I Will Wear It Anyway and Wear It Out!

Do you do this: Fall in love with something because it’s beautiful, speaks to your heart, represents a part of you that’s been unexpressed? Or something you’ve just wanted to have in your closet, or have seen in a magazine and coveted?

And then you find it, buy it, and never, ever wear it? Please say yes, so I don’t feel so alone.

This doesn’t happen to me often. I am a practical shopper for the most part, with an idea of how I like to look. I have my favorite shapes and colors and a price range I can live with. When I vary my style I usually do it gradually, like adding color to a neutral outfit, or changing up my jewelry from “statement” to discreet.

But I have fallen in love with and succumbed to exceptional pieces too. I found an ivory linen 1940’s dress in a vintage store several years ago. Crisp and flawless despite its age. It fit and looked divine. I never wore it, not once, and finally donated it to my favorite thrift store, Molly Mutt.

It was similar to this darling dress, but in linen.

Why didn’t I wear this little treasure? It was a little bit itchy, I had to hold my stomach in, it was pristine and I feared spilling on it, and it would need expensive dry cleaning every wear. Still, I wish I’d worn it, let my stomach hang out, spilled something on it, and felt fabulous.

I am going to try to wear things that I fall in love with, even if they are not always “practical”. I’ll apply a 90/10 guideline (cannot take the analyst out of the woman): at least 10% of the time, put on something beloved but impractical and see how it goes. Like the great suede cowboy hat I fell for in San Francisco, or my grandmother’s pearls.

Yes, I bought a gorgeous hat like this one, and never wear it. That’s gonna change.

If I wear it anyway, might I surprise myself? How about you:  Do you have treasures you fell hard for then never wore? Would you give them a chance, or are they better admired from afar? No wrong answers of course, fashion is fun.

Have a lovely day,

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  1. Er, I do this a lot… I've got better at knowing when I just love the look of something and when I'll actually wear something but I think I'm still entitled to moments of weakness just to enjoy the beauty of an item for a while before someone else actually wears it.

  2. Great hat!!! Wear the treasures! I need encouragement on this because I find myself 'saving' things that I love for special occasions that are way too few and far between.

  3. If you don't feel comfortable in the first place (and itchy is a no-go and you can't do anything about it), I understand you have never worn it. Sad because the dress shown in gorgeous but the right decision to donate it.

    I have decided to keep the price tags on the clothes until I wear them for the first time! At least I can sell them for a bit more on ebay…

    Lady of Style

  4. I do it anyway and sometimes it's an indication of where i want my style to go.

  5. Go for it, and wear it until it falls apart, is my unfortunate mantra. I'm frugal (or so my family says), so my clothing loves always get worn. The hat is awesome, put it on and show those around you the joy and pleasure you get from it.

  6. That use to happen to me a lot but I have gotten better about my impulse purchases on the past few years. Before I leave a store I will try on an item, sometimes 3 or 4 times, before I actually buy it.

  7. Like Bella, I wear what I love. I don't care how impractical or inappropriate it is, if I love it it's worn. xxx

  8. Yes, I'm guilty and my daughter use to love this (because she finally got the give-away). I've been much better the this last year. And with this post, I'm going to definitely 'wear them anyways'. Can't wait to see you in the fabulous hat! I know I would be donning it with a cream or white lace blouse or dress.

  9. I do this all the time – which is why I started taking stuff I LOVED to the consignment shop. Anything I hadn't worn or didn't instantly want to put on or was too small or too this or too that went. My closet is smaller, but my heart is happy to get dressed everyday. I feel confident to put on what I own. Nothing feels "forbidden" in my closet. I have two special occasion dresses tucked away, but I've worn them several times already. That's my 10%.

    I want to see your hat! Please wear it soon.

  10. I do have things I wear rarely, but still love and wouldn't ever get rid of (my 1930s devore dress being one). I buy to wear, otherwse what's the point?! I feel really sad that you didn't wear your white 1940s dress, I bet you looked beautiful in it. And yes, a post with the hat and the pearls please! xxx

  11. So many treasures have gone unworn. I'm getting way better at overcoming my self-consciousness when it comes to wearing hats, so at least my divine little collection is starting to see some use. (This is so dumb of me, since even I can tell that hats suit me.)

    I am so sorry you didn't wear your 40s dress! It sounds heavenly.

  12. Fashion without fun and daring is quite frankly boring. We need to keep that strategy in mind of the 90/10. It makes us interesting and unique.

    I can't wait to see you wearing the hat!

    I have purchased many items that I totally fell in love with and then couldn't wear. Most of them being shoes. I seem to think every single time that I am able to wear high heel shoes and every time my feet scream at me otherwise. I am able to walk around the store no problem. It's once I try to actually wear them out somewhere that my feet whole heartedly blister in protest.

    One NY trip I was determined to wear only my super cute high heel shoes. No matter what. That lasted the first day. By the end of the day I was hobbling around looking for pharmacies and bandaids. Yes my shoes were cute, but the agony on my face was awful. So…those were wore once and then after a year gifted to a friend whom I also think has only worn them once.

    I haven't quite kicked (pun intended) habit since I have quite a few pairs of shoes that are 10 minute shoes. I can walk into the restaurant, to the car etc, but cannot walk around for more than 10 minutes without something bothering my princess tootsies. I want to know the secret of all these other women wearing them regularly.


  13. Oh what a shame. At least you donated the dress so someone else can wear it with their tummy hanging out and spill something on it 🙂 I could see that hat looking fabulous on you! Were it often!
    I usually try to make practical purchases too. I did though, in university years fall in love with teal suede 3" heels by Seychelles. They were $60 at Winners and as a broke student it seemed so extravagant so spend that much money on shoes that I just wouldn't wear much, but I bought them anyway. Fast forward about 2 years, I was planning my wedding and decided they would be my wedding shoes! Having never worn them they were in perfect condition and giving them such a high purpose made me feel better about buying them in the first place. My feet killed by the end of the night, but I felt fabulous. I've worn them a few times now, and would never part with them.

  14. Oh yes! I've ended up Goodwill-ing several wonderful, beautiful things I bought that never saw wear. I'm with you – I'm going to start wearing those things I fell in love with whether they are psychically comfortable or not. Like you mention – I might find a part of me that I've not explored before. Besides, life is too short not to clothe & surround yourself with what you love!

  15. Hurrah at your 10% rule, and I wouldn't be surprised if after you implement it your scale will start sliding until 10 becomes 20, becomes 30. It's like training. But I'm glad you're going to let these treasures sparkle kinetically in your life. Gaaa, that hat!
    My slide-rule has slid so much I think I wear everything in my closet now, except an exquisite vintage evening outfit which I can't down-scale for daytime wear. It would be sacrilege. But maybe my slide-rule should involve more evening events!

  16. Guilty. A bad habit I can't seem to break! I broke it with my kids though. I got sick of giving away gorgeous things that I was afraid to let them wear. Well, I learned the hard way and then let them wear white sundresses to roam the playgrounds etc. Loved the freedom to enjoy them and then get rid of them.

  17. Thrifting so much of my wardrobe has allowed me to make some fun purchases that for whatever reason didn't "work"…but I'm never out more thatn $5 and just redonate it!

  18. Wear what you love! I completely believe in this- although practicality trumps all, one can indulge a little in a few joyful frocks- however all white dresses- I love but wouldn't wear- it would break my heart to see the first stain.

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