Thursday, December 15, 2011

Near Miss: Laura Leigh Sweater

Despite my large wardrobe, I wouldn’t classify myself as a clothes hoarder. In fact, I regularly cull my collection. In November, I sent two 30 gallon trash bags of clothes, shoes, and handbags to charity. My general strategy is to consider each item, recall the last time I wore it, and send it packing if it’s gone unworn for a year or more.

There are some exceptions. Difficult to style garments, even if recently worn, are ejected after I tire of fighting them. Special occasion or sentimental items don’t have to pass the once-a-year test. And, of course, I have a “hopeful” garment or two. You know…like the jeans that are really cute but one size too small but just might fit again, someday?

Generally, though, I keep a lean, mean closet. This occasionally results in donator’s regret. Sometimes, I can get it back. Usually, it’s gone for good.

Which makes it all the more sweet when a garment that almost made it into the trash bag, turns out to be a closet staple. Since I love an underdog, I’d like to start a new tradition of celebrating the near misses. Let’s start with this olive green, silk blend, faux wrap sweater.

I bought it at the PX in Okinawa, circa 2003. I liked the color, fit, and fiber content, but didn’t wear it much because I found the deep v-neck challenging. (This is before I learned to layer.) Still, it made the move back to the States with me. I tried wearing it a few times, layered, but the front hem wouldn’t lie flat and that drove me bonkers.

Worn twice in the first year of the blog and then abandoned.

I probably kept it around because I didn’t have many sweaters. Moving from Okinawa to Ohio and the USMC to civilian life required a whole new wardrobe. And, it turns out, a whole new attitude. A few years later, I seemed to have both mastered layering and acquired a tolerance for clothing that doesn’t drape with military precision.

After a 2 year break, I began wearing this sweater with increasing frequency. Since "olive is the new black," I find it goes with everything. The silk blend makes it a 3-season layering piece. The wrap is super flattering. And I'll bet you didn't even notice the wonky hem. Each time it comes out to play, I am thankful that I didn’t lose it in a closet purge.


Leah Hollett said...

I have also had some near misses! It's so scaary to think "what might have been" the sweater looks fantastic and I'm so glad you kept it!

Anonymous said...

Kasmira, if not for your blog I would have had purged countless wardrobe staples! A few years ago, my wardrobe was full of pieces I liked, but then had no idea how to work into an outfit. Downtrodden, these slowly found their way into my "to donate" box, while I continued to wear the same boring outfits over and over (think jeans, t shirt, and grey/black cardigan).
Thankfully, I am a procrastinator who rarely got 'round to taking said box to goodwill, because after I got hooked on your blog, I couldn't believe how versatile my closet suddenly appeared, and how many "failed" items suddenly had immediate potential.
Thank you, thank you!

The Tote Trove said...

I really like this new angle on your blog! I just filled 4 trash bags full of clothes to donate, so I could really relate to the whole to donate or not to donate thing. Congrats on working your military sweater in tons of decidedly unmilitary looks!

Lorena said...

I pull stuff out of my closet very slowly. One piece at a time and usually wear them one last time so convince myself that its got to go - resulting into some bad outfits.

Kari said...

I just found your blog from Angie's Inside Out Style and I am wowed by this post. Look at the jump from no-risk pairings w/ your olive wrap sweater before the near-donation and afterward - layering, mixing patterns. I LOVE IT!