This Old Rag? Our lurking treasures…

by jennine on April 10, 2009

‘There’s just something so refreshing about the idea of it…maybe because fashion is always on buying the next new thing, but this is about those old things that we love so much….’

What treasures do you have lurking in your closet? Things you never wear… but none the less gorgeous. Things you can’t simply give to the charity shop down the road… Things you love too much. Actually, I have a lot of them in my closet. It’s come up a lot for me in the past year, with all this financial worries, not buying as much as I used to, I still have this thing where the things in my closet are unworn… yet I still want for more.

A few weeks ago, I asked all of you to send me your ‘old rags’ I wasn’t prepared for the response I got, there are just some gorgeous gems here. Mostly we hold on to the goods that have some sentimental value, either from shopping with a friend, or a super great find, a birthday party… to times from a past life. Some of us are holding onto the idea that maybe one day it will return, and some of us are hoping for that inspiration to one day arrive….

I really loved AsheMischief’s response to the concept of This Old Rag:

‘There’s just something so refreshing about the idea of it…maybe because fashion is always on buying the next new thing, but this is about those old things that we love so much….


I have two items that have been languishing in my closet for years. This first one has been hiding for almost 4 years and I’ve only just been game enough to wear it in the last few months! It literally took me 4 years to figure out how to layer it properly…how hard could it be to just wear a tank top underneath?!

This skirt however…worn once, never again, but I love it so. It’s puffy, it’s heavy and it’s made of really delicate vintage materials. It was insanely expensive, yet I have nowhere to wear it anymore! My cocktail party days are behind me, and I’m not quite game enough to wear it to any of the low-key events I attend nowadays. So instead, it hangs on my wall, a tribute to the bygone days of my disposable income.

…love Maegan

So, randomly, but after reading your post a couple days ago ..I found this dress in the “to sell on ebay” pile ..but haven’t for over 4 years!!  Not sure why I couldn’t part with it ..I just love it and it never fit right.  It’s vintage {tag says COCO California} I’m guessing 70′s …and I got it at a thrift shop.

I love the colors and pattern.
I couldn’t part with it because it was just too good to let go of.
I couldn’t wear it {in the past} because it was just too big ….but adding the belt made all the difference in the world ..{on top of the fact that oversized everything is finding it’s way back into mainstream chic again}.


These boots were one of the few things my father bought me in the time between his divorce to my mother and our estrangement.  I was visiting him during high school, and I saw them at our local Journey’s store, on sale.  I begged for them, and he bought them.  I remember the sales guy being the most beautiful black man, with long perfect dreds and a great smile.  They were too big then, and they’re too big now (which makes me think vanity sizing is making my feet bigger).  If you look at the toes, you can see the beating that I gave them for five years of my life.  Kicking the gate to our home open and shut during snow fall.  Tore shoe laces that have never been replaced.  A ball loop, and I’m not sure how long it’s been on there.

I’ve worn them once in the past 5 years.  But I can’t bear to part with them, just like I can’t bear to part with my hot pink steel toed gripfast boots (they were my first credit card purchase ever).


The blazer is 80s, thrifted, the brand is Van Gogh [seriously], and it’s a western style argyle-ish thing with HUGE shoulders that aren’t really showing here. The scarf is vintage and thrifted and it doesn’t get out much even though I LOVE it. The bolero bow necklace is newly thrifted. And the ring is actually an 80s carebear ring with lipgloss in it from my Flickr friend nicolas cage vampire teeth. Jeans are APC. Boots are thrifted 80s Guess cowboy ankle boots. And 80s t is thrifted too.

I love it because I love the argyle style mixed with western and 80s. and it fits me just right through the hips.
I can’t part with it because some!day! I’ll impress the hell out of someone when I wear it. hehe.
The shoulders are SO BIG. This thing needs the right location.

Art Diva Studio

Why do I love it? This piece makes me happy just to look at: the colors, the diagonal cutouts, the giant buttons, everything!
Why can’t I part with it?
It’s been sitting in my closet for about 2 years, and I can’t part with it mainly due to jealousy.1) Because I got it for $2 at my secret Salvation Army in Austin, TX that no one ever shopped at (which no longer matters anymore as that particular location has since closed, and also because I no longer live in Austin) 2) Quite simply, I don’t want anyone else to rock it.
Why I can’t wear it? It’s definitely very “me,” but it’s almost too bold. I’m a perfectionist: I wouldn’t want to pigeonhole it in an outfit with a bunch of other bright colors, yet it’s too slick to “dress down” with jeans… It’s like that puzzle piece you know goes somewhere, you just can’t find the right place.


I love lolita fashion. I love the mix of sweet and gothic and the creativity and romance of dressing up like a doll. I was attracted to the fashion because I feel that I can escape to another time.

I can’t part with them, even in this economy, because they will always be cute and lovely to me. They remind me that I am a princess everyday.

Lately, I don’t feel as inspired as I used to and feel that everyone is just repeating the same coordinates over and over again. I just need to wake up and realize that life is short and that I have to wear what I love.

Consume or Conusmed

The vintage home sewn dress is something I found at goodwill for $4.99 probably 6 or 7 years ago.

I love it because the print is beautiful and unique. The shape is very flattering to my ample hourglass figure. And the cut of this dress is simple, classic, and versatile. In theory, I could dress it up or down.

I can’t part with it because of the memory of finding it. I was thrifting with my then-roommate, Jeanne. She and I were amazed that we found an obviously home-sewn dress that was made exactly to the proportions of my body (at least 7 years ago… now it still fits but my body has changed slightly). I remember her remarking with disbelief that somewhere out there my body twin exists. And in an odd way, we both found that to be comforting.

I cannot wear it because I am stubborn. I am not sure that I still want to wear the dramatically contrasting but bold colors red and black, together. I went through a period of wearing those colors often, I feel like I am past it. I can’t wear it because I don’t think it looks as nice as it did 6-7 years ago, on my then-22 year old body. I can’t wear it because I haven’t yet fixed the “easily fixable” hem. If this flaw was slightly more obvious, it could pass as avant garde, but instead I have come to agree with my mother: it just looks messy.


This is the skirt that is taunting me. I’ve never actually worn it, except this one time to birthday party.
I bought it a while ago, thinking that I would wear it all the time but I can’t find a top to go with it.
In my mind I’ve made up all kinds of sets to go with the skirt, but usually when I put it on in the morning I catch myself thinking: “maybe tomorrow..”
I love it so much because of the high waist and the pattern (it’s so summery). I can’t get rid of it because I’m hoping to find the perfect top.

Style Symmetry

1. Why you love it - it is so pretty and unique!
2. Why you can’t part with it - I am determined to find a way to pull it off.
3. Why you can’t wear it - I have no idea how!!

❤ ❤ ❤

So my loves… do you have any ideas for these ladies? Do you have your own treasures lurking in the overstuffed closet?
Related post: Halloween in my closet

Spread the Love!
  • email
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • StumbleUpon
  • Tumblr
  • RSS
  • Posterous
  • LinkedIn


Ashe Mischief April 10, 2009 at 4:45 am

This post makes my heart & eyes swell with happiness! It’s so wonderful to read about the loved pieces we all can’t part with.

Not to mention my head is swarming with ideas for these ladies!

Ashe Mischief April 10, 2009 at 5:59 am

Jennine! This post is wonderful, and makes my heart and eyes swell with happiness. It’s so wonderful to read the stories of these amazing ladies and those loved pieces in their wardrobes.

It also makes my head swarm with ideas for them and how I’d wear pieces…

(I totally wrote out a comment at home, and think I forgot to post it. DOH!)

Sal April 10, 2009 at 7:28 am

It was SO FUN to read the stories of these ladies and their languishing garments!

Eyeliah April 10, 2009 at 8:11 am

Oh so good, thanks for including me! Lol, maybe I should have tried on the top for the pic but I am literally so clueless with it.

DramatisPersonae I can see the sentimentality behind keeping the boots.

These girls look great in the items, its so ironic that we don’t wear them!

Fajr/ Stylish Thought April 10, 2009 at 8:39 am

I love this post. It’s so true that our clothes are more than just coverings, they’re apart of us. Reading these stories made me think of all the clothes I have that I refuse to part with, but never wear…smh

violetville April 10, 2009 at 8:54 am

oh wow! this is so great! sorry i missed the original post about this, i have at least 1000 pieces that fit into this category.

I can totally relate to …love Meagan’s story of having a pile of “to sell on eBay” stuff - and both my assistant and I constantly take things from the “to sell” rack and move them to the “to be repaired” rack or an “out of season” rack, even though they are none of those things.

I constantly have things that she’s steamed and gotten prepared for photos, and I just leave them there for weeks in fear that no one else will realize how amazing they are!

And after awhile she’ll say, “Do you just want this one?” - but I have a complex about taking things for myself! And usually when I do take things home, they just hang out on my racks there too!

Anyways these photos and stories are great!!

K-Line April 10, 2009 at 9:01 am

Oh I LOVE this post!

Caitlin April 10, 2009 at 9:23 am

Great post, everyone looks great!

Sorry to be a pain, but can you please link me for my pictures?

Thank you.

jesspgh April 10, 2009 at 10:11 am

Thank you for including me in this post, Jennine! I love seeing all the other forgotten treasures of these beautiful, stylish bloggers! Maegan April 10, 2009 at 10:42 am

oh so FABULOUS!!! Such a great post! Thank you for featuring me …and all the others are so great too!

Ms Unreliable April 10, 2009 at 11:01 am

I’m so glad I’m not alone in this conundrum, although I do seem to be the only one without a head and doing stupid poses…go me! :D

Great post, thanks so much for including me Jennine! <3

SwanDiamondRose April 10, 2009 at 12:33 pm

omg art diva studio’s jacket! that is beautiful.

i guess i’m not very good at answering questions. i missed that part.

-i love it because i love the argyle style mixed with western and 80s. and it fits me just right through the hips.
-i can’t part with it because some!day! i’ll impress the hell out of someone when i wear it. hehe.
-the shoulders are SO BIG. this thing needs the right location.

it’s great to see everyone’s pieces. and Jennine you photo-collage really nicely. great idea.

SwanDiamondRose April 10, 2009 at 12:34 pm

p.s. art diva- wear it!

Jordana April 10, 2009 at 2:11 pm

Love everything about this post. I needed a little break from work and now feel completely refreshed…back to writing boring materials.

Amber at painfullyhip,com April 10, 2009 at 2:15 pm

I LOVE this post! So inspiring. Its amazing how much insight you can gain thinking about why you don’t wear something.

Sometimes I find myself leaving my favorite pieces just hanging around forever, as if I’m saving them for a special occasion… Why??

I say find a way to make them work for every day and wear them as much as possible!

Cammila April 10, 2009 at 2:17 pm

What an incredible collection! It’s just crazy the things we let languish for lack of a better plan (or the nerve to let them go!). That blazer from SwanDiamondRose is just breathtaking.

Aidan Humrich April 10, 2009 at 2:58 pm

Great post Jennine! It’s a great concept, and I hope you get more entries. I’ve got to go through my closet too - I’ve got 20 years of thrifting memories/costumes/party clothes to go through - especially shoes - for some reason, I find it impossible to part with shoes. :) Keep up the great work!!!!!

alixrose April 10, 2009 at 3:31 pm

This is awesome! Of course I love looking in people’s closets but then to see the stuff they were hiding in there.. fabulous!

artdiva April 10, 2009 at 4:15 pm

Thankyou, thankyou — I’m SO honored to be a part of such lovely company and their amazing, indefinable pieces (perhaps expressing the personality of the wearers, hmm?)! I’d wear …love Meagan’s and Consumed or Consumed’s dresses every chance I had with anything — those prints and textures are so gorgeous. SDR, I’d wear that jacket with a crazy catsuit a la Austin-based performance artist Jill Pangallo (Google her name with “pantsuit”). Any ideas for the rainbow blazer, let me know. :)

Prêt-à-Porter P April 10, 2009 at 6:13 pm

That drapey sweater by Unreliable girl is amazing! it really looks great paired with the black tank underneath.

Fantastic dress on love maegan. it looks very chic paired with the classic LV bag and the cream trench.

Anouschca’s skirt is so pretty. she could probably just wear with all black and keep it simple.

jennine April 11, 2009 at 6:12 am

hey loves!
sorry i’ve been out of touch (traveling) but it was so nice to come back to all these lovely comments.

i am so happy with the way the post came out too, and it was nice to see the things other people have, and the patterns were pretty much the same as why i couldn’t part with some things in my wardrobe, it made me thing that clothes were so much more than possessions.


Cafe Fashionista April 11, 2009 at 7:44 am

Love this post. And Maegan - don’t part with that dress, it’s fabulous. Especially paired with that necklace and coat - love!

susie_bubble April 11, 2009 at 10:54 am

You have flumped me with this mega amazing post and I’m utterly in awe of every one of those participants!

Anouschca April 11, 2009 at 12:07 pm

Love the post! Thanks for including me in it!

And guess what: I’ve actually worn my skirt this week with a tucked-in sleeveless white blouse and grey boots.

SwanDiamondRose April 11, 2009 at 12:48 pm

@artdiva i did a big google and can’t find her in pantsuits. urgh. but i think for sure a pantsuit would look great with this. or maybe i mean catsuit. with the blazer open and a huge gold animal buckle belt. but thank you!

GR April 17, 2009 at 10:54 pm

Anouschca - great skirt! I have several full skirts with bold patterns and the secret is a simple tank top, usual in black or white. I’ll bet this would look good with black sandals and black tank.

Carissa November 26, 2009 at 2:20 pm

That unreliablegirl’s skirt is so amazing! You should check out the pictures for Borns f/w 09 collection that should give you some ideas for the skirt. And Dramatis personae you NEED to wear those boots, i love them they are so amazing and so rocker chic, put them to good use!

Marisa March 29, 2010 at 6:18 pm

we all know that feeling .
when you find somthing gorgous, and its crushed when you get home and wonder how to wear it.

then it ends up in the back of the closet, everytime you clean it out yu seem to ‘miss it’.
and you just waiting for insperation to hit…but it never dose.

then there are the items you saw through the window display and just HAD to have, and you still do. with the tagg attached next to the ‘rag’.

yet you have thoes jeanes,that top, that you wear over and over in so many ways.

lifes not fair.

{ 9 trackbacks }

  • This Old Rag? Our lurking treasures…
  • » Blog Archive » Happy Easter
  • art diva studios » Blog Archive » Coveted Fangirl
  • Style Symmetry » Links à la Mode: IFB Weekly Roundup
  • | Broke & Beautiful
  • The Demoiselles » Blog Archive » Links à la Mode
  • Super Kawaii Mama » Blog Archive » Dear Weekend - Vintage Show
  • IFB Presents: Links a la Mode! | dramatis personae
  • Links á la Mode |

Previous post:

Next post: