Monday, September 20, 2010

Lovin' them til they're vintage.

There's a lot I can learn from my grandparents' generation.

Wisdom and home cooked meals aside, they're very good at taking good care of their stuff. They buy fewer, good quality items with the idea of keeping them forever.

I've been in the habit of buying throw-away goods ever since my first credit card landed on the doorstep. I buy things designed to last years, not decades: furniture from Ikea; clothes from H&M; plastic toys from Toys "R" Us.

Don't get me wrong, I like cheap. Some of my cheap purchases are my best. Plus I've picked up some excellent second-hand buys for next to nothing. Having belongings that last decades isn't necessarily to do with owning expensive things, but simply about taking care of the things you own.

I was going through some of my old things - articles I've owned for years, unable to part with them for sentimental reasons. I've started pulling them out of their hiding places to use them again. As they get older, more worn, wrinkly and weathered, they become more a part of me and my history and I love them even more.

I bought this fabric flower brooch from Top Shop in London
about ten years ago. I've kept it clean by simply putting it away
when not wearing it and not allowing dust to build up on it.

These green leather gloves were also a decade-old Top Shop find.
Gawd I miss you Top Shop...
I've kept them decent by washing them once a year with water
and soap. They're a little worn but I just can't part with them.

I bought this coat from Zara eight years ago and am still in love with it.
I've had it dry cleaned a few times and stored it away safely
during the months I'm not wearing it. In truth *cough* it
doesn't really button all the way up anymore *cough*.
But maybe one day it will!

This Paul Frank bag is one of my favourite ever purchases.
I picked it up at a little store called Home in Soho in 1999.
I was a student and couldn't afford it but bought it any way.
I've looked after it by wiping it down every year with a wet cloth
and storing it away carefully.

This picture will go with me wherever I go. It's a pencil/charcoal
sketch by a Belgian artist made when I was about twelve years old.
I like pictures because they need very little looking after.

What about you? How do you take care of your old treasures?
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Midwest Mommy said...

I agree. I have some purses that I take care of and just can't part with because they were just too nice and too expensive. I have clothes that must only be dry cleaned only even though they could easily be washed in a machine. I treasure my good stuff.

Loukia said...

I don't take care of my treasures nearly as much as I should! Love the Zara coat!

Fi said...

I LOVE this post!

Those gloves and that coat are divine!
And it's true - we do buy a lot of disposable items nowadays :)

I have a post in my drafts folder called "My favourite things" and you've inspired me to finish it and post it!

Kate Coveny Hood said...

So funny - when I was thinking about what to write today, I considered something about how "thingsy" I am. Meaning I tend to have many treasured "things". I JUST took my antique Chinese teapot
(that I bought in actual CHINA - so it's super special to me) and put it back on display. I kept it in a safe place during the toddler years, but now that my children aren't pulling things off of counters just because they can (and I picked a very isolated corder for this particular treasure), I think it's (semi) safe to keep it out. I grew up in a house that was full of my parents treasured things and it taught me to respect my surroundings. It also gave me an appreciation for things (passed down through the generations I guess). I think it's important to make your kids learn that the world isn't their playground. So I guess we're starting that lesson now. Things will be broken - but hopefully not too many and not the favorites. Fingers crossed...