These Old Black and Blue Clothes

As summer winds down and I look at my list of planned posts, I find that I have eleven posts still in various states of production. I must shake a leg and get these finished. Double-time!

Remember The Original Twenty Year Old Dress? It’s now twenty-two.
Such an accomplishment. I think I will be buried (or, cremated) in this dress.
To rev it up this summer, I’ve paired it with the Woolly Mammoth Sandals and a double wrap belt.
Made for one another!

This dress is so correct
for so many occasions

For those who have forgotten the legend of the Twenty Year Old Dress, I bought it at Banana Republic when I was a summer associate.
Applause for the quality of the clothes that Banana Republic was making in 1997.
In the intervening years, it’s had some summers of rest (due to weight fluctuations) and I had Fatima take in the bodice — to tighten the armscyes and shape the bust — a few years ago.
What’s that? Applause?

It was very good advice, Daddy
And let’s also applaud Pere Directrice, who told me that summer that it was O.K. to spend some of my summer earnings on work-appropriate clothes. He was probably thinking one dress and one suit would suffice, and did not realize that what I heard was closer to, “Bombs away!”
All’s well that ends well, I say! It’s 2019 and I’m still wearing this dress.

But wait! There’s more of these old clothes coming.
Read on!
More sober Directrice reflects on all the good advice she has received from her father

More old clothes?
From deep inside Ward Robe, an old Eileen Fisher bias-cut linen skirt and an ultra-light cashmere shell from JCrew — standbys for many, many years.

Many more old clothes
O.K., let’s do this

With use and age, this skirt is not as fresh and crisp as it was when I bought it in 2005, so it is now for Casual Fridays and weekends.
But remember: In the month of August every day is Casual Friday.
Faithful servants

Old Friends and New Friends
Old clothes make new friends: sunglasses, a necklace, and sandals.

This charming pendant was made by our own Missannethrope.
The intrepid flapper has seen a lot of D.C. this summer.
Here, she looks a little dubious

And as summer comes to a close, we must thank my Skecher sport sandals which were most unsuitably worn to work every week . . . and not on Casual Friday. They went on sale in late July and I bought two pairs to tuck away for Summer 2020 and Summer 2021.
Like walking on clouds

10 thoughts on “These Old Black and Blue Clothes”

  1. Your 22-year old dress is perfect! I also love your blue/black skirt/top combo, another perfectly timeless look, though I’ve never really been able to get my head around summer cashmere. I always admire Eileen Fisher fabrics, and can see myself investing in a few pieces one day. On the theme of longevity, I have a 20-year old linen dress from Banana Republic, fully lined of course as things were back then, and (wait for it) the 20-year old *silk* cardigan I bought at the Gap to go with it.

    • The Eileen Fisher pieces that I’ve bought over the years have worn very well — so despite the initial investment, I think they are worth the price. (Although some of the current prices do seem very high to me. Perhaps wait for a sale.) My 20YO BR dress is also fully lined; it really is a very well-made garment. Love that you still have the Gap cardigan — made for one another!

  2. Have you considered dying the Eileen Fisher skirt with a cold water dye? Linen dyes very well — it just takes a bit of salt and can be done in the kitchen sink.

  3. I have a skirt from Oilily that I bought maybe twelve years ago. I was THIS CLOSE to putting it in the give away bag this summer, but then I thought better of it. I love the skirt, even if it is a little faded. So I just wear it super-casually. It lives to make it to another season. And I suppose, if I were really enterprising, I could over dye it to refresh it. It’s all black.

    It remains to be seen if I am really enterprising. I am usually not.

  4. Love the idea of old clothes making new friends via newer accessories.
    I have a 30-year-old dress, a sundress bought at a street market in the south of France. It’s bright gold and orange and yellow, and reminds me of a field of tall sunflowers in Provence. The 30-year-old dress has moved with me to Brazil, London (summer clothes didn’t get much wear during the London years) and New York, and has recently retired to Mexico with me. Rather Dorian Grey-ish that I age and the dress doesn’t. But wearing it always evokes happy memories of my life in other countries, and the new memories I’m making here.

  5. What’s super fun is watching my grown daughters borrow clothing from my closet in new iterations, garments that are actually older than they are. Quality garments are my favorite!

  6. Love both outfits! The dress really is fabulous. It is a shame so few retailers sell classic styles at reasonably accessible prices anymore.

  7. When we bought a vacation condo I took a number of things there I wear rarely instead of giving them away. It’s nice to have clothes to come back to and keep packing to a minimum, and as they are there, I have to wear them. If I like them again, I bring them back and leave something else. Win, win.


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