Columns

Worn, but wearable

Every morning, I shrug myself into its welcoming contours. The once-fluffy pink nap has worn smooth. The cuffs, graying after repeated washings. I knot the belt, grab my coffee and shuffle downstairs to my desk and begin my day.

Recently, it dawned on me that my pink bathrobe is the oldest piece of clothing I own that I still wear.

Twenty-two years ago, I’d gone shopping for a new one. Heavily pregnant with our unplanned but oh, so welcomed fourth child, I decided to make sure I had a photo-worthy bathrobe for the post-birth photos.

No other color but pink would do, because I was positive that after having three sons, this last child would be a girl.

I mean, what are the odds that our unexpected blessing is a boy? I thought to myself.

I’d already jettisoned all our boy baby clothes when I’d thought our family complete. And since obviously math and understanding odds are not in my wheelhouse, I restocked our nursery with all things pink.

We all know how that turned out. Our Samantha turned out to be a Samuel. Back to the store went the pink, lacy things–except for the bathrobe.

I’m not a sentimental saver of things I can’t wear or don’t use. Sure, I have the fancy dress I wore at high school graduation and the sleek velvet dress I bought at the Goodwill when I finally lost all the weight I’d gained after having our grand finale – but those are the exceptions. I know I’ll never wear that lilac and white lace grad gown, but if I get consumption or another wasting disease, the velvet Christmas dress is still within my reach.

I wondered what clothing others held onto and still wore, so I posted the question on Facebook.

Miriam Robbins replied that she has a coat, bought at Value Village more than 25 years ago.

“It became my yard work coat to wear in the spring and fall when it’s too cold to go without one and not cold enough to wear my heavy winter coat,” she said.

Sue Lani Madsen has her father’s pea coat from his first tour of duty with the U.S. Coast Guard in the early 1950s.

“I wore the pea coat all during high school and imagined I was Ali McGraw in ‘Love Story,’ she said. “Still wear it occasionally–nothing better when it’s cold and wet.”

A black sweater still suits Jackie Wells.

“It’s probably at least 25 years old. It’s stretched out, but oh so comfy – the perfect thing to put on in a cold winter, movie, popcorn sort of night,” she said.

Scooter Mahoney found boots that last.

“I still wear my waffle stompers that I got in 1971. They’ve never needed any repair work done. LOVE them!” she said.

Last week I organized my mom’s closet for her. My brother and his wife had given her a new robe for Christmas. It’s gorgeous! Soft teal chenille, with a cozy faux fur collar. I didn’t know they made bathrobes with fur collars.

It’s probably time to retire my worn, but still serviceable robe. Yet I’m reluctant. I remember the day I bought it and the absolute optimism I felt at the impending birth of my long-awaited daughter.

I didn’t know that in a few weeks another blue bundle of boy would be placed in my arms, but 22 years later, I wouldn’t change a thing. Not even the robe.

What’s the oldest piece of clothing you own that you still wear?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s