My Precious

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I’ve already told the story of how I acquired this Chanel jacket  at a consignment boutique — and convinced the store owner to knock 30% off the price. But what I didn’t mention is that I was nervous to wear the jacket for months.

White Sequin Tweed Jacket: Chanel (Consignment) | Blouse: Kensie (Lord & Taylor) | Jeans: Madewell | Reversible Belt: Club Monaco | Booties: Surface to Air (Consignment) | Handbag: Chloe (Barneys)
White Sequin Tweed Jacket: Chanel (Consignment) | Blouse: Kensie (Lord & Taylor) | Jeans: Madewell | Reversible Belt: Club Monaco | Booties: Surface to Air (Consignment) | Handbag: Chloe (Barneys)

For one, it is white: and I spill on the regular. Secondly, it’s threaded with a few hundred sequins. I wasn’t worried the jacket was too formal — rather, I was worried that handbag straps would tug the sequins loose at the shoulders. And thirdly, the lining is bright white, and sweat stains seem imminent, despite the quality of construction.

Then I remembered a quote from Andrea Linnett, author of I Want to Be Her!: “I don’t have [any clothes] that I have to treat preciously. I don’t like to be precious, so if I can’t throw it in a bowl or throw it in a closet, it’s not for me.”

This is a great reminder that we buy clothes to WEAR them — not to test the durability of our hangers. Nowadays, I employ wardrobe hacks whenever I  feel uncomfortable wearing delicate or “precious” items.

Handbag: Chloe (Barneys -- on sale) | Rings, from left to right: Suhag Jewelers, Cathy Waterman, Henri Bendel and Vintage
Handbag: Chloe (Barneys — on sale) | Rings, from left to right: Suhag Jewelers, Cathy Waterman, Henri Bendel and Vintage

For this jacket, I wear a cross body handbag UNDER the jacket to eliminate friction between the shoulder and the strap. I’ve also asked my tailor to place additional material to keep the armhole lining from resembling the Yellow Brick Road. (Another way to eliminate this fear? Always wear long sleeves underneath.) And I always remove the jacket before I have lunch. (If you’re similarly disaster-prone, I recommend keeping a Tide pen in your purse — a fashionista’s version of the Epi pen.)

I haven’t quite mastered Linnett’s laissez-faire attitude — I wouldn’t dream of just “throwing” this jacket back in my closet. (I deploy the full garment bag and anti-moth cedar block treatment.)

But thanks to these hacks, I’ve averted a nervous breakdown and cost-per-wear crisis. This jacket is getting more airtime than ever — which is exactly what your hard-earned, big-ticket purchases deserve, too.

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