I was helping our 3-year-old get dressed the other morning and happened to notice the name written in laundry marker on the collar of his shirt.
“I wonder who ‘so and so’ is?” I thought.
That got me thinking about all the clothes with other people’s names I’d worn over the years. I remembered all the clothing my family has worn that had a life before we had a chance to wear them.
I believe that I’ve been wearing mostly used clothing for about 35 years….maybe longer. That’s a long time. At first, it was a creative and economic decision…made me feel like I was getting away with something. I had more money for guitars if I saved a bunch on the clothes I bought.
Later, it wasn’t hard to attach some kind of environmental significance to my choice if I wanted to. It really was better for the environment to catch something on its second go round.
Mainly, it was more fun to buy something that had a little bit of a history and had a shot at being unique. It was a good thing that it was usually very cheap, too.
My wife used to buy a bunch of “vintage clothes” before anyone had the gumption to jump on that bandwagon and join the “vintage club”. She liked the way they were styled…like the way they were constructed…liked that the quality was so high and that she could find a bargain.
When you have an appreciation for the clothing of the 40’s and 50’s, it’s not hard to dress in a unique and creative style.
It’s harder to find the really cool old stuff now. I think they must have an app that helps people without any knowledge or creativity cherry-pick the really good stuff…it seems like most of the good stuff is considered “vintage”…so instead of just being old, somehow it’s “desirable”, too.
I think it’s a wonderful thing that our children have never questioned why someone else’s name is written in their clothing. It could be a point of contention…they could be against the idea of buying used clothing, but I think they get a kick out of finding something unique that’s also really affordable.
Clothes, guitars, cars…I like things with a little life in it already. I wrote a post about patina a while back…and the clothing thing holds true to that sentiment. It’s comfortable to wear something that someone else has already broken in.
What can I say? I like used stuff.
Clothes with other people’s names are OK in my book.
image from CNN from an article about how our used clothing is keeping the African economy down…interesting article.