The oldest garments of my wardrobe

These are among the actually oldest things that I own, but that’s another story.

This post from Rebecca from A Clothes Horse peaked my curiosity… First of all, great, I am always for bloggers with such big platforms showcasing that they re-wear things. That said, I got that typical post-2000 thought of ‘but 2011 was yesterday, what’s the big deal?’ until my rational mind kicked in half-second later pointing out that 2011 was 8 years ago. Dude, actually 9 years in a couple of weeks…

Hence I recognize that 8 years is a long time for a dress, especially if you have worn it a lot. (Because we all know the meanest paradox about old garments that looks like new: chances are that they haven’t been worn that much.) And I proceeded to explore my own archive.

To make it more real – and restrictive – I’m looking only at actual garments, not accessories and adornments because that gets into family vintage too easily and where is the research value of that. And only the pre-2010 pieces are included to put a limit somewhere. So everything below will be at least 10 years old in 2020. Yeah, most of it overlaps with #100wears but indulge me…

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Since 2003: The Bik Bok parka (the #100wears post)

The warmest garment I’ve owned in the last few decades. It gets few wears nowadays, because this parka lives in Rīga and gets worn only when it’s below 0ºC. The fluffy inside layer can be taken out in order to turn the parka into a trench-like thing. The garment as such is a bulky one, and not really flattering… but who cares when it’s -17ºC?

This parka has been fixed a couple of times (buttons, closures, worn-out finishings, etc.) but there is no reason to give it away and look for another one with my current lifestyle. This garment has never lived out of Latvia and I’m not planning to take it with me. I need it back there where real winter does occasionally happen.

January 2004 vs. January 2019:

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Since 2005: The green patterned secondhand top

This no-brand pure-plastic top came to me in a Humana shop during my first visit to Barcelona in 2005. And we’ve been together ever since. So much so that the dye has been worn off from the elbows… it has received minor fixes at the seams, but nevertheless lives to prove that plastic is forever. Also, the shape and the pattern are great.

April 2006 vs. December 2019:

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Since 2005: The Street One jacket (the #100wears post and the refashioning post)

I’ve talked so much about this jacket already, see the links above, but it just keeps being a key garment of my wardrobe… my most worn layer in 2019, btw.

May 2005 vs. November 2019:

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Since 2005: The purple Cecil top

This top is pure magic in confirming that great quality, lasting cotton jersey is possible. My mom wore this one at the beginning, then I took over and have been wearing since 2005. Yes, not very intensively as it has always stayed in Rīga, but not having even had an unraveled thread is an amazing achievement in this world of crap fast fashion jersey. People, it is possible to make quality jersey stuff if you do it well!

November 2005 vs. February 2018:

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Since 2006: The fluffy Seppälä coat

This coat has had a slightly turbulent history but it has come around since then. Originally, it was almost knee-length, straight-cut, and bought by my then-boyfriend. We had identical fluffy coats. Yes, his-and-her towels. Sometime during my undergrad, around 2010/2012, I had the splendid idea to ask our trusted seamstress in Rīga to reshape it: make it shorter, make a hood out of the cut-off bits, make a proper zipper closure (the original had only a couple of buttons). She did an amazing job, and it has been working pretty well as my not-that-cold-winter coat since then.

March 2006 vs. March 2019:

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Since 2008: The HnM sweetheart dress

This dress was one of those classic feel-good impulse buys. At HnM, no less. But I was lonely and depressed in Brussels, so I had my reasons. And it was a general fail… I’ve done my best throughout the years, but this dress hasn’t become a favorite (it has seen many operas, though). I’ve been resisting my rational impulses to finally get rid of it and have implemented several adjustments: fixing the unreliable neckline with added straps, wearing layer above it not to worry about pieces of my body being too much for this classic cut… Well, now, finally, it is undergoing a radical change trying to preserve the part that I like and ditch the bothersome one. I hope to be able to show it in its new incarnation very soon…

December 2008 vs. February 2018:

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Since 2009: The Hummel Madelaine jacket (the #100wears post)

This jacket is legendary! It is supposedly a comfy (zipper pockets!) exercise piece, for running and such. But for me it has been an *everything* jacket for solid 10 years. Again, the quality of the finishings is astonishing, the shape is great… what else can a girl want from a jacket?

October 2009 vs. October 2019:

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So, are there any solid conclusion regarding the pieces that have stayed with me for years? Well, there are no bottoms among them. They are often fixed and transformed pieces. And some of them are those with a  very definite purpose that happens so rarely that looking for a more optimal garment would not really be worth the while…

What are your oldest garments still in rotation? Are those the beloved, fixed for the n-th time pieces or those ‘it looks new because I never really wore it’ garments? Do you have any real family vintage that you actually wear?

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