Dare to Wear: Embracing the Old & the Bold in Your Fashion Journey

By Kim Alexis

by Celia Cooksey

Are you brave when it comes to fashion? What do I mean by this? Are you one of those people who step out and go for it with something new that is bizarre (and the term bizarre in the fashion world is much different than what mid-America thinks of as bizarre) Maybe it is amazing but just a bit over the top. Or are you one of those people who keep old stuff?

Some people save clothes, shoes, and purses. Once they buy them they never let them go, like an old friend. They may never wear them again but they refuse to let them go. Then there are others who have that old jacket or sweater and they wear it constantly without realizing that it should have been retired or thrown out. When you see them coming you immediately know that they live in the past. It reveals their personality of staying safe.

Let’s go back to being brave. What I mean by brave is venturing out from the normal by either choosing something outlandish from the store’s fashion rack (and sometimes spending quite a bit for it) or dusting off an old pair of shoes or clothes that you have retained for the last 30-40 years.

There is something to be said for venturing out. It shows that you are not afraid to express yourself and you don’t care what others think or you have fashion savvy and an inner knowing that it just works! I watch my husband dust off old sneakers and wear them confidently with jeans and a normal shirt and get compliments. He has “fashion sense”. Let’s face it, if you have one bizarre out-of-the-ordinary item of clothing, everything else should probably look within the norm so that that one piece stands out and makes a statement.

I have moved too many times to hold onto old clothing items. There are some that I wish I did hold on to like a silver and turquoise belt from Ralph Lauren. Grrr. Someone got more than a deal on that one, as I give away, not sell, all my old clothes.

Some of you, on the other hand, keep old items like I said. Maybe you don’t buy as many new clothes as I do or you lived in the same house for the last 40 years and didn’t have to think about clearing out all your stuff. It just sits comfortably on that same shelf year after year.

If you are reading this then you are probably thinking, “What old item do I have that may work now?” I say, “Good!” I am all for dusting off the old and celebrating it once again. Many great fashion pieces should stand the test of time and make a comeback.

I did keep an old pair of suede black pants with pleats. I have had them since I was in my early 20’s and it was my gauge to see if I maintained the same weight or if they would never fit again. I recently put them back on (and you only do that when you feel great and hope you are not too far off). I got them on and the only tight part was the button. I am attributing that to having children so I lovingly hung them back up and felt quite good about my weight!

Now let’s talk about the clothes you should immediately give away or even throw out responsibly. Any clothing that faded in some parts, any moth-feasted sweater, any worn out and unrepairable item. My husband has one or two dress shirts from a high fashion designer from 30 years ago but the collar has worn out in some areas around the edges. The rest of the shirt is great (as he is a big believer in the dry cleaners) but that one area which is easily seen, makes the rest of the shirt not work. (He still hasn’t thrown it out!)

I would like to add some of the fashion from the 70’s should be immediately thrown out but wouldn’t you know it, some is coming back in style. I hope not all of it but some like crochet and even shoulder pads and those big bright looks are making a comeback.

So, go through your closet. You have my permission to dust off an old item and wear it proudly with a good pair of jeans. Just remember not to put all the old items on at once or someone will think you found a time machine and don’t belong here!

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