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I asked Australian fashion slashies to show me their most treasured garment

WORDS BY MAGGIE ZHOU

Loved clothes last.

I’m a sartorial romantic. I’m so easily emotionally attached to clothes, it’s unhealthy. That jacket with more holes than fabric? Can’t let go of it. That Year 11 formal dress I can’t fit into anymore? Will live in my wardrobe until the day I die.

In a landscape that seems increasingly enchanted with resale markets and Mari Kondo, I needed to validate my attachment issues and feel assured that yes, there are others in the industry like me. So I chatted to some of my favourite stylish people to hear about their own sartorial love stories. Of course, sustainable brownie points add up from rewearing and continuously loving garments you own. It’s almost an act of defiance in our culture obsessed with the fast fashion cycle.


Looking for more ways to procrastinate? We’re with you. Come on over to our Fashion section. 


Take this as your sign to cherish your clothes. Take pride in owning pieces for a very long time; learn how to mend and care for them. You know what they say, buy good things and make them last.

Mahalia Handley, model, activist and creative director

I have had this shirt for almost six years, this was when the oversized shirt trend was really beginning to set in and I was living in London. A girl was making shirts that were her own self expression of Chanel, to which I’m pretty sure she ended up getting a cease and desist from Prada and Chanel, which of course made the shirt even more popular and harder to get. This shirt has come to multiple countries with me because it’s the perfect cool girl oversized top, it’s never gone out of fashion and I love the back story of rebellion about it.

@mahaliafromaustralia

Keely B, content creator and fashion influencer

I have so many favourite vintage finds, so it’s hard to narrow it down. I think the piece I go to the most are these $4 boots I found at the op shop down in Venus Bay. I didn’t try them on the first time because I didn’t think they’d fit, so I just left them. I knew I’d regret it but I also didn’t want to break my little heart if I found out they didn’t fit.

I could not stop thinking about them, though. I was literally dreaming about them and the outfits I could create with them, so when the op shop was open again, I ran in and they were (thankfully) still there. I screamed, tried them on and they fit perfectly. I try to pair them with any outfit I can, now. The heel is a little chewed from a dog, but it kind of makes me love them more to be honest, and it adds to the story.

@k__eelz

Nina Gbor, writer, speaker and editor

One of my most treasured pieces is this 1950s black maxi ballroom skirt with gold specks. I used to volunteer at a charity shop called PDSA 10 years ago in the UK. One day, a lady whose mother had passed away brought in her mother’s clothes. She shared her mother’s story of how much she cherished her clothes when she was alive and how all her clothes were made by couturiers in Paris and Bond Street, London in the 1950s. I was shocked that she was offloading her mother’s prized treasures at an op shop so comfortably.

Being the vintage fiend that I am, I bought some of the pieces, including this beloved skirt. Somehow, I feel like the lady’s mother would be very happy that her beloved treasures went to someone who would love and cherish them as much as she did!

I’m a fan of period dramas (big shocker) so I’ve styled the 1950s vintage skirt with a medieval, royal vibe: a preloved Alannah Hill gold, floral embroidered top I found at a Melbourne consignment store; a long-sleeve top underneath; and I’ve finished the royal look with a crown from Marketplace. Because I still like to play dress-up!

@eco.styles

Sabina McKenna, curator, model and writer

This beautiful silk pinstripe jacket has been a staple of my wardrobe for about seven years. I bought it in New York City at my favourite consignment store called Tokio 7. It always has the best collection of vintage designer pieces; I love its collection because I always come across very rare items I’ve never seen anywhere else before. It’s also very well-priced and low-key, so you can browse for a good hour and try on a bunch of things without feeling annoying (lol). The shop has been there since 1995.

The jacket is Ganryu – which is one of Rei Kawakubo’s (Comme des Garçons) since-discontinued labels – by designer Fumito Ganryu, who started out with the company as a pattern maker for Junya Watanabe! I can wear this jacket with pretty much anything, anywhere, and it always feels extra special because of the story behind it.

@art_workr

Didn’t you hear? Loved clothes are cool.

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