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Anti-newness: how to embrace your worn-out clothes.

The other day I published a video (linked in the bottom of this post), where I’m sharing some of my best hacks to repair your wardrobe. Maybe you have a pair of shoes that are too tight, pants that no longer fit you or something similar. Another thing I mentioned in this video is the fact that your clothes will naturally show signs of wear through time. One of the ways I try to accept this myself is by embracing the worn-outness of such items, rather than striving to replace them every time they show signs of wear and tear. Nothing lasts forever, even the most expensive high-end purchases will show signs of wear through time. But we should all become better at recognising the value of our clothes, even when they are worn out or dumped in the laundry bin full of stains.

Den anden dag udgav jeg en video (har linket den i bunden af dette indlæg), hvor jeg deler nogle af mine bedste tips til, at reparere på din garderobe. Det kan være sko der er for stramme, bukser du ikke længere kan passe eller andre ting. En ting jeg også nævnte i forbindelse med denne video er at acceptere det faktum, at dit tøj med tiden vil blive slidt og vise tegn på brug – store som små. Én af måderne jeg selv forsøger netop at acceptere dette på, er ved at omfavne slitagen, mere end konstant at erstatte mit tøj med sprit-nyt. Intet varer for evigt, selv de dyreste luksus køb vil med tiden vise naturlige brugstegn. Men vi skal alle blive bedre til stadig at kunne se værdien i vores tøj, selv når det er slidt eller ligger og er beskidt i vasketøjskurven.

My Acne Jensen boots, bought pre-loved around 4 years ago, which I wear several times each week – I drop them off at the local cobbler’s once every 1-2 years and he fixes them up real nice for me

 

Worn-out is cool

The following of course depends on what type of style you might have, but even if your style is more feminine than mine, I still hope this might give you some food for thought in a way that makes sense to you. Now most of you know by now that I’m quite addicted to Pinterest, where I’ve dedicated an entire mood board to all the cool women (style icons, as I like to call them), who’s style I relate to in some way or the other. It’s not only the combination of outfits I might be drawn to, often it’s simply more about an attitude or a way of life. It’s also simply the fact that many of these women are often seen in the same outfits, which I just love.

There are some common denominators among these women, which is the reason why I keep being drawn to this particular kind of style. I think the most important one is my love for imperfections and edgyness; messy hair, worn out boots or jeans with busted knees for example. I find it so cool and admirable when you radiate this sense of “hey, this is me and my favourite boots – they are worn out and I don’t care, because I happen to feel quite badass when I wear ’em.” To me it shows character and it shows that you are comfortable with who you are. It shows that you care more about feeling good, rather than letting yourself be dictated by what your surroundings might suggest to be more “flattering” or appropriate. A kind of liberation from the norm if you like. I also happen to think that it’s quite amazing when an item reach that point where it’s starting to show obvious signs of wear, because in the end it’s simply a sign that you love this item and feel amazing in it.

Nu handler følgende selvfølgelig meget om, hvilken stil du har – men selv hvis din stil for eksempel er mere feminin end min, så håber jeg alligevel, at du vil kunne bygge videre på idéen så det giver mening for dig. Nu ved I måske at jeg er storforbruger af Pinterest, hvor jeg har dedikeret et helt inpirationsboard til alle de seje kvinder (stil ikoner, som jeg kalder dem), hvis stil jeg på én eller anden måde kan relatere til. Det er ikke blot sammensætningen af outfits som jeg let kan lade mig inspirere af, men ofte handler det også meget om en attitude og en måde at se livet på. Det er også det simple faktum, at mange af disse kvinder ofte ses i de samme outfits og det elsker jeg.

Der er nogle fællesnævnere som gør, at jeg gang på gang drages af denne stil. Vigtigst af alt er måske min forkærlighed for det uperfekte og rå; rodet hår, slidte støvler eller et par jeans med hul på knæet. Jeg synes det er så mega sejt og beundringsværdigt, at udstråle “hey, det her er mig og mine yndlingsstøvler – de er mega slidte men jeg er ret ligeglad, for jeg føler mig sådan set rimelig badass i dem.” For mig er det et udtryk for, at man hviler i sig selv og man ved hvad man har det godt i. Mere end hvad omverdenen måske synes man burde iføre sig eller definerer som “flatterende”. En form for frigørelse fra normen. Og så synes jeg det er fantastisk når et item når dértil, hvor det begynder at se lidt slidt ud, for det er jo ganske enkelt udtryk for, at du holder umådeligt meget af det og føler dig godt tilpas i det.

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The right balance

I’m in no way saying that I don’t care about how I look. Of course I do; I love both makeup, skincare and fashion. It’s more about playing around with the contrasts and finding the right balance. I’m a huge fan of a pair of frayed light blue jeans, a pair of worn out boots and a classic shirt or t-shirt, maybe with a sharp blazer on top. I simply try to put these more worn out items together with something a bit more “nice” if that makes sense. If your favourite tee has a hole in it you could either try mending the hole or simply embracing it, by adding even more holes throughout it. The “authentic” t-shirt is a super modern take on the classic tee (seriously, it’s a thing!), and it would look like it was totally bought like that. It looks so cool underneath a biker jacket or a blazer. Just look as this tee from Anine Bing. Spice up the whole thing with some lovely jewelry and what other nice accessories you might have laying around, and you’re there.

This way of embracing the imperfect has not only taught me to love my worn out clothes. It might sound a bit dramatic, but it’s actually taught my to accept the fact that life in general doesn’t have to be perfect either. I’ve gotten so much more confidence and I feel more comfortable with who I am. I think I’ve mentioned this example before, but you may look at it like spontaneous events versus those which are maybe a tad too over-arranged. Haven’t you ever thought about how much more fun an event sometimes turns out to be, when it’s more spontaneous and when you’re a little less in control? When you haven’t necessarily planned out every single detail but let things happen more in their own pace? You feel more relaxed because you don’t have the same level of expectations, which makes the whole thing a bit more, well – fun. That’s one of the reasons why I’ve gradually cut down on the steps of my beauty routines. I feel more relaxed and comfortable, when I don’t build up my life with routines or products that imposes high maintenance in order for me to keep up with a “perfect” and youthful look. Simply in order to live a life with a higher level of acceptance toward myself and the changes I might go through. I’d rather let things happen as they do, so that the “party” (aka life) becomes a bit more fun and carefree. You know what I mean?

So let’s celebrate the worn out boots rather than wishing them replaced by a pair fresh from the box. They’ll eventually wear out too anyway.

Nu siger jeg jo på ingen måde, at jeg er ligeglad med hvordan jeg ser ud. Det kan jeg ikke påstå, for jeg elsker fx både makeup, hudpleje og mode. Det handler om, at lege lidt med kontrasterne og finde den rette balance. Jeg er kæmpe stor fan af et par slidte blå jeans og støvler, sat sammen med fx en pæn skjorte eller en t-shirt og en skarp blazer. Så jeg sørger for det meste for, at sætte noget slidt sammen med noget, der måske er lidt mere “pænt”, hvis det giver mening. Hvis der er gået hul på din yndlings t-shirt, hvorfor så ikke prøve at give den endnu flere huller så det ser ud som om det er meningen? Det ser jo så cool ud under en blazer eller læderjakke. Se bare denne t-shirt og iøvrigt styling fra Anine Bing. Spice det hele op med lidt glimtende smykker og hvad du nu ellers har af lækre accessories og så er den lige i skabet, ihvertfald hvis du spørger mig.

Denne måde at omfavne det uperfekte har ikke blot lært mig, at elske mit slidte tøj. Selvom det lyder lidt dramatisk har det lært mig, at acceptere at livet generelt ikke er perfekt og ikke behøver at være det. Jeg har fået mere selvtillid, og hviler generelt mere i mig selv og dén jeg er. Jeg tror jeg har brugt eksemplet før, men man kan sammenligne det lidt med spontane arrangementer sammenlignet med dem, som er over-arrangeret. Hvor tit synes man ikke, at det hele bliver lidt sjovere når man ikke nødvendigvis er i 100% kontrol over situationen, men i stedet lader impulserne bestemme lidt? Når man ikke har for mange forventningerne om hvordan det hele bør være så slapper man ofte mere af (nogle mennesker gør ihvertfald), man har det bedre og man har det generelt sjovere. Sådan har jeg det ihvertfald. Det er bl.a. én af grundene til jeg gradvist har skruet ned for mit forbrug af dullegrej. Jeg hviler mere i tilværelsen, når jeg ikke pålægger mig selv rutiner som kræver en hel masse “vedligehold” og steps for, at jeg kan opretholde en perfekt og ungdommelig facade. Jeg vil hellere arbejde på, at acceptere mig selv som jeg er, og lade ting ske som de nu engang sker. Bare så “festen” (aka livet) bliver lidt sjovere. Ikke?

Så lad os fejre de slidte støvler i stedet for, at ønske dem erstattet med et par sprit-nye. De bliver slidte på ét eller andet tidspunkt alligevel.

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The Comments

  • Angelina Meyer
    22. March 2019

    I love and agree with your thoughts on this, it could not be more true! People may not necessarily understand why I wear the same shoes with different outfits/same clothes in different ways but it’s authentic and me. I only hope more people take up this kind of mentality!

  • Krystal
    28. March 2019

    Yes to all of this! I think it’s important to embrace the items you own; a garment with a few imperfections tells a much more interesting story than one that is pristine!

    • signeh24
      > Krystal
      2. April 2019

      Couldn’t agree more! <3 x

  • Anon
    29. March 2019

    Many shoes now can’t be repaired, other than heel lifts (if that). Quality of garments has decreased. Shopping for quality items is impossible if you are over a certain size. It’s a throwaway world. So treasure those quality items if you own them. They’re like a hug from a dear friend.

    • signeh24
      > Anon
      2. April 2019

      Completely agree, it’s starts with ourselves choosing better quality items! x

  • Jeannie
    1. April 2019

    Yes! I get so excited extending the life of my clothes. The only things I struggle with are worn out shape in shirts (which I now know comes from lower quality items) and worn spots on calf hair shoes. If there is a way to repair that (besides sharpie) I would love to know!

  • Mir
    15. April 2019

    Hi Signe, what size of the Everlane shirt are you wearing here? Thanks!

    • signeh24
      > Mir
      18. April 2019

      This shirt is not from Everlane <3 It's a very old cotton shirt from weekday, so I've just linked an alternative 🙂 x

  • Margret
    15. April 2020

    Tak for inspirationen. Jeg har gode erfaringer med at komme en spsk natron i tromlen, sammen med vaskemidlet, når jeg vasker hvidt tøj. Og jeg bruger citron i stedet for deodorant. Jeg smører simpelthen en skive citron i armhulen. Min bedste deo ever!