WIW: return of the max

I was going to save this for the next Style Lab thread, but I think it merits a post of its own. This is why I hold on to the good stuff, and why I sometimes feel I shouldn't.

I bought this velvet blazer over ten years ago when trophy jackets were all the rage and I practically bankrupted myself for it. The tailoring is beyond fabulous, the fabric delicious and it fits perfectly. I wore it a fair amount when I bought it, mainly out of shame because I'd spent so much on it, and then I benched it because some or other fashion editor said velvet was for old ladies.

Since then, I think I've worn it about twice a year, if that. I've always liked it but I never felt I did it justice or nailed the look I was going for. So basically it's been hanging about in the closet, making me feel guilty and waiting for the rest of the wardrobe to catch up. 

Then it magically came back into circulation last year when I discovered I could layer it underneath the kimono wrap coat. It's finally getting its dues now that a certain kind of military goth glam is back in style. I've been wearing it with loose fitting denim and it was out and about this weekend with a white tee, shiny black pants and lace-up boots. Styled here with Isabel Marant x H&M jeans and these gorgeous Santoni boots that don't get anything like enough wear.

How about you? What do you do with the things you love that kick around because you've no idea what to do with them? Is there anything you got rid of and later wished you hadn't?

(I'm also thinking these jeans are a good candidate for cropping and fraying. What do you guys think?)

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • replied 5 years ago

    I think it's great that you are bringing this back into rotation!

  • bj1111 replied 5 years ago

    Amazing outfit. Very rich and layered. Torn (ha ha) about fraying those pants because they look so good dressy here

  • RobinF replied 5 years ago

    Love this whole outfit. I had a burgundy velvet jacket that I wore only around the holidays that I got rid of just last year! It would be perfect this year. Anyway, your jacket is beautiful, so glad you hung on to it. I think those jeans would look nice cropped.

  • replied 5 years ago

    I am so glad you are wearing this again.  It is beyond gorgeous.  AND it does fit you like it was made specifically for you!!!  I love the detailing on it. 

    I am a serious purger.  I regret very few donations.  I did regret donating my "fat" pants after I gained weight.  But I wonder if I would have ever really loved them as much the second go-around (I mean they were my "fat" pants, need I say more?).  

    I have items in my closet that I bought and do not wear.  My case is different than yours though.  The purchases I regret most are those bought for a special event (wedding, party, work dinners, theater).  ALL those purchases have been "once-worn items."  You would think I would be able to wear the dress I bought for a wedding to a party or a work dinner.  It just doesn't seem to happen that way.  I should purge them, but I can't bring myself to do that because they were so expensive.  Sigh. 

    I wouldn't have purged that jacket.  That jacket would have sat in my closet until I found a way to wear it again.  I am so glad it worked out for you.   

  • Ledonna N. replied 5 years ago

    Oh this is lovely. Just maximum perfection.

    Love your storm and description.

    I would say yes fray all the way.

    I really enjoy my Wadrobe there are pieces that I've rotated through.

    There are other pieces I've loved and said goodbye to.

    Pictures last longer.

    I always say that my Wadrobe is not a archive.

  • Ledonna N. replied 5 years ago

    Oh this is lovely. Just maximum perfection.

    Love your storm and description.

    I would say yes fray all the way.

    I really enjoy my Wadrobe there are pieces that I've rotated through.

    There are other pieces I've loved and said goodbye to.

    Pictures last longer.

    I always say that my Wadrobe is not a archive.

  • replied 5 years ago

    This jacket looks lovely on you. The shoulder is divine. I keep a few things around if they feel like more special pieces that may come out to play again.

    Sterling - as for your dresses. Did you feel good when you wore them? I have a couple nicer dresses I've worn many times, and that they weren't over the top fancy. Also, if you get a great picture in it (maybe with family or friends), I find it helps defray the cost for me mentally.

    I like the concept of fraying and cropping, but I'm no expert in that area. Would you miss the pants if they didn't turn out as you wanted?

  • Sisi replied 5 years ago

    That jacket is really fabulous. Old lady? So what? I think that a velvet jacket is a big classic. I also  have  old things that I still love  but the only reason why I do not wear them is that they do not fit anymore! Otherwise I would still wear them. I was famous for wearing things that dated back to high school, haha (until when I was still thin).  If I like something, I wear it, no matter what designers, editors and fashion say. As for the pants, I think like Delurked.

  • Suz replied 5 years ago

    This jacket is gorgeous on you, and the entire outfit is so rich and also playful. 

    Re the cropping -- hard to say for me because it depends on your weather. If you like them a lot and are into crops now, go for it. 

    I'm a fairly ruthless editor. Here's one reason. For years (I mean, since the 80s) I had kept some amazing Merimekko and Vuokko dresses. Oh, how I adored the fabrics and patterns, and I so wanted them to work again for me! The fit had never been great, though. They were samples and too large for me at first, and then too small in the hip as I gained weight over the years. Then I lost weight, and at that point they really were unworkable because they too voluminous.

    I had them altered, but honestly, they weren't the same. They just didn't work. And one of the Vuokko's had moth-holes (sob!!). 

    So. All that is to say, I sometimes think taking a photo of the beloved item (perhaps with you wearing it) is a smarter idea than hanging onto it. 

    I've never really regretted letting anything go; I know that eventually I will find another beautiful item to fill the purpose if I need the purpose filled. 

    Yet I do see the point of saving certain things. I have a vintage Biba kimono, for instance, that I'll never let go. It may go in and out of vogue over the years, but such a great "third piece." 

    I think maybe hanging onto "third pieces" and statement items makes more sense? 

  • Joy replied 5 years ago

    This jacket and whole outfit are stunning on you. I especially like those boots with it. The jeans look great as they are so it would be a shame if they were ruined, but I understand wanting to fray them. I have learned the hard way that some denim does not take well to fraying and just falls apart.
    As to your question, yes, I have let a few things go that I regret, but there is probably more regret with dressy pieces I've bought thinking they would be good to have on hand and never worn. My biggest regret is letting DH talk me into getting rid of my Birks and a great pair of expensive hiking boots because he likes a more refined shoe.

  • Sara L. replied 5 years ago

    Great outfit!  I love the jacket and boots (oh, those boots are so cool!).  I don't think that jacket could ever look "old lady", velvet or not.  

  • Barbara Diane replied 5 years ago

    Glad you kept the jacket. If I love something and there is realistic hope that I can wear it again size wise, I keep it.

    I will also wear something that is "out" if I like how I look in it.

    I often find that I buy something and a few years later I buy the perfect thing that finally makes the first item work. So I have patience. 

  • Emily K replied 5 years ago

    Fantastic jacket and outfit.  I...THINK?...I'm on-board with the fraying idea.  It could be so fabulous if it didn't wind up going OTT.  I'm imagining a bold, 2.5+ inches of fray?  On the down side, fraying them might reduce their utility in future seasons--fray feels like a trend of short duration. 

  • Angie replied 5 years ago

    Shopping your closet can be the best shopping experience of all. Glad  your "new" jacket is getting some action, Liz. 

    I LOVE THE COLOUR OF THOSE BOOTS. Amazing with your complexion, and I like how it breaks up the dark outfit. Wear them more often, and that's an order. 

  • Angie replied 5 years ago

    Forgot to say - I LOVE that this outfit is more tailored. 

  • approprio replied 5 years ago

    wow! Thanks for so much positivity! I think I've been vindicated in hanging on to this jacket :)

    Sterling, Joy: this was originally a special occasion "dressy" purchase, when I had a serious function to go to and nothing to wear. I couldn't bring myself to buy a "one time only" piece and I fell for this as soon as I put it on. I always thought I'd find ways to style it for day wear, but had no idea it would take me quite this long.

    RobinF: I've come close to consigning it a few times, but couldn't part with it. It just looks too good and fits too nicely!

    Angie: you're so right about the tailoring. And the boots. I will figure this out, I promise!

    Suz: that's some seriously good thinking about third pieces. I'm going to pick that up in the Style Lab thread.

    Barbara Diane: yes! That's usually my thinking on the better quality pieces. Lay them down, and wait for the wardrobe to catch up, because it will eventually. I sometimes find if I look at a thing long enough, I figure it out with existing garments.

    As for the fray, I think I'm going to leave these jeans as they are for now, and maybe go shopping once I've finished my Style Lab. 

  • kerlyn replied 5 years ago

    Oh, that jacket is gorgeous!  Love your entire outfit!

  • Marilyn replied 5 years ago

    Wow!  This is a fantastic outfit.

    Like Suz, I've become a fairly ruthless editor.  But I agree that holding onto special and statement items should be an exception. 

    I like the pants as they are.  But of course cropping is always an option.

  • Sal replied 5 years ago

    This look is perfection, I am unsure on the cropping- I love the whole look as is, and the boots set it off!

    The jacket fits brilliantly and should not be purged.  Definitely wear it when you are an old lady too!

    I agree with Suz - third pieces are good items to keep, even if they go on a wee hiatus for a year or two.

    I have found with expensive pieces I wear them regularly for one-two years, I then put them away and have a year or two off, then I pull them out again and wear them, not often, but enough.  I have a friend who has bought pieces worn them twice, then sold online to recoup 2/3 of the cost and this works for her.  She gets the joy of wearing them, a couple of photos, and then gets a good portion of the money back.  I get emotionally attached to expensive items and can't do that.

  • JAileen replied 5 years ago

    Gorgeous, gorgeous jacket!

  • tulle replied 5 years ago

    That outfit is SO sharp--love the way the brown pattern on the pants picks up those perfect boots.  And the jacket is magic! I'm glad you kept it.  I, too, recently tried on a black velvet jacket I hadn't worn in years. Suddenly, with lightly faded jeans, the short, retro-style looked new again. I rarely get rid of anything I'm really fond of, preferring to wait in hope until the fashion editors change their edicts!

  • shevia replied 5 years ago

    The boots are spectacular. I love the whole outfit of course, but because it is dark the boots really stand out for me. Hmm, I actually sometime experience this with shoes. After not wearing my oxfords so much last year I feel they are in for a revival. I have picked up a couple of new ones and my very favorite oxblood pair are still going strong. There are other things, of course ;) .

  • Style Fan replied 5 years ago

    That jacket is gorgeous and fits you perfectly.  Fashion editors know nothing.  Bring it out to play more often.  I love those boots.  They are evil.
    I haven't jumped on the cropped pants trend so I like the jeans long.  I am starting a fringe trend.  Long pants.  

    I purged a waist length black velvet blazer.  Sob.

  • UmmLila replied 5 years ago

    How fortunate that you kept this jacket. I love the shape and the buttons. It's such a good fit on you, too. I think the jeans are fine as-is.

  • approprio replied 5 years ago

    Thank you all so much. It's good to see that I'm not the only one hanging onto things.

    KG/Sally: that's some good advice. I suppose this is what I always hoped for from my wardrobe, so I guess I should be careful what I wish for. :D I know quite a few people who sell expensive items on after a couple of wears, but that's not for me at all. On the other hand, having benefitted from other people's mistakes in my thrifting over the years, I feel a duty to set things free if they aren't working.

    Anyway. These boots will definitely get more outings this year. I have a pair of flares here that need cropping, and the orphaned taupe leather jacket should pull it all together nicely. 

    There. Problem solved :)

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