For all the talk of self-repair and the wonders worked by tailors, there’s something missing from the style conversation: it’s ok to get rid of old clothes.
In a perfect world—the world we try to inhabit as often as possible—everything you bought would be sturdy enough to last forever, your seams would never decay and you’d never spill red wine on yourself. If your suit had a negative experience with a cab door, you’d whip out your sewing kit (which you’ve been practicing with all year, of course) and no one would be the wiser.
But as you’ve probably guessed, we don’t live in that world—and when the magic between you and your jacket is well and truly over, there’s nothing else to be done. If you love your wingtips, get them rehabbed, by all means. But if not, don’t be afraid to send them on their way.
There’s a Self-Repair Manifesto currently making the rounds among the tech crowd under the familiar slogan, “If you can’t fix it, you don’t own it.” In short, they want you to learn to fix your bike and figure out what Linux is.
For the sake of our pants, we'll skip the axle grease, but it's worth considering what this would mean for your wardrobe.
So Fresh So Clean: The chaps at Valet provide us with instructions on rehabbing our smudged Seavees—and, secondarily, any white sneakers anyone else might have. [Valet]
The Climbing Youth: On the off-chance you aren’t spending this weekend climbing mountains in the Northwest, you should at least check out these vintage pics of a group of kids doing the same. [Archival Clothing]
The Goods: A slideshow of all the weird stuff that’s been confiscated by customs at JFK airport. Kind of amazing, really. [NYTimes]
Because Your Socks are Sad: Just in case you’re interested, Happy Socks are having a half-off sale. [Josh Spear]
We’re always been on the side of clothes with character—which is another way of saying “very old clothes.” That means resoling shoes, repairing worn jeans and, if you’re particularly committed, doing something about those holes in your sweater.
If your tailor isn’t much for darning, here’s an unorthodox alternative. Toss in one of these puffs of wool from Woolfiller (hat tip) and, after a few pokes with an unthreaded needle, you’ll have a brand new patch. Sure, it looks a little bit like your sweater has a growth, but with the right touch and the right contrast colors, you may be on the cusp of the perfect shabby sweater. Assuming the moths cooperate.