The Stories Behind Our Clothes

Hello everyone, hope this finds all well in your part of the world.

I have just finished reading the most wonderful book by Mark C. O’Flaherty titled Narrative Thread. The book comprises fascinating conversations and photographs of the clothing collections of 14 individuals who work with or use clothes in their own unique way.

This is the cover of the book with renowned costume designer Sandy Powell who is interviewed . Not only are the various collections an insight into dressing as a form of story telling but also as to the reasons for collecting and the holding on to the memories attached to certain items in our wardrobes.

I first read about the book on Instagram through two of my favourite fashionistas Jean and Valerie aka Idiosyncratic Fashionistas who are based in New York who are featured in the book. I first came across them through Advanced Style many years ago, I think 2013 and not only loved their style but their mantra “setting a bad example for older women everywhere”. Back then they wrote a blog but as so many have they switched to Instagram only.

After reading the book and a conversation with some of my car club friends about the reasons certain clothes are kept long term I started thinking about why I have not only chosen things but in some instances kept them for many years This is quite timely as this is the year to really cull my wardrobe and only keep what I really love and wear. I am not a minimalist so know it will not be too drastic but I am running out of space and have already taken over spare bedrooms.

One of the bonuses of blogging for many years is the outfit photos which are a reminder of what we have and may have forgotten. Indulge me as I go back over some of my favourites.

The blonde me wearing a long , full leather skirt ( recycle find) and my one and only piece of Issey Miyake. Both of these are keepers with stories attached . Several years ago I had an identical leather skirt and for some reason I decided it had to go , a decision I regretted soon after , so imagine my joy when I came across this one at Return to Splendour . The fringe Issey Miyake jacket was found at a recycle store in Paris in 2016 for not a lot of money unlike now when they fetch much higher prices.

Another recycle favourite , the Vivienne Westwood cardigan paired with my much loved and worn Moyuru black skirt. Moyuru is a Japanese label that I first came across while working at La Cigalle ,(sadly no more), and I have collected a few of their pieces over the last few years and I am so glad I did as not only have they gotten more expensive I don’t feel  they are as good recently.

The back view of my Akira Isogawa coat , another recycle purchase from Vintage Red Fox here in Launceston. Akira is a Japanese born designer based in Sydney whose work I had admired forever but it was well and truly out of my budget so when this coat was offered to me it was a no brainer. I have since met its original owner and found out that she bought it to take to London for her daughters wedding but after moving to a country town here from Sydney she knew it was time to part with her much loved coat. Pam, the previous owner, knows I love and appreciate her coat.

This is an outfit I wore recently , Rundholz pants with a botanical print , a white top and Comme de Garcons tassell top , a recycle purchase from Bruce in Hobart. I fell for the print on the pants and knew they would go with so many of my black and white pieces. As for the top , I simply love its fun shape and will probably be the only Comme piece I will ever own .

This brings back so many memories , taken at the Dior exhibition in Melbourne in 2017, a glorious exhibition shared with a wonderful group of women. My vintage embroidered jacket was a find here in Launceston and I wore it with a Sarah Puccinni skirt that I wore previously to my son’s wedding the year before. My little hat was made by Susan McCarthur a local milliner.

Another memory from the Melbourne weekend back in 2017 , finding this velvet floral jacket by Kenzo for very little money in a recycle store tucked away in an arcade. This is probably one of my all time favourite recycle finds .

I posted this on IG recently and meant to ask should I keep this Italian chartreuse linen coat but managed to muck up my caption. Nevertheless I got my answer , its a keeper but the shoes will go, not comfortable.

Looking back on these photos what stands out to me is that most of my very favorites are recycled finds  there is a message there.

On another note , last week I had a follow up colonoscopy which showed all is clear , so pleased and relieved.

Thank you for reading this long , self indulgent post.

Joining Gail at Is this Mutton for Wow on Wednesday.

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20 Comments

  1. January 31, 2024 / 9:20 am

    Oh wow, your recycled finds are classics and absolutely iconic, which you are the complete epitome of! Has Ari Seth Cohen ever come to Australia – you really ought to be in one of his books.

    They are lovely items and mostly are skirts, which you know I love too. Interesting that you say the Moyuru label is not as good as it was as I have looked and cannot find skirts similar to the ones you show us.

    Not indulgent – this is a great post.

    • grownupglamour
      Author
      February 1, 2024 / 6:23 am

      Thank you so much Penny , I do feel lucky to have some special pieces in my wardrobe. They are my forever pieces. Ari from Advanced has visited Australia, Brisbane and Sydney . I am so pleased I found my skirts as you are right the shapes have changed. Cx

  2. January 31, 2024 / 1:36 pm

    I LOVED this – what treasures! Your collection certainly needs to be shared and celebrated – I am very impressed.

    • grownupglamour
      Author
      February 1, 2024 / 6:15 am

      Thank you so very much Mary Katherine so glad you enjoyed a revisit of some of my favourites.

  3. January 31, 2024 / 5:18 pm

    I enjoyed this look back at your clothes! I do enjoy having pictures of my outfits to look back as it does remind me why I have kept certain pieces and gives me an incentive to wear them again (or sometimes donate them). You have some really special pieces!
    http://www.chezmireillefashiontravelmom.com

    • grownupglamour
      Author
      February 1, 2024 / 6:13 am

      So glad you enjoyed a look back at some of my outfits. I do find it interesting what we hang onto .

  4. January 31, 2024 / 6:37 pm

    I’m so pleased to hear of your colonoscopy results, Jill! That’s such wonderful news.
    What a glorious round up of outfits, you are so stylish and look amazing in everything you wear. My knees are weak at the sight of that Akira Isogawa coat. Wow!

    • grownupglamour
      Author
      February 1, 2024 / 6:11 am

      Thank you Vix, to say I am pleased is an understatement.
      The Akira coat is just so special and I feel so lucky to now call it mine .

  5. January 31, 2024 / 7:00 pm

    First of all, I’m happy to read that your follow up colonoscopy showed all is clear!
    Narrative Thread sounds like a very interesting read, and I’m loving the thought of “setting a bad example for older women everywhere”!
    Thank you for showing you some of your favourite pieces! You’ve definitely got the most wonderfully quirky taste, and there are some truly spectacular items in your wardrobe! xxx

    • grownupglamour
      Author
      February 1, 2024 / 5:51 am

      Thank you Ann for your good wishes.
      Glad you enjoyed my outfit round up it was a reminder of some of my favourites as I do some serious sorting.

  6. Robyn Haworth
    February 1, 2024 / 11:14 am

    Hello Jill, I agree with all the comments to date…you do have remarkable style. I am sure being able to carry it off as they say is as much due to confidence as the wonderful clothes you put together. I’m so glad you put in lots of outfit photos for us to enjoy again and the chartreuse coat looks super on you. Not many can wear that colour well but you do!
    Recycled clothes always are my keepers …I feel like they have already been loved and they are more comfortable somehow. But just like the quality diminishing of special fashion brands it’s also getting harder to find exciting pieces at reasonable prices in the recycle shops. All the more reason to hang in to our treasures.
    Glad you are well. Take care
    Robyn

    • grownupglamour
      Author
      February 6, 2024 / 5:57 am

      Thank you so very much Robyn for your comment .I do find as I age I am much more confident wearing what pleases me .
      I agree on recycled clothes and often wonder about their history. Findng good quality finds at affordable prices is a problem here too .
      Once again many thanks.

  7. Nancy Brantley
    February 2, 2024 / 2:30 am

    So glad to hear your colonoscopy checkup was great results! You have nice outfits and show them worn nicely.

    • grownupglamour
      Author
      February 6, 2024 / 5:42 am

      Thank you so very much Nancy for your kind wishes.

  8. February 2, 2024 / 7:18 am

    Hi Jill,
    Such good news re your health, may it continue.
    I LOVE that your favourites seem to be recycled! Stories…
    Thank you for sharing these gorgeous memories.
    Love,
    Elizabeth.

    • grownupglamour
      Author
      February 6, 2024 / 5:41 am

      Thank you so very much Elizabeth for your kind wishes.
      Glad you enjoyed a look at some of my favourite pieces , yes so many are recycled ones.xxx

  9. February 2, 2024 / 7:23 am

    I love “Setting a bad example for older women everywhere”. I’ve never heard of Jean and Valerie so wil check them out. Loved reading the back story of your iconic pieces. You have a seriously enviable collection!

    • grownupglamour
      Author
      February 6, 2024 / 5:38 am

      Thank you so much Gail as you know I do tend to keep my special pieces. I have enjoyed following Jean and Valerie for many years for their sense of fun and style.

  10. February 15, 2024 / 1:36 am

    Fantastic news about the colonoscopy! I’m just awed by all your wonderful outfits – you have such a great eye and are so stylish. Very inspiring! I also like that your favourites are recycled – same with me, some of my very favourite pieces are such great quality and designers I love (I have a couple of old Kenzo pieces I adore). That book looks great!

    • grownupglamour
      Author
      February 17, 2024 / 5:45 am

      Thank you so very much Sheila . To say I was pleased with the colonoscopy is an understatement. Maybe the reason my recycled finds are favourites is because they are usually quite special pieces. I have always admired Kenzo . You would enjoy the book.

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