"If she can’t afford it, she won’t buy it. If it doesn’t fit (or make her feel good, or flaunt what she’s got), she won’t wear it. If she can’t find it, she won’t compromise. If she loves it, she won’t toss it. She reuses it, rethinks it, lets it age."
- Entre Nous: A Woman’s Guide to Finding Her Inner French Girl
I read that quote a long time ago and the last bit stuck with me. The part about reusing, rethinking, letting it age. I love new things (don't we all) and we're inundated by them constantly, but lately I've been having a lot of great moments of putting on things I've had for years and thinking "yes." I channeled that today with this outfit, comprised of things I've had for one year, two years, four years. Nothing new. I've fallen out of love with all of these things for months at a time, years at a time, but I've always come back to them and remembered why they were favorites in the first place. I moved about 6 times in the past year (not counting times of travel and vagrancy and couch-sleeping) so I had a lot of opportunities to think about what I was dragging around with me. This bag almost didn't make the cut once for one split second as I took stock of my belongings (what was I thinking at age 21 with this bag?? Fringe???) but I remembered this quote, tucked it gently in its protective cotton bag, and put it in my suitcase to head to the next destination. In theory it isn't something I would choose from afar or if I thought about it too hard, but one day in Argentina four years ago I was wandering home from a long day of classes and ducked into the fancy leather goods store that I visited weekly. Nothing had yet caught my eye as the one real investment I would make during my time there as a poor college student, but I continued to look. And there it was. The attraction was inexplicable and immediate. I picked it up, looked in the mirror, and marched straight to the counter. It was more money than I had spent on anything clothing-related in my entire life (still a deal compared to American leather prices) and it made me nervous. However, the way it felt in my hands and against my body made the decision easy. It was me.
Because this bag is beautifully made, high quality, durable (a few pieces of the fringe are still a little wavy from being soaked to the bone when I was caught off guard in a day-long New York monsoon) it has remained a favorite. It's not particularly simple in design or timeless like a Birkin but somehow it remains timeless for me. The investment in something quality was (as it almost always is) worth it, and what was even more worth it was keeping it around until it became a favorite again. This bag and I have been through a lot together.
Maybe there are some universal "classics," but it is personal classics like these that I find the most inspiring. The old things you invested in and fit you and your life and have traveled with you for a long time because they continue to prove their worth again and again.
Anyone else have something like this?