My newspaper has asked its readers the above question: what is the oldest item of clothing you have in your wardrobe? I read that article in bed early in the morning, and over my pyjamas I was wearing a long cardigan that I treat as my bed jacket. It is the most amazing piece of kit because I bought it from a market stall in Riccione, Italy in 1972 making it 47 years old! And this cardigan has not been left lying in a drawer as I have worn it and worn it and worn it. Personally, I think it’s indestructible as there’s not a single sign of it wearing out!
Here I am in 1972 in Riccione wearing the cardi with, I see, quite a short skirt! And some clumpy shoes! I’ve just been to the Victoria & Albert museum to the Mary Quant exhibition with the lovely Gail of Is This Mutton, and more about that visit in my next post. But short skirts (and platform heels) I wore plenty of those.
Anyway, in the past this ‘bed jacket’ was a normal, everyday cardi – see below for two pix taken in 1973 at Christmas.
And another shot.
But the extraordinary thing about this cardigan is the wear it’s had, because, once fashion moved on I didn’t throw it out. Instead, I began to wear it to keep warm in the evening whilst reading in bed. And ever since, I have worn it (unless it’s a heat wave) every single evening and every single morning for it must be at least three decades. Dear me, this must say something about my life and how boring I can look at times! But there isn’t a hole or any sign whatsoever of thinning or wear to it.
Here it is today close up with me in my night wear!
And another pic over black jeans.
Should I resurrect it for day wear? I don’t think so. Seeing the cardigan over the black jeans reminds me that I don’t like ‘vintage’ because, to my eyes, 70s and 80s clothes just don’t look right. That cardi has neither the shape nor the ‘look’ I want to project. I mean I don’t always achieve my look (stylish but a bit wacky at the same time) but, nevertheless, that’s what I want to look like. But around the house/flat? It’s a yes to comfort, and a big cheer for its longevity!
In fact, I have thought that the instructions to my children re: my funeral should include their mother wearing a hat (natch) plus this cardi. I haven’t made up my mind whether I want to be cremated or buried (which one is better for the environment – must find out) but if I was buried I bet that cardi would be there, intact, as everything else around it has crumbled, including me!
What’s your oldest garment, as in, one you actually wear?
That’s all for now, but back very soon with my post on the Mary Quant exhibition and possibly even one further post this week to make up for the slight gap 🙂
With love, Penny, the Frugalfashionshopper