OK guys, I’m taking off for the holiday, which I will be enjoying at my brother’s place in Brooklyn. And because it has been proven that the more we focus on gratitude the happier we are, I thought I might—as I always do—ask you to tell me what you’re feeling grateful for (and what you’re doing for the holiday) and share what I am too. This year I’m feeling especially grateful for females who have kicked ass: Greta Thunberg, Fiona Hill, the American women’s soccer team, and the mighty RBG, who just keeps rolling along. And while we’re on the topic of righteous ladies, I’m also feeling grateful for for my mom, who, at 82, gets more done in a day than people half her age, and inspires me constantly. And the boyfriend, Seth, who makes me feel loved and safe and amuses the hell out of me on the regular. And my brothers, who are always there for me, and my friends, who are too, and the dogs, who just never quit. And all of you, of course, and the lively, funny, smart and supportive community you’ve built here. OK, now it’s your turn. See you back here bright and early Monday.
“I am interested in numbers,” writes Cait. “How many new pieces do you buy in a year? About how many do you get rid of (or what percentage)? How old is the oldest thing in your closet? What percent of your clothes are for spring/summer/fall/winter/vacation? Do you keep clothing that is too big/small in case of size fluctuations? How do you balance the number of amazing new things with all the excellent things you already have?” And Tammy wanted to know, “What is your favorite single piece of clothing in your closet — old and new?” I’ll start at the top:
I don’t know how many new pieces I buy in a year, and I’m way too embarrassed to try and count. Likely fewer than you think, but still plenty.
I probably get rid of 10% of my wardrobe annually.
The oldest thing in my closet is a Levi’s denim jacket I’ve had since high school.
I hang on to clothes I don’t currently fit in to, like jeans and a few dresses I especially like, but got rid of most of the stuff I had when I was at Lucky and probably a little too skinny.
I’d say my clothes are pretty evenly distributed as far as seasons go, though I do have a lot more summer dresses than I do dresses for when it’s cooler out.
As far as balancing out what’s old and what’s new, I find that the fun is in mixing them together into combinations that feel entirely new.
As for Tammy’s question: my favorite old item is a pair of 15 year-old high-heeled Dries Van Noten lace-up sandals that I never wear but can’t bring myself to get rid of, and my favorite new item is this excellent Zero+Maria Cornejo hoodie (and yes I know that’s a batshit crazy amount to spend on a hoodie, but it is positively slaying on the cost-per-wear).
“So I just turned 50,” writes a reader named Chelene. “I also realized that the fashion that I want to wear is not fashion that 50-year-old me SHOULD wear, and I’m having a bit of a crisis. Add to that I’m going through perimenopause and can’t seem to shake these extra pounds and those slim, streamlined looks that I’m used to wearing just stare back at me in confusion…I’m just trying to figure out what in the heck works and what the rules are going forward as I get older.” OK, the first thing you need to do, Chelene, is get the pesky notion out of your head that there is anything the 50 year-old you should and should not wear. As I wrote here, the notion that women age out of certain items when they reach a particular birthday is ridiculous. At the same time, it’s true that as you get older, certain items just don’t look right anymore—I’ve more than once tried on something I bought when I was younger, looked in the mirror, and thought, nope. But you are the best judge of what no longer works for you, so trust your instincts and then just let your freak flag fly. One of the women whose style I’m most inspired by is Lyn Slater, above, a professor who writes the blog Accidental Icon, and who clearly has no use for all of those dopey listicles that purport to tell women over 40 or 50 or whatever what they can no longer wear. And as for the weight gain bit, you’d be surprised what you can get away with if you simply accept your stature, and buy clothes in the right size instead of trying to squeeze into pieces that no longer fit (also, if you’re interested, you can check out my post about what to wear if you’ve put on some pounds).
I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.