Privilege Blog

How NOT To Buy A Statement Piece

Go to Wilkes Bashford at the Stanford Shopping Center, one day when you are feeling the full force of years of self-denial. Go when you are newly promoted to vice president. Go with a friend who has been an executive for years. Try on a suit from Kiton. White. Cashmere. It will fit you perfectly.

Pay the very deferential salesperson, who says you look great, and you will, $5,000. Take the suit home. Put it in your closet. And say, “Goodbye, beautiful skirted suit.” Because you will never wear this out the door. Despite the beautiful details, the softness, the apparent kinship with warm clouds and snow that do not exist in nature.

Because a white cashmere skirt suit, is, for all intents and purposes, a Swiffer. A lovely Swiffer, but a Swiffer. There’s only so much dust that any one woman wants to attract in her lifetime and the great big dirty world is a pretty dusty place.

I probably made my closet very happy. Let’s look on the bright side.

24 Responses

  1. Youch!

    I don't buy very, very white clothes just for that reason. Well, that and the fact that I have a dribble glass for a chin and whatever I eat is almost guaranteed to end up on whatever I wear.

  2. I'm still ooooohhing and ahhhhing over the detail! I know what you mean by it being a swiffer LOL! But still so classic and just beautiful.

  3. That is the kind of suit intended for the Lady in the plastic bubble( a remake of the John Travolta classic). It is gorgeous but eating, drinking and being around animals, vegetables, minerals and small children is out of the question.

  4. I talked myself out of a dress this year simply because the top half was white and I knew it would not last–but it was a beautiful dress. xoxo

  5. The last time I owned a white outfit was in the 80's. It was a beautiful suit with a wool skirt and boucle jacket. I wore it to a nice German restaurant and ended up with strawberry schaum torte in my lap.

  6. Ooooh, I want to touch it (with very clean hands of course)

    I bought a cream coat once, it looked awful within a fortnight but for those first two weeks I felt so classy.

  7. Lovely stitching, though. I have a white summerweight jacket, and I'm completely tired of taking it back and forth to be cleaned. Good thing summer's over.

  8. I was getting tense just looking at the photos…I was imagining my children running up to me with jelly hands & me screaming Nooooooooooo!
    Great suit. Fun post. Wear the jacket! It's beautiful!

  9. Oh, delicious! I constantly buy white pieces and then inevitably spill (being the klutz I am) and spend a lifetime tabbing at myself with baby wipes I keep on-hand because of said white addiction + klutziness.

  10. What a stunning suit! I had a much less spectacular ivory suit years ago. As in, the years before children and dogs.

    Maybe for dinners out, if you avoid red wine, tomato sauces, pesto…if you eat white food only? Or is it only me that attracts all food groups to my clothing.

  11. This made me laugh so hard. I always look at such objects with awe, and then yes, would never dare to actually wear them. Who wears these? And what talents do they have that we do not?

  12. It is the lady in the bubble who wears them. At least I don't know who else could. I'm not so prone to food spillage, and my children have grown up hands these days, but it seems that I bump into my car a lot and much of the dirt of the road winds up on me somewhere. If I could put the jacket in a plastic bag until I got where I was going that would be OK. And Peonies, I thought of you when I took those photos. I thought, ah, if she were to photograph this cloth it would in fact look like snow or clouds…Let us drink to the ghosts of white clothes past.

  13. Oh so beautiful. But it would never leave my closet either, although I can perfectly understand how it may have come to take up residence.

    I had a friend, who has since passed, for whom this would have been the perfect garment. She wore white cashmere and silk regularly. But then she had no children, did no housework or cooking, had a husband who was devoted to her every need, and spent her life caring for her clothes. She did work, but she always had the kind of jobs where her primary role was to be decorative and understanding. She seemed to have her own invisible bubble. I remember meeting her in NYC and watching her walk toward me down the street: platinum blond hair, white cashmere coat, white kidskin purse. She seemed to cut a swath through the crowd as if people just automatically moved aside without jostling her, without even being consciously aware that they were doing it. I never figured out how she did this.

  14. Speaking of misguided style statements, donning the color purple was a faux pas when I was in prep school. To this day, I cannot bring myself to wear purple no matter how demur the shade. Do you know why WASPs avoided the color? I'm ashamed to say I've never learned the rhyme or reason behind this prejudice.

  15. Wear the dsamn suit! You spent 5K, what's a few cleaning bills? Mardel's friend is gone, you are here. Red wine is not the worst life can deal you, so look fabulous, wear as separates if the suit is too much.

    (I have done this myself, that's how come I can tell YOU what to do.)

  16. Ahh… this reminds me of a new white cotton lace dress I wore 9/10ths of the way through a firm function unscathed, and then split red wine on while waiting for the cab.

    White clothing, I miss you, but never again…

  17. I remain, however, quite fond of my white t-shirts:). That much I seem to be able to protect. At least you got to the cab unscathed.

  18. I would love to see a post of you wearing this suit, in full, or at least the jacket.
    On the other hand if you really can’t bring yourself to wear it, if the size worked I could imagine it on Judith at Style Crone.

    It seems such a pity that a garment so beautiful, both visually and sensuosly, languishes unworn.

    No matter how well it fit, had I the means, it would have remained on the shelf as I simply cannot wear white. :(

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