The Things We Wear: Four Fashion Writers on Their Favorite Pieces

Photo courtesy of Jocelyn Jacobson, The Fox and Fern.

We asked fashion bloggers: what’s your favorite accessory or piece of clothing? Here, four writers share stories on the items they can’t live without, from a pair of well-designed tortoiseshell glasses to a precious Rolex watch.


Benjamin Wild, benjaminwild.co

My favorite dress accessory is a pair of tortoiseshell Anne et Valentin Factory One spectacles. They are at once subtle and striking, round and angular. Their finish is polished and matte, acetate and metal. The round cobalt blue disks set into each of the earpieces are a quirky touch and have turned a few heads over the past three years.

Benjamin Wild is an author and lecturer on the history and sociology of fashion.

Photo courtesy of Benjamin Wild.
Photo courtesy of Benjamin Wild.

It never ceases to delight me how a different pair of spectacles can change my appearance and my mood, which is why I like to have a choice. I store my frames in a wooden wall-mounted case that was made for me by my father. The case was originally designed to display a collection of small replica cars, but as these have long since been destroyed or lost, it has been repurposed. The case does a fine job and I go to it each morning to choose the day’s eyewear.

I wear the Anne et Valentin frames if I’m seeking to channel a “creative” look, but I feel equally comfortable wearing them for more formal occasions, during the day, or in the evening. When I wear my glasses, I’m reminded of my inability to see properly — one eye long-sighted, the other short-sighted. I am also color blind, although none of my spectacles provide a solution for this. Cutting across my face, the frames proclaim my inability to see well, and as an academic I’m conscious of being the stereotypical bibliophilic geek. That is why I invest thought — and it must be said, money — into choosing my spectacles. I suppose I’m turning a weakness — albeit not so bad a weakness in the grand scale of things — into something positive. As somebody who teaches, talks, and writes about the meaning of clothing, my frames make me very aware of the ability of inanimate objects to act as psychological salves. Perhaps I’m deceiving myself by owning multiple frames, but I like to think that I appreciate how each pair helps me to see and to be seen — my Anne et Valentin spectacles especially.

As somebody who teaches, talks, and writes about the meaning of clothing, my frames make me very aware of the ability of inanimate objects to act as psychological salves.

Heather Cocks, Go Fug Yourself

My favorite accessory is my dad’s Rolex, which I believe was a graduation gift to him from his parents, and is now an extremely precious memento of someone I’ll never see again. It was made in the late 1950s, so it’s expensive as hell to fix — like, say, when one of your children curiously picks it up and then drops it on your hardwood floor and you let out a strangled yelp. That watch is my father, to me, as sure as the smell of Chanel No. 5 is my mother.

Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan (below) are co-founders of Go Fug Yourself, a celebrity fashion site, as well as co-authors of three novels. Read more about their projects.

If I close my eyes, I can see it on his wrist: as I sat on his lap and helped (“helped”) him open his birthday presents; at the pub on Saturdays, resting on the bar while he waited to order our gang a round (or slipped me a pound coin for the slot machines); anytime we got dressed up for a garlic pig-out family dinner; as we stood at the craps table in Vegas; at my wedding; as he held my kids.

Dad died five years ago, and once the dust settled, I quietly asked my mother if she’d mind if I wore his watch. Its face is yellowed with age, and the band is worn. But my memories of him never will be; I have only to put it on my wrist and I’m home.

That watch is my father, to me, as sure as the smell of Chanel No. 5 is my mother.

Jessica Morgan, Go Fug Yourself

pexels-photo-38164I have a lot of clothes — too many clothes, for sure. It’s difficult to pick just one. But if I had to choose an item that would feel irreplaceable if my wardrobe went up in a fire (god forbid), it would be my denim jacket. It’s not by a fancy label — in fact, it’s a random, no-name brand that doesn’t exist anymore. I think it cost me $65 when I bought it 20 years ago. Because, yes, I have had the same jean jacket for 20 years. And that is because once you find the perfect jean jacket (one that hits you at the exact right spot, isn’t too boxy, and doesn’t have a weird wash), you hang onto it like grim, grim death, knowing that you will never be able to find its like again.

Mine is getting holes in the elbows. It has to be gently washed by hand. It requires cosseting and protecting, because it is on its last legs, and I know I’ll never love another jean jacket like I love this one. It has been through so much with me, from terrible first dates to great ones. It’s been tossed over cocktail dresses at the end of weddings, and over day dresses to attend christenings. It came with me on trips to promote all three of our novels, on family vacations, to jury duty. It’s been barfed on by babies who are now in first grade, and it witnessed the turn of the millennium. This jean jacket has been through a lot with me, and when the time finally comes to replace it, I will probably cry.

Jocelyn Jacobson, The Fox and Fern

Photo courtesy of Jocelyn Jacobson.
Photo courtesy of Jocelyn Jacobson.

My favorite accessory is my outback hat. I wear it with everything from a lace dress, to a band shirt with ripped jeans. The reason why I love this hat — and hats in general — is because of the way they instantly add so much character to any look. Hats stand out in a way that most other accessories can’t.

Jocelyn Jacobson is a Calgary-based blogger with a laid-back, bohemian style.

My advice to anyone who wants to wear a hat but doesn’t think they can pull off the look is to go to a hat store and try on every kind of hat possible. You’ll never know if you don’t try them on. I found my favorite hat at a kiosk in the Calgary airport on my way back from Holland. I was unsure about it at first because the hats they were selling were for men. Looking back, I think about how silly it was for me to worry about that. It doesn’t matter who the hat was intended for: if you like something and it fits you that’s all that matters!


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September 6, 2016Fashion, Lifestyle, Personal Musings, Storytelling