Looking Pulled Together While Wearing Swiss Cheese Underpants

If you are currently wearing a thong that started out as a pair of granny panties, chances are the rest of your wardrobe is a bit tired, also.

Note: This is a repost ’cause the original was posted when it was pointless. Were you really gonna run mark your calendar? I think not.

When I was growing up in the Seventies, one of my best friends came from a very humble home. Her life was like Ellen Foster but with more characters.

One Christmas Eve, her father feeling rather festive held a gun to her mother’s head. After he passed out in his drunken glory, her mother grabbed the gifts, some clothes, my friend and her 3 siblings and left. They had nothing. Four years later, as they were getting on with their lives, the house burnt down. Again, they had nothing.

About four years after that, my friend told me one of her secrets to looking pulled together when you are not…a good overcoat.

Her theory:

Aside from the room or office that you work in, the rest of society sees you in your on-the-way-to-somewhere-else clothes. Therefore, you could were a jacket or coat .

Now is the time to look for winter coats. Great prices and still a chance your size is there. Buy two sizes up for growing kids.

Buy the absolute best quality you can afford in the off season. Buy a trench coat in December and winter wool no earlier than March. Choose a fabric that can take a beating. Fleece, for example, is always,by far, at its best…in the store. Try a figure flattering classic shape that won’t go out of style.

As for color, your can’t beat navy. It takes a much longer time for navy to show wear than any other color. Period.

In Spring, Summer and Fall, my friend wore a beautiful olive trench coat with a removable lining. She used second hand scarves to keep the look fresh. In winter, she wore a full length wool coat in a charcoal herringbone. Black would get linty, white would get dirty, camel would show wear. Again, she changed her second hand accessories to give each year a new feel. She chose buttons over zippers, because they were so much easier to repair.

These two particular coats lasted her for more than the first decade of her young adulthood. One time we calculated the cost per wear. It figured to somewhere under a penny per day.

She always looked very pulled together, even though her life was eternally in chaos.

An overcoat. An overcoat that is on you when you shake hands and introduce yourself at that crucial, visual first impression phase of a job interview or meeting your kid’s teacher. An overcoat that hides your tired clothes for just a moment, until you can dazzle new people with your wits. Smart.

( Neighbor Nancy models her new fully lined wool walking coat, asking you to note the chunk hiding…I mean figure flattering princess seams )

Oh, and remember by the time you are at 80% off, you are paying less than the store did. Yippeeeee!

What is your favorite frugal fashion tip?

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7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I am glad to hear that. I also admire her mom for having the courage to leave and remove herself and her children from this volatile situation. Too many women stay.

  2. Things seem to have settled down for her as she got older and could live her life her own way. Her own enduring spirit and hard work broke the chain of poverty.

  3. Whatever happened to your friend, the one with the Ellen Foster type of life? I hope things got better for her…

  4. Oh, yes. Blazers are wonderful, too
    I love a good consignment store, also
    Though I find it difficult to find “Philadelphia sticky bun eater” sizes

  5. I’m a very casual girl at heart. I find a good pair of jeans, yes, jeans, and wear them ‘up’ or ‘down’ depending on the occasion. If I’m going out, I wear my nice heals or sandals (depending on the time of year) If I’m spending time with the grands, I wear my sneakers.

    I’ve also taken to wearing ‘blazer’ type jackets that do the same as the overcoat, hide the older blouses and such. I make sure it’s just long enough to hide my hips that seem to be growing the farther from 40 and closer to 50 I get! LOL! They look good with my jeans too! ;)

    I, too, shop at the thrift stores. They have one here called “Savers” that my dd and I haunt regularly.

  6. Personally I am not a fan of cream, because as a short person the sleeves get filthy and as a coffee drinker… well you can imagine.
    ToTheJenthPower is the queen of finding treasures like Donna Karen suits at Salvation Army. Also, she is a another one who is afantastic accessorizor. Smart and pulled together… that’s my best friend.

  7. Two words: cream and navy blue.

    It’s been my experience that even the most … erm, inexpensive clothing choices seem to look far more quality in these colors (as opposed to the standard black or white). Especially if it’s a jersey or (horrors!)polyester blend. There is, too, the distinct mix-and-match benefits to both also. But I’ve found that cream and navy blue have never steered me wrong while perusing the racks at Salvation Army or even Wal-Mart.


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