Clothing that endures

LogoThis week, I finally had to admit that fall is here (actually, it has been for awhile) and that it was time to do my seasonal closet switch. As I put away my spring/summer wardrobe and brought out fall/winter, I thought about the fact that some of the pieces have been with me for a very long time while others have come and gone. 

What makes an item an enduring one? I think there are several factors. I’m going to use some photos from previous Fashion Friday posts to explain. The date below each picture is a link to the original post that it appeared in. 

Believe it or not, everything that you see in this photo is still in my wardrobe, but it’s the grey and white Breton striped t-shirt that I want to focus on today. Purchased at Reitmans, it wasn’t new four and a half years ago when this photo was taken, but it continues to be a workhorse in my wardrobe for two important reasons. First, it’s a classic piece, not a trend that looks dated after a season or two. Second, it’s good quality. It’s been worn countless times and has stood up to many, many washings. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it was expensive. In fact, it wasn’t. I have t-shirts that are much newer than this one and that cost significantly more that are starting to sag around the neckline. I know that this well-loved piece won’t last forever though, so I’m already watching for something similar to replace it with when it finally wears out.

Animal prints are amongst those things that never seem to go out of style. They’re like neutrals with a bolder twist. Another reason that some items, including this one, stay in my wardrobe for many years is fit. I have the good fortune to have maintained a fairly steady weight throughout my adult life, so changing size hasn’t been an issue for me, but like most post-menopausal women, there’s a little more me around the middle than there used to be. This t-shirt’s body skimming fit doesn’t cling and disclose those bulges. 

Here’s another animal print that has passed the test of time. I have no idea how long I’ve had it, but I’m sure that it’s more than 20 years old! It spent several of those years in storage before I decided to resurrect it a couple of years ago. I try to adhere to the wisdom of getting rid of things that I haven’t worn in the past year or two, but once in awhile a well-loved piece takes up long term residence on the hanging rack at the back end of our storage room and waits for a day when it might brought back into circulation.

The popularity of plaid seems to wax and wane a bit from season to season, but like stripes, animal prints, florals, and polka dots, it’s a timeless pattern. The fact that this shirt is very well made is another reason to keep it in my closet year after year. Look how perfectly the pattern lines up across the front. That’s always a sign of good construction. In addition, there’s a hidden button at the bust line that completely eliminates the possibility of gaping. Again, quality doesn’t have to be expensive. I got this one for $3 at the thrift store! 

This simple lace overlay dress has been in my closet year round for about six years. It’s my little black dress that isn’t black. It’s an excellent traveller and can easily be dressed up or down. In fact, here it is dressed down with sneakers and another classic piece that I’ve had for years, a basic jean jacket. 

So, again, what makes an item an enduring one? Timeless pattern and style, good quality, good fit, versatility, and perhaps most important of all, it has to be something that you love and that you don’t grow tired of!

Do you have anything that’s been in your closet for a very long time? Do you still wear it? Please tell us about it in the comments section.