Monday, 24 October 2011

Suit up



Because I work at home, I have a modest wardrobe.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not hanging around here in my jammies all day. I get up first thing, and go to the gym, so I'm often meandering around in nylon and lycra or yoga pants for much of the day.

Otherwise, my current fashion choices include capri pants, same ones in five different colors, two pairs of black jeans and two pairs of cotton shorts I bought at Addition Elle about ten years ago. The buggers never wear out.

But I do have a closet full of $1,000 suits which I've taken with me to three houses. There is the cashmere and wool suit that Mr. Big bought me when I was pregnant back in the eighties. He bought it at the Hotel Vancouver; I looked at the label today and the label says "Nonesuch, Hotel Vancouver lobby".

Really.

I have another suit purchased in my PMO days at a place in Ottawa called O'Shea's Market Ireland. It's an Irish walking suit with a long car coat and tailored skirt that hits just below the knee. It's still lovely.

I bought another suit in a shop located in the rural English country side near York where the actual fabric was woven and the weave was changed after five bolts to ensure that no two English woman would be seen wearing the same fabric.

I loved that.

My closet also contains a few silk blouses and skirt sets made by worms in foreign lands in vibrant reds, charcoals and clay browns.

Every once in a while, I catch myself putting my hand under their careful wrap like a randy man anxious for the feel of a woman's fine stocking.

I can't wear any of these outfits -- they are all too small in bust and hip. But I treasure them, like artifacts from olden times; they hold the DNA from my youth.

I can part with all manner of things -- jewellery, books, china -- but I have not yet been able to part with this corner of my wardrobe.

I really can't explain why.

Most women have these treasures socked away in the back of their closets. My granny had three ratty old fur coats. My mother had her wedding dress.

The suits will die with me, I am sure of that. They will be packed up and whisked away to a concession shop, or they will be dumped in the bin at Value Village.

When I'm worm food, I won't care, but I do hope they find a worthy owner, one with an appreciation for good fabric and stodgy old wools that keep the rain at bay.

I will never buy a $1,000 suit again.

I can't afford the drycleaning bills for one.

Besides, I already have a treasure trove of these suits I can visit in my closet anytime.

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