New: Business Casual and Out with Friends
Items start in this category. Fresh out of their packages, they have sharp creases and an ironed sheen.
Gently Worn: Errands and Daily LifeThe cuffs are starting to fray. There may be small, subtle spots.
Heavily Worn: Yard work
Items have holes, both from use and sometimes from moths. Patches can be evident. They are often rumpled.
This approach should not cover all items of course (much of what is required for a summer wedding or a night out in the city will never be worn years later on trips to the composter). But this approach also applies to areas as disparate as cars and furnishings.
This perspective resolves many paradoxes, including
- A frugality combined with an appreciation of more expensive items, and
- Why well-off people embrace and expect the use of well-worn items.
- Buy well made things to begin with.
- Buy classic and timeless styles.
- Have two or all three uses in mind when making a purchase.
- Combine flattering and comfortable.
- When in public, never have too many new items nor too many old.
- Always keep items clean. Patch or mend where possible.
- Keep the three categories separate in shelves or closets.
- It started off as a secret wardrobe of a successful club of people.
- It was then "outed" and became appealing to those wanting to appear successful and in the club.
- It then became mainstreamed, popularized, increasingly symbolic, and therefore knocked-off.
- Finally it became out-of-style, with predictable but short-lived subsequent resurgences.
Note: I know that Burberry is over-marketed right now. Having said that, I bought my first Burberry scarf (shown above) over 30 years ago at the Yale Co-op, and will continue to get their scarves for the foreseeable future. They are soft, durable, and look great with everything.