I’ve adored fashion as far back as I can possibly remember.
Truly, madly, deeply.
Love it still.
I wore gloves in my first British passport photo.
I still remember the thrill of the ‘glass slippers’ left by the Easter Bunny (little heels!) before my 6th birthday. My Barbies were edited like there was no tomorrow. Even my trolls sported seasonal wardrobes.
Listen, I had freaking ‘Go Go’ boots when I was 10 and they were white leather folks.
Ixnay on pleather for this little fashionista.
Baby Fashionistas (source unknown)
FFF (Fast Fashion Forward) on the catwalk of Life…
Different cities, countries, interests, passions, hair colours, boyfriends, marriage, homemaking, children (2 boys, just saying), empty nestying, one thing remained consistent… this girl loved her clothes.
Wearing vintage on the red carpet (I don’t know how to get rid of that darn writing 🙁 )
A page from one of my scrapbooks-in Paris. The same trip I attended the most beautiful couture show I think I’ve ever seen…
The Master, Christian Lacroix at his most ethereal.
So where am I going with all this?
You’re like ” Is there a gas station between me and the end of this story?”!
Yes, and here it is…
When the opportunity eventually arose to design the closet of my dreams in our new home (and what girly girl doesn’t dream about that?) let me tell you… it wasn’t going to be about editing.
At least I didn’t think it was going to be.
This is me packing for an extended (two week) summer holiday (in our barn, not my closet!)
Not proud but there it is. Well,yes, kind of proud.
Because obviously I took a photo-it was so organized! and 2) many of these pieces are old, vintage and even antique. I often take photos when I pack in case things go missing. I am not unacquainted with lost luggage by any means.
I also like to put things together and take a pic for quick reference.
For example- these photos are from 2011-but I still wear everything here.
Once or twice I’ve even packed this way, with everything for an entire outfit/event, including underwear, shoes and jewelry in one bag. Man, that was good. Wish I was together enough to do that all the time.
Anyway, throughout our construction my Closet became so important it was capitalised. It developed its own theme song and dance moves. It helped that one of our contractors is female. She even uncovered ‘secret’ attic space for more closet storage.
Some relationships need no words… just hangers.
But as all things in life seem to fly by (except football games, mammograms and construction) much of my beloved wardrobe, including all the vintage and antique pieces acquired over several decades, remained packed away for longer than expected.
More vintage on the red carpet…
And there’s a not so fun thing that happens to clothes stored away for too long. Sure, in the plus column; “Ohhh, Jacket with Excellent Lapels, I missed you!”, “Gorgeous giant wrap, lifesaver on freezing overnight flights, getoverhere!” or ” Hello, hot pink bikini that, wow, fits better than ever!” Not.
Just seeing if you were still paying attention.
Another epic packing marathon. FYI-vintage pieces go in my carry on (Can you believe we’re still married?!)
In the not so pleasant column, many items succumbed to banquet fare for moths & silverfish-the worst!
And shrinkage-wtf?? particularly in the upper arms of all my clothes. It’s sooo freaky. As we live in Southern California, I assume it’s caused by the drought. And here we innocently thought the drought was only affecting our landscape and wildlife.
The final straw? S E V E R A L former favourites fell victim to my
“Questionable in Age Appropriateness” category.
Which begs the Question;
What are we still comfortable wearing? Us “Over 50’s”?
Not quite 60 but close enough to be handing back the headsets and placing all carry-on bags in the overhead bin for landing.
headphones via Net-A-Porter
Perhaps more pointedly, “What is still acceptable at this age for those of us who still really care about Fashion”?
Which, Hello, guilty as charged. Because frankly, if all I cared about was being ‘comfortable’ I’d be in sweats or pyjamas 24/7.
Close friends, no comments please.
Me in Heaven
But isn’t it just wonderful when you can mix the two?!
Take jumpsuits for example. I have an old Isabel Marant denim one I’ve worn so much it’s a ’12’ on the Spinal Tap Comfort Meter (talk about showing my age) Ask anyone who lives in Santa Barbara and they’ll probably say ‘Oh her, that lady in the denim jumpsuit’. But lately I hesitate. Though it’s no favourite of my husband’s, that’s never stopped me before. He says it reminds him of Jay Leno tinkering with his car collection. Not that he doesn’t love Jay, but seriously?? Add a YSL leopard belt and fluffy Gucci slides and who looks like Leno now? Besides, any marriage that can survive the husband comparing his wife to Jay Leno is most likely in it for the long game.
No, I know exactly what the problem is:
I’m afraid of The Mutton Dressed as Lamb Squad arriving, sirens blaring;
Get a grip lady! buy a clue, party’s over, HANG IT UP!
It’s The Age Police rapping, rapping at my closet door…
with that one word
And dammit if there aren’t at least 10 other things I could add to the Nevermore List.
I’m not talking about short skirts, low rise jeans..mais non, those are no-brainers.
Rather I lament the demise of formerly adored items of emotional, fanciful, historical, romantical (go with me) consequence. Mah Babies! Who can give those away?
Has Chrissy Hynde surrendered her leather jackets? Stevie Nicks her sky scraper velvet boots? Diane Keaton her hats, men’s ties & vests?
While I’m not famous, I’m famously attached to my STUFF 😉
My most favourite coat in the world. Fendi, reversible cashmere & vintage 1800’s beaded bag. I will never not love this coat.
Fashion is just fricking FUN, right? How else to explain it being a multi billion dollar business?
What has put blogging on the map more than fashion?!
Love everything about Mica’s look here, especially her hair.
Of course I will continue to purge as mandated by the organising gurus; make the piles, sell, give away, donate, throw out, hold items to my heart to see if there’s still a pulse (uh, yes)
and Life will continue to zoom by, but all joking aside, it does make me a tad melancholy.
I picture the much younger me, standing in front of a minuscule closet trying to decide what to wear, glass of wine and a cigarette (yes!) teetering on the edge of the bathroom sink. The smell of hot rollers and Herbal Essence. Those days we could wear anything (and boy did I)
Remember how much FUN that was? The power we had and totally took for granted!
wa wa. Where’s that wine?
Speaking of ageing gracefully, are you watching the new series “FEUD” starring Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon? They’re great fun as Joan Crawford and Bette Davis during the filming of “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane”? What a pair! It’s all the high camp you’d expect, with some really touching moments thrown in for good measure.
So far I’m on Team Bette, but I always did like her best.
But enough about them, “Back to me Jane, back to ME!!”
Does this still look OK? Really?
Am I too old?
IS THIS NEW CLOSET MAKING ME LOOK FAT??!
News Flash- Second guessing, self chastising, dieting (boo) and losing sartorial confidence aren’t such fun roommates. We don’t even get to wear as much make-up as we used to ( again, I give you JANE)
Funny how everything in life is a trade off.
And another thing; Have you noticed the older we (I) get the more we end up just buying shoes and bags, and belts and scarves…especially scarves. And, um, shoes and bags.
A bag to lust for, Saint Laurent
For example, you know how you see some crazy shoes in a magazine and think ‘oh puhleeese those are hid-ee-ous’. Then you see them again in a few weeks and think; well, I must admit, they do look a little better with that, then 2 months later they have your name written all over them?? WHY are you like that?! 😉
Dolce or Chanel?
Anyway, please please don’t get me wrong. I’m thrilled to be getting older. I appreciate that ageing is the ultimate gift and the softening, the greying hair, the tarnishing of youthful glow is the trade off. I get this is all mere fluff in the grand scheme of things, whatever that Grand Scheme may be.
But let’s be honest, how we feel about ourselves whilst navigating these ageing speed bumps is at least in part linked to how we look, or want to look or how we think we look, however much we might deny it. It’s simple human nature.
Think about it.
No caption necessary here.
And while I certainly have other interests, passions and pursuits, I’d still like to embrace fashion for as long as I can. Though it’s not as important to me as it once was, I appreciate beautiful things and people with great style, just as I appreciate good architecture and gorgeous gardens and books and traveling…they all bring joy, inspiration and excitement to my life.
@lilymdonaldson by Carter Smith for British Vogue
So in closing, I just want to say,
How GORGEOUS is this Ralph Lauren silk satin duster ?!
and check out these Louis Vuitton cell phone cases . Srsly. the cutest.
P.S. I wish I’d saved all my teeny tiny clothes from the 70’s… I’d pop them on key chains and hang them from my handbags.
Cause you know, big stuff hanging off your bags? that’s a trend…
in case you’re wondering 😉
No Baby Jane here.
Next up, either a post about growing out grey hair, salt, growing “Proteas” in the garden, or a new restaurant review.
I can’t decide.
I’m coasting on 5 hours sleep a night over here.
Have a stylish week!
*first photo credit; Peter Lindbergh