s own inventory control tag.
Perhaps the jacket was not advertised as NWT because two of the buttons on the front placket were missing. And they weren’t elegantly missing. Shaggy threads remained in their spots. One of the buttons was awkwardly pinned to the jacket label with a slightly distended safety pin. (Note: A small envelope along with the Nina Ricci hangtag bore the original, spare button. So no harm, no foul.)

You do look pretty sleek
I do

The mysteries don’t stop there. Each of the tags stated a different size. This jacket may be a 6, a 10, or a 12P depending on who you deem most credible.
According to the Neiman Marcus tag, the original price was $1890. That shocked me.
The final oddity: I swear when my eyes passed over the invoice/bill of lading, I saw the name “Perth.” Did this jacket come from Neiman Marcus by way of Australia? If so, The RealReal’s assurances regarding the gallons of water conserved by purchasing this used garment may be offset by the gallons of oil consumed in shipping it half-way around the world.
Regardless, I love my $30 jacket. It’s a jacket with a past.
She does

I was right. It does look cute belted.
Note the pleating that gives the jacket its shape.
Very feminine, no?

The brooch is the product of a very specific obsession
While the belt cannot be appreciated by anyone who is not in my apartment (The Photographer, Mr. Orange and Philo), the brooch is for everyone.
This heart looks vaguely medieval to me.

Perhaps it looks like folk art.
It is actually a vintage piece from Christian Lacroix, who made fabulous costume jewelry in the 1990s and 2000s. The Internet has made it easy (relatively easy) to find these pieces and I must admit to a bit of an obsession. But as charming as I find all of them, I only need one.
There are no vague obsessions, are there?

Finishing things off, my other pair of pandemic dress sneakers: platform Supergas in a camouflage print
The added height makes me happy

11 thoughts on “A Jacket With A Past”

  1. D, it would have been a sin to not pick up that jacket at that price! What a great find. It was obviously meant to come to you.

    P.S. Enjoyed the Allie Brosh book you recommended. Saving up for her other one now.

  2. I love the jacket and brooch. It’s a perfect ensemble for Zoom. It’s not distracting, yet it intrigues….Why the folds? Look at that sheen. What’s that brooch? A coat of arms? A Viking relic?

    I, too, have found a couple of Zoom worthy items on The Real Real. I’ve been more in search of blouses with a little color.

  3. Henceforth, please also publish a screenshot from the site where you made the purchase — to help we neophytes develop an eye for what to choose amid an online sea of options. Once styled, your choices always look impeccable. But on the vast internet pages of Yoox, TheRealReal and similar, i am overwhelmed and unable to discern brilliant choices from style catastrophes.

      • Twitch exists to let people watch videogamers as they play (which I find very strange.) Maybe The Directrice should create Swatch, in which people could watch The Directrice’s screen in real time as she shops online. With a chat box so that fans can flame each other.

        I’m joking, but it might actually work. I mean, unboxing videos are hugely popular. Why not Swatch?

  4. You have such a way with belts! And I love the card catalog reference – here is one of the current headings:

    COVID-19 (Disease) — United States.
    COVID-19 (Disease) — Transmission — United States — Prevention.
    COVID-19 (Disease) — Economic aspects — United States.

  5. That is indeed a sleek outfit. I like all the parts from jacket to the sneakers and I am particularly interested in the brooch. It both demands definition and totally escapes it.

  6. I think this blog will need to be included in the Smithsonian for its historic value; you’ve documented pandemic-era dressing during each phase (dressing up for morale, lack of motivation to dress up for morale, questioning effectiveness/validity of dressing up for morale) and from every angle (practical, philosophical, ethical, personal/emotional). Future civilizations will need no other account.

  7. I’m pretty sure Social Scientists will be busy writing papers about things the pandemic started or stopped, and whether it made a difference in outcomes for the next generation. Did all those Doctor appointments that were missed in March/April of 2020 have an effect besides reducing Doctor’s incomes? Once it’s all over it will be interesting to see what they find out.


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