Worn Memories

Cressi Sowerbutts

“Fashion is the armour to survive the reality of everyday life” —Bill Cunningham 

Kurt Cobain’s cardigan from Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged performance (1993); the classic Coco Chanel suit (1925); Audrey Hepburn’s LBD in ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ (1961); Vivienne Westwood’s punk fashion revolution of the 1970s; the uniform black suits of Tarantino’s ‘Reservoir Dogs’ (1992); Theresa May’s extensive shoe collection…  

For good or bad, the most iconic moments in fashion’s history have nostalgic memories attached to them. When worn clothes become less fragments of fabric, more vessels of experiences. In today’s disposable society, the significance of clothing is easily forgotten as we frequently buy new and rid of old. Yet it is possible to resurrect our items and remember the life events they have accompanied us on, the sense of security they have offered us, the people they have encountered with us and places they have visited alongside us. Your favourite item could be equally a power suit that exudes confidence as a practical jumper that goes unnoticed, always worn but often forgotten. Whether you love or loathe the memory attached to the item, clothes can be reinvented and rekindled for the duration of a life time.  

THE NOSTALGIC JUMPER  

“One of my favourite items of clothing is my Cincinnati Bengals jumper as once when I was wearing it on holiday, I met this American girl. She started talking to me as she recognized the American football team on the jumper and we still speak to this day…if I hadn’t worn that jumper I would never have met her – plus it’s super comfy”  

“I’ve had a hoodie for over ten years. It was red, now it is faded in the elbows and turning more pink and white. The zip is broken and although it is a layer, it holds no heat. But it is an instant comfort.”  

THE PARTY PIECE  

“My blue sequin hot pants make me feel bootylicious and fabulous. I got them at Shambala Festival the first year I went! It was the first time I went to a festival alone…I remember dancing to Sister Sledge topless in them…”  

THE DARK HORSE 

“I don’t know why I love it, I just love it. It’s a grey-mix long sleeved top. I got the inspiration from a character in a Norwegian series, Skam. It’s just very comfy and good looking”  

“Above all else, socks. No matter how weird or wacky, a good pair of socks can start my day off right 

“The right pair of PJ trousers are always a favourite for me. They are the ultimate comfort clothes. If they are the correct fit and style, it’s hard to take them off!”  

THE LLJ (LOYAL LEATHER JACKET) 

“My wardrobe staple, a trusty leather jacket, may be a tad on the small side with a few worn patches and a witness to a jägerbomb spillage or two, but it still remains a key item. It is versatile and almost timeless and due to the memories attached to it, I can’t throw it away! I bought the jacket during the London 2012 Olympics. I had recently got myself my own bank card so I was feeling so grown up and independent – the freedom to be able to just walk into any shop and buy the things I wanted without having to rely on a parent was just the best feeling. The jacket caught my eye as I walked past the huge Topshop store in Westfield. Just to simply own something from Topshop at the time seemed to be the coolest thing to do. As I got to the counter to pay for my new item, I placed my card into the card machine only to find it had been declined. My heart sank whilst pretending to tell the lady that I had changed my mind anyway! Five minutes later, I had managed to persuade my dad to do an IOU and told him I’d forgotten my pin…”  

THE POWER SUIT 

“My grey suit is my power suit. It’s very worn down now but still anytime I have a crisis of confidence I put it on. It’s magical, I ALWAYS feel super confident in it.”  

“Any day wearing a suit is a good day. I love all aspects of the suit. The jacket, the cuffs, even the shoes matter.”  

THE VINTAGE FIND 

“My favourite item is my blue dress that I bought from a charity shop in Chard for £3.95. I love it because the colour is gorgeous, it fits really well, it’s the perfect length and it has pockets! When I looked up the brand afterwards it wasn’t on the website anymore but other similar dresses were £120 which makes me love it more as I know I got a real bargain! I wore it to an interview as I always feel so confident in it, my boyfriend even requested for me to wear it on New Year’s Eve!”  

THE STAPLE SHOES  

“My docs are the only pair of shoes I ever seem to wear. I bought them a couple years ago in a bout of post-heartbreak retail therapy and they gave me a new found confidence. I now feel out of character wearing any other type of shoe.” 

Words: Cressi Sowerbutts, Storehouse Content Team, @cccressi 

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