Soft and Simple



This coat is part of my Forever Wardrobe.  I need to do an update on that post but the gist of it is that I have items of clothing that are classic and timeless and always make the cut during a declutter.




Case in point is this coat from the 1950's.  100% cashmere with a satin silk lining that I bought at a thrift store for $8.  Thank goodness I had a witness with me the day I bought it or nobody would ever believe me.  The color and fabric is so soft and simple,  they just don't make coats like this any longer.  I think the coat elevates the basic Levi's and white tee.




This coat and a few other finds like it are part of my Forever Wardrobe.  They just keep getting better and better with time.

I'd also like to give a shout out to these Topshop Angelina Slides from Nordstrom.  They are so chic and go with just about everything in my closet. Also the vintage Gucci belt was my birthday and Christmas present.  I love the subtle G buckle.

Do you keep things forever?  What determines if you keep it or toss it?  Fill me in.  xo


52 comments

  1. For me, the keepers are my cashmere cardigan sweaters. When I worked at a job that was semi-casual, these were the best with skirts or slacks. A good grade of cashmere, they haven't pilled over time. I still love them. The oldest just turned 25. Yet, you never would know it.

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    1. oh i love that linda. i have a beautiful vintage cashmere cardigan that is just amazing. it never pills - you are right! x

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  2. Yes, I have many clothes that are going on 20+ years old. It helps that I prefer classic clothes in high quality fabrics. All of my coats are classic cashmere or wool Jcrew- but from 20 years ago. I do my best to keep them well maintained. I also have many Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dresses that are decades old and I still wear them frequently. I don't think I will ever toss any of my "forever wardrobe" even just because at this point- they are very sentimental!

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    1. i hear you dana. oh to have a collection of dvf wrap dresses - how chic is that?! x

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  3. I have a Winter coat I purchased with my parents in the late 1950's, when I was in high school. It is a very dark charcoal, nearly black with a red velvet collar and a red satin lining. the only label on it states it is from the HI Shop at B.Altman & Co. this store is long out of business but was known for having good quality classic clothing.I assume it is wool as there is no other identification. it's quite fitted on top and fuller at the bottom. it still fits. I haven't worn it for a while but this will remind me to, as it is in excellent shape. I have a couple of other older pieces of clothing I purchased at a consignment shop probably 30 years ago, especially a black and white Stanley Blacker houndstooth jacket of 100% cashmere. this store is also gone and I have since moved away but it provided some really high end clothing for me at if not cheap at least affordable prices. over the years I unfortunately got rid of some pieces when I downsized but I now wish I had held on to.
    Darby

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  4. I gave away my vintage cashmere long coat just this year. It's always good to let go of what you're not using. I loved the coat but never wore it.

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    1. so true! i've given away so much and sold a lot over the years. there are a few pieces that i sorta regret but i always imagine them in a happy home. xo

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  5. Love the simple elegance of that coat...it is timeless and classic.
    Cashmere sweaters are my keepers...as are my Barbour vest and jacket.

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    1. i love your barbour jacket leslie. i'm always on the lookout for one. x

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  6. I have my mothers 1950's fabulous red velvet swing coat with hood from 1950 s. Think Audrey Hepburn and great for holidays. I think one of my daughters has my grey wool coat with fox collar and cuffs. Hope it stays in their forever wardrobe.
    Looking forward to all your posts for 2018. Connie

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    1. that red velvet coat sound divine connie. velvet and red are so big at the moment. i love that your daughters will keep/use them. i have things set aside for my grandaughters! x

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  7. I'll always keep my cashmere sweaters. I bought a classic grey wool coat at Goodwill last fall for $4.65! Had it dry cleaned and it's like new. I gave away so many great classic clothes through the years that I wish i had kept. Oh well, can't keep everything.

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    1. you can't keep it all can we betty! i love to hear about your thrift finds - so fabulous. x

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  8. I love the idea of a forever wardrobe. For me, it is my leopard coat from Emerson Fry, by far the most expensive item of clothing I’ve ever bought, but it has served me so well these past 4 years. It looks equally chic paired with jeans and a white tee as it does over a silk dress. It is a heavy Belgian linen and I’ve even worn it in winter paired with a cashmere turtleneck.

    I love your wardrobe posts, we have the same aesthetic. I only wish our thrift shops were as good as yours. My recent best find was a practically new pair of deep red Lanvin combat boots on eBay for $40. The seller was selling a bunch of odds and ends and I happened upon them by searching 39 (my euro size) in women’s boots. So, those two items are part of my forever wardrobe.

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    1. robin that is my dreammmmm coat! i love hearing how you wear it. can i ask how long it is on you? and the lanvin combat boots! sheesh what a steal. love hearing about your shopping/thrifting! x

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  9. What a beautiful coat on you Janet. I love the elegant color. I am a forever closet person. I save things for years that are worth the space in my closet. Especially for "dressy events" its so much easier having classic pieces you can count on in your wardrobe year after year rather than running around a department store desperately trying to find "something". That is the worst feeling. So I have a few forever dresses that I can pull out walk out the door and feel good.

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    1. that is so true marianne. so smart of you. my new closet holds everything i could ever need from bathing suit to LBD and pretty much everything in between. it's a good feeling isn't it? and thank you re my coat. i love the way the color photographed with the leaves on the trees! x

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  10. Your coat is AMAZING!

    My most beautiful and valuable forever pieces are almost exclusively vintage/thrift. Bass black penny loafers were my latest find (I've been searching for 30 years) and black pony hair belgian loafers (consignment shop). I could stop right there, but I've also found TWO men's cashmere pullovers (black and tan) for a sweet $7 at Value Village. Ebay fills in the rest with Talbots silk dresses, Barbour jacket (William Morris lining!!!) and those fabulous old JCrew pieces that I swear were almost couture level they were so well made.

    I'm a gal with big shoulders so I like a men's item more often than not (darts never get me at my true bust line). I've got a great JCrew men's rain trench and currently on the hunt for an all cotton men's tux shirt (with a tiny fab peaked collar).

    By the way Janet I absolutely love your new site design!!!!!

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    1. thank you dani. your finds are impressive! and i hear you about older jcrew pieces. good luck on the mens tux shirt! xo

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  11. Happy New Year to you and yours, Janet.

    The coat is gorgeous - nothing, but nothing, beats a raglan sleeve!

    I recall a while back you'd made a decision to replace animal-derived apparel from your wardrobe (including shoes) so I'd like to politely ask whether that's no longer the case. Please understand this is absolutely NOT meant as a criticism - I'm just curious.

    Love your blog :)

    Spud

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    1. i know a raglan sleeve is gorgeous! i know the post you are talking about it was written in 2013! i did a good job in the beginning, replacing leather shoes with some vegan ones. so far only one pair ever held up. i guess with time i got lax in my intentions and also frustrated with choices. my shoe and handbag collection is pretty small now - just adding the mule slides that were a bday gift. so that's been my journey. i do the best i can. :) x

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  12. I absolutely love this coat, I can see the fabulous soft texture in the photos, and it falls so beautifully on you. What a find!
    Like Robin above I own the Emerson Fry leopard coat in Belgian linen although I just bought mine in 2017. It is a forever piece for sure, I'm super in love with it. I've pared down my wardrobe quite a bit in the last year, many of my classic Brora pieces and older JCrew dresses went to my older daughter who is now away at grad school. Seeing her wear these items is super fun.
    For me my handbags and my scarves (all gifts from my hubs) are definitely forever pieces, and I'm doing my best to get my shoes to last forever too. Thank goodness for cobblers.
    Always love your style posts so much Janet, thank you for the inspiration. xx

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    1. thanks for sharing dani. i'd love more info on you EF leopard coat. i think that'll be my next big purchase - maybe for my bday this year?! maybe do a post or review of it on your blog. i'd love to see it on you and see the length. thanks dani! x

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    2. Janet it would be stunning on you. It's such a classic and looks amazing with simple black pants and a shirt underneath. What a good birthday present that would be! I'll do a post on it this week sometime, I'll email you when it's up so you don't miss it. xx

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  13. Love your simple look, Janet! For me, Church's brogues, Dries van Noten shawl, Yoji Yamamoto and Issey Miyake pieces bought second-hand, Brora cashmere, Gucci shawl and handbag, Margaret Howell wool trousers and white shirt, Comme des Garcons clutch, Mulberry camera bag, Agnes b jacket, Marni shorts, Georges Rechs wool trousers, grey cashmere coat - these are my forevers - classics. As long as the moths don't strike!

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    1. wow what a collection anna. i love it all. i've found that when i took my cashmere out of storage boxes and integrated into my daily wardrobe the moths left. i don't know others experiences with moths but they can be heartbreaking! xo

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  14. Thanks Janet. It's mostly second-hand except the shoes - I just can't walk in someone else's footwear:I always think of fungus haha. I love my things and that's why I love your blog - a few good quality items that are well-cut and lwell-sewn seams and not stinting on material.- they'll last for years and then I just buy t-shirts and stuff from Cos or Toast or Gap. Like you, it all fits in one small cupboard with a small bit of hanging space. I love your coat - very Sara Berman don't you think? Janet, I'm going to try and get into routine for 2018 - copy you in your cleaning routine, walking, eating simply, relaxing, skincare - everything. I really admire you!

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  15. Love your coat and shoes! I have paired down my wardrobe to the minimum. But I keep a few pieces
    Such as Talbots robin egg blue lon
    g cardigan..to wear in the Spring
    or January to brighten up the winter days. My sweet mom ..now gone..gave me her beautiful black wool coat with black fur collar and leather gloves
    When I want to dress up a bit more i enjoy wearing that.thank you for your beautiful blog 😊

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  16. That is a beautiful, elegant coat - with bound buttonholes? Who does that these days? My oldest garment is a red wool cardigan ski sweater with the patterned yoke knitted in black and gray. I knitted it 1961 when I was young and fearless. I love it and bring it out of a moth-proof bag in November and tuck it away the end of January. I used good wool and it's in excellent condition for it's age (like me, lol).

    As long as I have your attention, Janet, please tell me if you know of a fool-proof way to get salad oil stains out of a very good new cotton tee shirt. I have 4 small spots on the front and my dry cleaners will charge $10 to remove them. Dawn and very hot water didn't work. I'm sure there is a product/method out there that safely dissolves the oil, but I'm looking for a Voice of Experience. Thanks in advance! - Jan-Leanne

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    1. jan i'm not sure. i use the laundress stain bar but i don't know that i've gotten out oil stains with it. the flu has come back to kick my butt and so i'm not thinking that well. gimmee a week. xo

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  17. I'm not Janet, but I have a tried and tested tip for oil stains - the highly degreasing qualities of dish soap. Before putting the dry garment in the washing machine I gently rub some undiluted dish soap onto the greasy spots. Wash the garment with other clothes in the washing (adding detergent). Hope this helps!

    Tanja

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    1. Thanks Tanja - I used Dawn detergent and hot water but not all the oil came out. Still hoping to find a retired dry cleaner person who will take pity and tell me what they use. - J-L

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  18. YES!I keep things FOREVER!
    There are different answers to WHY they get TOSSED..........too many to go into NOW!!
    MORE COFFEE NEEDED!
    XX

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  19. I will never get rid of my vintage Fendi and Gucci purses!! Found them both for a steal at a consignment stores years ago and they are classic in my book. Feel better Janet!

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  20. I have a jean jacket from Eddie Bauer that I have had for at least 15 years and it's still going strong and looks good. I have another college t shirt, made from the nicest cotton, that is at least 8 years old. I love Northface's Osito Zip up Jackets- they just wash and wear like a dream And I have a pair of sneakers and birkenstocks that just keep going. All these items were not expensive (Birkenstocks were on a great sale 5 years ago!) but they just last.

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  21. My black leather blazer!
    With jeans, skirts or dresses. I knew some one when I was in my 20's who had a leather blazer and really admired it. I find mine at Old Navy on a hot August day about 20 years ago. I still love it.

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  22. I bought a vintage Jaeger coat in scarlet cashmere in a charity shop and 😍 it’s my go to coat whenever just jeans doesn’t cut it. It takes me anywhere.

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  23. I never get tired of my vintage Coach bags. They are so classic and will last forever. Funny story about my "forever" dress shoes. For the past 20 years, i have worn a pair of red kitten heel mary janes to every dressy event. After the last time i wore them, I came home and kicked off my shoes only to find my feet were "painted" red with the exact shape of the shoes! The red leather lining had disintegrated. I was so sad am now on the lookout for a new pair of forever dress shoes.

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  24. You have such incredible style Janet. You always inspire me with your fashion sense and your lovely decor.

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  25. Hi Janet! How are you? Are you still doing 5 a day? Would love an update. Thank you!!!
    Also while I have you. Do you grocery shop once a week? Thanks!

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    1. hi jennifer. sorry so late getting to your questions. i don't do an exact 5 a day but i do get rid of what needs to go daily. i don't let things pile up. whether it is mail or clothing, household goods, whatever i will make a run to the thrift shop to donate all the time! i def shop once a week, occasionally i will run into a store if i need to but generally speaking once a week is enough. thanks xo

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  26. Hi Janet, I am so sorry to hear the flu is back and hope you recover asap. Just take excellent care of yourself. Best wishes, Ardith

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  27. I have a black levis jean jacket that I got in the mid-80's. A well-made jean jacket never goes out of style!

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  28. I love the idea of a Forever Wardrobe! Could you post pics of that again!

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  29. I have a Faconnable cardigan given to me 8 years ago as a Christmas gift. I wore that thing all over the world, literally. I wore it until it had holes and the balls fell off. Then, just as I was sadly putting it into my giveaway pile, I checked Ebay. I found it (after years of empty searches) for $80 in pristine condition. You know you love it when you buy it again, 8 years later, and are thrilled. I hope the flu makes a quick departure. I had it in April and was truly down and out. Amy

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  30. Dear Janet, I've just discovered your blog and what a delight! I love your home and your style and look forward to reading through the past posts. A belated Happy New Year! I hope you are feeling better soon.
    Karen

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  31. Dear Janet, I've just discovered your blog this evening and what a delight! I love your home and your style and look forward to reading through the past posts. A belated Happy New Year!
    Karen

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  32. Janet,
    You look gorgeous! Love that coat! I have a few forever pieces...like two Burberry cashmere sweaters I bought years ago and paid too much, even on sale, but the thing is...they show no wear and Madeline even wore them through high school and as a lefty they needed to be washed every time. They are now back in my possession and I love them. They just don't make clothes like that anymore.
    a

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  33. Beautiful coat. You look great, Janet.

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kindness is never out of style.

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