Friends, I'm so happy to relaunch the "outfit with a past" series today. I have some great guests lined up, starting with Liz Arnold of Homebodies. Unlike many bloggers who aspire to become writers for shelter magazines (yep, that's me), Liz already wrote about interiors when she decided to start her blog to showcase where "real" people live, and I just love how she does it. -Chedva
I bought this vintage wool dress for a few dollars at a Goodwill when I was 16, and whenever I wear it, which is often, people comment on it. It's not always a compliment, but I don't care. (And hey, isn't that kind of an attitude the basis of style, anyway? Knowing beyond doubt what suits you?) I love it, it's comfortable, and--most importantly--it has pockets. Pockets!
So I've been wearing this dress for more than 15 years, and when I first bought it, it was much longer, but it fell to an unflattering length. My crafty mother offered to hem it, and she hacked it off just below the pockets, trusting her instincts rather than measuring. Well, I was a 5'6" teenager, and she was a 4'10" conservative mom, and she didn't realize the length to which she'd shortened it, suitable for her petite frame, was rather provocative on mine. She cried out in horror when I tried on my new mini-mini-mini-dress. Legs! Well, I've been wearing it with jeans ever since, or sometimes with thick tights, though it's just easier to wear it with pants because it barely covers my ass.
Every few years some aspect of the dress comes back into style: wide stripes, or the colors, or distressed fabrics. The fabric is, shall we say, distressed. It has a few moth holes here and there, but a few people have told me it looks intentional, like something Marc Jacobs would do. I don't know about that. When I was around 21, I had my first sip of a Black and Tan, the blend of stout and ale, because a guy I was sitting with at the bar ordered one in my honor.
Right now, in the dead of winter, I like wearing it over a wool top and black stretch jeans from Uniqlo, my $40 outfit. In the spring, I wear it over a t-shirt. If mom's not around, I might just maybe wear it with black tights and kitten-heel flats--regardless of what Marc Jacobs shows on the runway.
Thanks to Jessie Sholl for taking these photos during my visit to the apartment she shares with her husband, David Farley, for my blog Homebodies.