Konfekt Issue 56: Collecting Clothing
In the recent Konfekt newsletter writer Chiara Rimella muses on clothing obsessions saying “(a) close inspection of anybody’s wardrobe will often reveal its owner’s obsession with a specific item of clothing. Some women have endless rows of tailored white shirts, piles of colourful cardigans or enough sandals for a year-long summer.” Ms. Rimella goes on to admit that her obsession is pyjamas. This, naturally, got me to ask myself — do I collect a specific item of clothing? I love hobos and Nordic socks and own a number of each, but, my true obsession is short sleeve knits. Elbow length sleeves to be precise. A polo collar, crewneck, or V-neck, I’m not picky. This one by Allude is on its way to me — I can’t say no to grey, ribbed wool.
Do you collect an item of clothing?
When I was a teenager, a hundred and fifty years ago….these were called “poor boy sweaters” and I was obsessed. I still love them.
Vintage Levi’s. Can’t get enough.
Debbie, where do you try on the levi’s? I am intrigued with the idea of vintage levi’s but don’t know my size or how to go about finding it for the first time?
I collect white cotton poplin tops.
I remember the “poor boy” sweaters. Paired with a tiny print hip hugger skirt, it was magic! I collect long sleeve polo shirts, a long sleeved white shirt, and good quality leather shoes. Luckily, I do not collect bags or coats, although I understand why many do.
ST, it is hit or miss. I find them on Etsy and eBay. The key is knowing your Levi’s waist size and what styles suit you. So you want to find places with return or exchange policies. On Etsy, I have found great luck with the Midway Room but they only allow for exchange. I also frequent vintage thrift stores.
Jackets – specifically black, navy, and grey. Today I’m wearing a grey Chanel jacket from 2018 or 2019. Every day I wear a jacket, a white t shirt, and jeans or trousers or a midi skirt and sneakers. That’s pretty much it for me!
This sweater looks like it belongs in your closet, Preston. Jackets sing to me. While I like a crisp suit, jackets cut from soft fabrics pair easily with everything from jeans to a pencil skirt. I prefer a trim little jacket to oversized styles. I also grew up wearing crewneck sweaters that both fit and gave comfortably. My grandmother and mother used to give me their old Scottish and Italian sweaters. So when temperatures drop, a cashmere crewneck feels like home.
Black turtlenecks. Black pants. In every iteration.
Jumpsuits and clogs.
Like Kathy and April, I wore a Poor Boy sweater – with a short skirt in the same color and a slightly wide belt – to cotillion, of course!
I collect outerwear and, more recently jackets – a perfectly cut wool or cashmere coat of any length makes me feel confident. Just add lipstick and sunglasses and I feel pulled together. I also have a nice collection of cocktail dresses, because I always feared I would ‘never find one again.’ What a fun post!!
It’s black Jeans for me! This sweater is perfect.
Pants, specifically old Celine ones. I have what my husband jokingly refers to as “a lending library’s worth.” From full price ones back in the day to bargain scores now, they always work and bring me joy.
I break for ANYTHING embroidered. Also tiered dresses. Both of these are staples of my summer wardrobe.
And yes…I too, have an obsession with pajamas.
Like Debbie, mine is Levi’s. Specifically vintage 501’s. I just sent my very favorite pair to Denim Revival to have a repair done and I’m nervous as a cat. What if FedEx loses them? What if the repair goes awry? What if I never see them again? Such is my devotion to my Levi’s.
Navy and white Breton tee-shirts
Blue button-downs, in boys and womens sizes. Konfekt has such amazing, thoughtful content – my fave airport/plane read.
White jeans, navy and oatmeal sweaters, and oddly, a very particular style of 85mm Prada pump because it fits me so well and I’m afraid it will be discontinued. Did I mention I now work at home and have very little reason to wear designer pumps?
Chelsea boots – from Blundstone’s to Toteme.
I collect breton striped shirts, cashmere sweaters and wool blazers. Can’t get enough. Agree, such a fun post, love this community you’ve created, Preston!
White shirts and black pants take up most of my closet.
Love this question, Preston. While I try to be a ‘one-and-done’ type of shopper, I have a number of button down shirts in my wardrobe. When I find one I like, I’ll buy it in multiple sizes (sometimes every size) depending on how fitted I want it to be. The size of the button down at the office is vastly different than the size of the button down at the beach. This worked in my favor during pregnancy. I’ll also add crewneck sweaters, t-shirts and jeans to my list of ‘collections’. Marcheline Isabelle
YES to elbow length sweaters/t-shirts.. They seem to be incredibly difficult to find! Any other suggestions for where I might find them?
Thanks for your always-fun posts!
Hollye Jacobs, RN, MS, MSW
Instagram & Twitter @hollyejacobs
My closet is full of striped shirts of all colors and styles. Saint James is a favorite. Also denim shirts, mostly worn as a casual outer layer instead of a sweater. I also love anything by Rick Owens!
What a fun post.
Lisa Mac – I also work from home and am struggling with how it has impacted my wardrobe. While it has it’s perks and efficiencies, I miss the days of dressing up for an office every day. Marcheline Isabelle
Such a fun topic! Crewneck sweaters (not ribbed for me), pencil skirts, and one particular style of belt in different colors.
White shirts or sweaters, black pants in ever shape and style, black boots, tall or short, ankle, combat, studded, suede, over the knee…You name it and I have it…My constant go-tos!
For Hollye: I found some great elbow length “Natasha” polo sweaters, in cashmere and cotton, on Ann Mashburn’s website (a website I think I discovered through this website). They are really flattering and easy to wear.
Another collection – since I don’t really wear blazers anymore (unless traveling to a real city) I’ve developed quite a group of cashmere “yacht cardigans or Kennedy cardigans” as they’re also called. It’s my country version of a blazer, and a “third” piece to a winter wardrobe. I’m hoping to find one in gray for next year.
Late to the party as usual, let me add to the chorus of “how fun!” Hmmm, well since we’re all friends here I can admit to a healthy obsession with coats, blazers, Chelsea boots (I see you Kathy) or ankle boots. And grey knitwear. Love reading about everyone else’s thoughts.
Birkenstocks, clogs and mules. I was a teen in the 70’s and they never left me! Oversized V neck cashmere sweaters. Shoulder bags.
Boxy, super fuzzy cashmere sweaters from Garnet Hill. I wish I could peek into everyone’s closet here, what a beautiful assortment of favorite and loved items!
Having recently retired, I sadly realized I had a closet full of clothing for a life I no longer have.
But….oh. The handbags are always perched on the shelves ready to go, and there are many of them.
Cashmere sweaters are also a weak spot both for warmth and the above mentioned “third piece”
which is always an outfit completer for me.
Many hats … sun hats golf hats must match my golf attire and winter hats to endure the Chicago winters and feel stylish. Cashmere sweaters and cotton sweaters in crew or v neck styles. Used to have so many shoes but have cut down on my shoe obsession.
Like Maria, Birkenstocks, mules, v-neck sweaters; but mostly black tops. I love them with black pants, jeans, white pants, skirts etc. Great for travel, too. But probably because I live in Southern California where the climate is more conducive to a top vs. a cashmere sweater. I am enjoying reading everyone’s posts.
I’m so glad you caution against the “over purge”. With the recent obsession in closet organization I think some will be sorry. Especially if you own anything of quality. That said I am in the midst of a closet clean-up and my obsession is with cashmere sweaters. I tried on every one to confirm or deny keeping and one thing is for sure, the quality of current cashmere is not what it once was. But I still love them all! I also keep them in special envelops provided by my cleaner (Margaret’s) and then in drop-front boxes categorized by color. I keep my handbags in dust covers too. It’s not easy for neatness sake but I believe the best way to maintain and preserve. Does anyone have advice on to get yellow out of white blouses (with or without stretch)? I have some designer ones that have been out of rotation and yellowed but I want to keep.
Late to the the post! What a fun read…
My obsession is beige/ecru cotton ~ pullovers, v necks and cardigans to pair with jeans or black pants.
Trousers! Orange velvet, silver lurex, paisley, pyjama stripes, green satin, lime tweed, acid yellow…. they’re my playground!
@Marie – Mrs. Stewart’s Bluing Liquid is exactly for that purpose – works wonders getting yellow stains out of white clothing! Mrs. Stewart’s Concentrated liquid bluing , 8 ounce https://a.co/d/44SYKIr on Amazon.
@Marie I soak yellowed White fabrics in oxygen bleach with some borax too. You can use lukewarm water if you’re worried about shrinkage. Hot is better. Soak overnight then wash with gentle detergent. Do you k kw products from The Laundress? Their gentle wash is very good. I use Tide for most things, would use the gentle wash for something delicate.
fluffy coats. anyone who knows me KNOWS. fur, faux fur, yarn versions, cotton versions, shearling. always to the hip or below my butt. I will take any version of a fluffy coat.
Anything that starts with an “S”…sweaters, scarves, shoes, and…ankle boots (if the boot fits, I will buy it!). I am a retired lawyer, and I do not need another anything! I’ve been purging and purging, selling on The Real Real, at my local consignment shop and giving things away on my Buy Nothing group. I cannot figure out (between retiring and the pandemic) what I really need. I mainly wear jeans, ankle boots and sweaters or gear from Athleta. I hardly need to accessorize at home but the scarf love runs deep. When I volunteer, I don’t want to overdress. In reading through the comments on this thread, I think an interesting topic for a post might be…how to determine what we need once we are no longer in the working world/office. There is no way I could commit to only buying 5 items a year (Today’s post). Is there some happy medium between getting rid of all my work clothes and only owning 12 pieces?
I am a long time fan and collector of Alaia.
Beginning in 1986 while in Pais I visited his Atelier and fell in love with his super-flattering stretch knit dresses. Needless to say over the past 35+ years I have amassed a closet full. They have held up beautifully and are brilliant packing pieces.
They are expensive but are not difficult to find marked down considerably on websites such as YOOX and THE OUTNET.
As a city dweller, I have a lot of scarves for mild to colder weather. Much of my outerwear is quite neutral so I have scarves to liven things up a bit, everything from Faliero Sarti and Hermes to Pierre Hardy, Rykiel, Loro Piana, Epice, Loewe, Paul Smith, etc Not all are expensive but if I’m wearing all black (or grey or navy) it makes it less “severe”. Also have A LOT of loafers and Chelsea boots – both chunky and more streamlined. Important to be able to really walk in my shoes!
Irish cashmere . Scottish cashmere .
Monaghans in Dublin Ireland.
Quite simply the best cashmere ever and I shudder to think how many colors and styles I have . Can be worn every season and that’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it .
Such a great topic and I love Robbi’s idea! Sometimes I think I collect everything… cashmere sweaters, boots, sandals, gold jewelry, coats and hats are my favorite items. I have cut down on acquisitions, but don’t purge since i don’t have to (I have lots of clothing storage space) and my daughters love to shop my closet. Although just a bit irritating when they take items and don’t tell me (where did that Chanel top go to?)
I love fancy socks, striped shirts, embroidered boho tops and cable knits! Also ankle boots.