What Memories Live in Your Wardrobe?

My latest column for Ivy Style is now live! As a reminder, on Wednesdays you can now find me on Ivy Style, sharing my thoughts on traditional style, clothing, and much more. This week’s post is about memories and clothing–I’d love for you to share your thoughts!

In my Ivy Style debut (an interview John conducted at the end of 2021), I spoke about the sentimental value of clothing. I feel the comforting weight of memory every time I wear certain quintessentially Ivy pieces. What’s unique about Ivy style is its longevity, the commitment to tradition. Change comes slowly. Because of that, the same piece can survive in the wardrobe over multiple generations, and memories can span lifetimes–my mother’s, mine, my child’s.

Obviously not every piece has a sentimental attachment, but the majority of the “special” pieces in my wardrobe, the forever pieces, do. I’ve inherited much of my wardrobe from women I loved dearly, so their memory is deeply imbued in every stitch. A good number of my shoes were worn by my mother. When she started her interior design firm, her office was, coincidentally, in the same building where mine is now. I literally walk a mile in her shoes–the same mile, at the same age as she was when she bought them. I go to the same deli and order the same sandwich as she did. I take the same subway. Wearing the same clothes in these shared moments collapses time, making memory and present-day reality one.

With clothing I’ve purchased myself, I think about the imprint I’m leaving on those pieces and the memories attached to them. Wearing my Aran sweaters on a walk through the Burren. My favorite striped cashmere sweater, which I wear every birthday. The Shetland sweater I bought when starting a life-changing job. Perhaps, if I’m able to hand these down to a loved one, they will remember these things too.

There is so much that a lifetime holds. We each have our own collection of precious moments, which become woven into our wardrobes. Something that I love about classic style is that I can accumulate a lifetime’s worth of memories in a single piece. The same piece–for instance, my trench coat–is just as perfect now as it was forty years ago, and if it lasts another forty years, it will still be itself. It will continue to be in my wardrobe for the rest of my life, and will, I hope, be handed down to share with the next generation.

What is the piece in your wardrobe that has the most poignant memories? Please share below.

This article was written by me and originally published on Ivy Style as part of my Women’s Ivy column. I retain ownership of all text and images included in the original column.

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