Sunday, April 29, 2012

This Old Thing?

So nice I bought it twice

Why is it that the thing you loved last year this year seems so— well— last year? My love affair with fashion is forever. My closet bores me quickly.

That's not to say I don't wear an exciting new purchase to death for a few weeks, combining it every which way from Sunday. Then it either becomes a "go to" piece or gets lost in there. Usually the latter. Not to say I don't have some real favorites. Recently I re-bought (at much greater cost than the original) a treasured silk dress by Christopher Deane (no longer in business) that the cleaner ruined. Some things are worth more than rubles.

What I'm talking about is the general malaise of "I have nothing to wear" with a closetful of clothes staring back at you. To paraphrase Hoagy Carmichael, "It's the newness of you that excites me".

The following tricks have been known to stave off boredom while skirting the issue of breaking into the piggy bank or contemplating true credit card debt. Plus one idea that will knock your socks off. Do we have any venture capitalists reading?

Don't wear everything new all at once.
Did you score big on your last shopping trip? Avoid the temptation to wear it all the next day. Portion it out a little bit— the necklace one day, the blouse another, the pants yet another. Goes for everything new except underwear.

Keep the tags on.
Besides insuring an easier return if you develop buyer's remorse, leaving the tags on a garment gives you that extra pleasure of snipping them off when you first wear it. Sort of like cutting the ribbon on a present. Kinda.

Buy yourself a gift card.
When you are feeling flush (bonus, birthday, tax refund, extra-paycheck-in-the-month) purchase a gift card to your favorite store. It shouldn't expire (check if not certain) and will be at the ready when discipline or guilt might keep you from the checkout counter.

Discover the pleasures of thrift shopping.
Call it vintage or thrifty or just Goodwill, if you are lucky enough to have decent second-hand options in your area, by all means explore them. Money spent there is like eating celery, right? You use more calories chewing than the celery contains. There are almost 30 outlets across the country of my favorite, Buffalo Exchange. One in Houston is the repository for someone with a Marc Jacobs fix in my size, thank you very much. I've visited thrift shops in Palm Beach and Manhattan for stellar pickings and am the ecstatic recipient of a friend's adventures at her favorite thrift shop in the Hamptons. Thank goodness we do not wear the same size.

Drumroll please...
Here's the idea that I am waiting to see happen. Why can't we fashion-obsessed rent clothes? Yes I know there are rent-a-handbag sites and rent-a fancy-dress places, but I'm talking Rent a Wardrobe. In this day and age of food trucks and meals-on-wheels, not to mention the Bloodmobile, why can't a van drive up to our doors on a regular basis to let us choose and borrow a wardrobe for a week or two or a month (with option to buy of course)? A brilliant idea, no? I even have a name for it: the Fashionvan or— if housed in a permanent building— the Stylibrary. You would pay an annual fee (for cleaning bien sur) and a rental price per piece factored into length of your loan.

Then all I would permanently need in my closet would be that black skirt, black pants and little black dress the fashion mavens keep talking about. I can see hangers swinging already.



  2. It's funny actually, when I buy something new it usually stays in the bag with the tags on for a few days - until I decide whether or not it's staying put/going back.