One of my most content moments as of yet was manually rewaxing my Barbour International last Thanksgiving. Here's a photo right after we'd finished:
I'd bought it new off the forum and had worn the crap out of it for almost two years. Jacket went with me over two continents, and something like 8 countries. Areas around the elbows, on the back, etc had almost been worn down to just the base layer of cotton by the time I wised up and began to want to properly "care" for it. So I bought a tin of Barbour wax off of Orvis and took the jacket to my parents' house over Thanksgiving break. One morning while the bunch were out doing shopping or something, my mom and I took 2.5 hours to lay this guy out on the table and just recoat the thing - boiling down the wax, brushing and spreading it across the surface. We were able to chat and catch up a bit, more difficult attending school out of state - she really enjoys DIY type things, and so she thought it was fascinating that I was investing time like this in a garment. She made cider while we watched it dry. It was a great, great memory - I can still remember how crisp and bright the air looked outside through the kitchen window.
I wear this guy every opportunity I can when the temperature drops below 60 or so. Intend on having him for many years and is one of the few pieces in my wardrobe that have achieved "unsellable" status. Just no way to part with this one.
Favorite yet pair of jeans is a nice, comfy pair of Pure Blue Japans.
These are about 1.5 years old now, but this photo is from earlier in their life. These guys have been through a lot since I purchased them - originally in a backlashy move against the trend of skinny jeans I picked up the fullest cut on BiG. I remember wearing them w/in the first two weeks, wanting to keep them pristine and the distinct thought of avoiding problems was running through my head as my infant daughter spit up all over me.
Well, there that went. But washed them and no big deal. I remember wearing them while standing on a beach in Montevideo watching a winter squall come in off the South Atlantic and just being mesmerized by the forces of nature. Took the LSAT in these guys. They've gotten past the hairy stage and are as soft as anything I've ever felt. Definite win.
These shortwings are a newer addition to my wardrobe - those who frequent the Alden thread will have heard this story
Bought them last december off of Ebay for a great deal. When I got them, they were almost caked with black polish and residue. They'd been well worn, maybe a little abused. But as my first pair of Aldens I was intent on getting wear and some fantastic looks out of them, having been sucked into the Alden thread and starry-eyed over some of the beautiful shell in there. Starting from zero-knowledge, sought out products, methods, etc. of cleaning them up and restoring them to former glory. I'd brush these things for almost 20 minutes at a time early on. Picked up renovateur and saphir wax paste initially, but then consulted with Mac about how to just clean them up naturally without having to strip them, using something like Renomat. May Saturdays of F/W semester involved late nights after work and water, rubbing, brushing, buffing over and over in almost a mindless sort of routine, usually with some football game streaming over my computer from La Liga or Serie A. They've been getting better and better as I've worn them fairly regularly and continued cleaned them up, and now some of the original #8 color is starting to shine back through. Love them - pair them with almost anything I own. There's a distinct tinge of pleasure as I lace them up knowing how much effort and time I've put into them to bring them back. I've since learned that Alden doesn't currently produce a six-eyelet shortwing balmoral, and so these must be even older than I'd initially imagined. Nice bit of character there that I never even would have noticed but for the forum's help.
I think that's really the key - not just time, but maybe even making a concerted effort on caring for something. All of these pieces that I love I've invested time in maintaining, time that other articles of clothing don't get. Building that emotional attachment, being able to look back and chart where you've been with a given item (ala that denim post from Synthese) is what really makes an article a part of who you are, engrained in your personal history. Love it.
Thanks for this thread, Hendrix. Great stuff here.