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66. Tell us about something in your closet that you keep but never wear. What is it, why don’t you wear it, and why do you keep it?
I have a fudge brown double breasted wool Hugo Boss overcoat with purple silk lining and white buttons. It cost half my rent and I bought it to prove a point to the saleswoman who didn’t want to take it off the mannequin to let me try it on. At the time I thought she was racist and didn’t believe I could afford it (which I really couldn’t) but now I think she was probably just underpaid and spread to thin to be bothered with going the extra mile. The lower half of the coat, which is full, like a skirt, unzips so that the top can be worn like a bolero jacket. I never wear the coat. It’s too heavy and a little too small in the ribcage.
A very expensive cashmere coat a gift from the man who became my husband - it seems too likely to get damaged
I have a pair of, um, pajamas, that are torn and no longer wearable, but I can't bear to throw them out because the pattern is so pretty and reminds me of the calico dresses I wore in the 70s.
I have a long sleeved white button up, I don't wear it because I don't like white clothes, but I keep it in case I need it for a job interview!
I keep a very fancy dress I bought once at a boutique in Ottawa, and I wore it to a friend's wedding party. It is made in Italy and is a designer dress with beautiful ruffles, it is sleeveless and also slim fitting. I remember at the party one of my friends told me I looked beautiful in it! However, I think I have worn it only once or twice since, because it is difficult to find the right occasion for it, and also because it is hard to fit into. I think I could wear it one day for a special occasion, and so I keep it in my closet.
My wedding tutu and veil. It was made by a friend who is no longer a friend. It holds memories that are both unbearably bitter and wonderfully sweet. I'm not a hoarder, I love to throw things away. I find it liberating and satisfying to discard bits of my life. I think this comes from the time I spent traveling where my pack had to stay light and also the fact that I love to move. But I keep the tutu. It's crudely made and uncomfortable but it is a thing that I feel strongly about and so it stays.
I have a little knit xmas dress with pom poms on it. I don't throw it out because maybe one year I'll be the kind of woman who will wear it, even though I know I never will. It's like a reminder of a possibility.
My wedding dress (which I shortened and dyed gray to wear on my one-year anniversary) and lots of older clothes I simply haven’t had time to clean out.
I have a gold dress that I wore to prom when I was 16, and once for Halloween as a “Dead Prom Queen” when I was probably around 26. It's kind of a muted gold and it's beautiful, and even though I don't really fit into it anymore, I love it too much to get rid of it. Who knows, maybe my daughter will wear it.
A sarong made of beautiful shot silk, that I haven't figured out how to origamically fold and thus wear- but there's not way I'll dump it. Such beautiful material. Such a lush blue.
Items that have sentimental value and are tied to important experiences in my life. Red Sox jerseys, a shirt I bought when I went to Rwanda, etc.
countless items that don't quite fit, but i can not part with because they are fashion finds - super fun stylish stuff that i might use in a photo shoot or something like that.
A couple of vintage things, mostly. One is a turquoise beaded top. I haven’t worn it in a while because it doesn’t fit into my life/work wardrobe right now but I don’t feel like I would ever get rid of it. It’s too beautiful, and beautifully made. Another is a hot pink fake fur stole. I don’t think I’ve worn it in a few winters, but I remember lusting after it after seeing it in a magazine and spending more on it at the time than I was used to, so it’s staying. My dog (now deceased) used to love sleeping on it and curling up with it, so that’s another reason I don’t think I would get rid of it. My vintage leopard print coat: I searched high and low for the perfect one at the time and it’s got this great Jackie O shape with ¾ sleeves. Colleagues would freak if I tried to wear it to the office, but it’s never leaving me.
A Donna Karan knitted cape with a turtle neck. You have to pull it over your head so it's messy getting it on and off. I keep it because it's fabulous.