No Sweat

I’m wearing a fancy Patagucci sweatshirt right now. It’s an incredible piece of clothing, weightless, warm and, of course, it has that little status-lit word on it, Patagonia. I wish I had five of them. I suspect it will be the replacement for my favorite sweatshirt that I have had to accept is probably not fit to wear out of the house. I bought my favorite sweatshirt five years ago, soon after I moved here.

Two years ago, I wore through one of the elbows, and I patched it with some cloth from some worn out jeans. Otherwise the sweatshirt looked OK and the patch was kind of cool in a “Can that woman sew at ALL?” way. Then, the area along the zipper started to fray, but I didn’t care about that. The cuffs began looking like they were going their separate ways, and I looked on Amazon for replacement cuffs, found them, and then remembered the only sewing machine I have is my grandma’s from the turn of the 19th to the 20th century. While it probably works, it doesn’t do stuff like zig-zag and serge stitching and putting on the new cuffs by hand? Uh, no… Then the other elbow started to go, then a random spot on the inner arm, and then the zipper pull started to want to sit at a weird angle that made it difficult to zip because the pull kind of froze in that contorted position.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t like it when favorite clothes wear out past the point of mending. I mean, they’re favorites, right? The front of the sweatshirt has the words “Stay True” embroidered onto it. I got the sweatshirt IN SPITE of that. “Stay true to WHAT?” I thought. When I got it, the sweatshirt was also a little snug, so I mostly wore it in summer. But over time, I got smaller, and “stay true” began to mean something. It began to be a kind of mantra. “Stay true to your stories. Stay true to your life. Stay true to your dogs. Stay true to your dream(s). Stay true to the trail, Stay True to this sweatshirt.” And while it was kitsch, it was also great. Dammit, I was Staying True.

I might figure out how to stuff the sweatshirt and make it into a pillow because, dammit, when you decide to Stay True you pretty much have to stick with that.

Meanwhile, though I can’t afford Patagucci I appreciate the care, engineering and design that go into the products. I appreciate that they make an exerted effort to use mostly fleece made from recycled plastic bottles, recycle down and use new down from geese that are raised humanely. They do much more than that, actually. AND I’ve always admired Yvon Chouinard. I get their catalog which is beautiful all by itself, and, last year, I bought a pullover down sweater on sale. OTHERWISE, all my Patagucci is second hand which, to me, is recycling clothing.

15 thoughts on “No Sweat

  1. Keep it. A sweat shirt from Kurt Cobain just fetched about 40,000 Francs at an auction. Who knows what will be worth, but unfortunately you will never be able to find out.

  2. Definitely, put it to some other use. I know how you feel with those special pieces of clothing that you don’t want to part with even when they’re beyond redemption. I had a lovely pair of purple striped jeans I used to wear flying when I was doing my licence and for years after. They looked great and were really comfortable to wear while climbing all over aeroplanes, but eventually they literally fell to bits, so being completely free of any sewing skills, I had to say goodbye. They weren’t any special brand, so there was no chance of finding another pair like them. So now they’re just a fond memory and a feature of some flying pictures from the days when I was free, single and clad in stripy purple jeans! 🙂

  3. Pop up mending shops are happening in our communities here. There was one of them this past weekend. Two ladies with sewing machines, small machine repair, someone to help you with your flagging plants…love this renewed energy into mending things! Don’t give up!

  4. I’ve been darning four pair of running socks for the past few years because I can’t find replacements that are as thin and comfortable. So many small holes in the toe area sewn shut! And then there are all of those running race t-shirts collected since 1980, stuffed in a large black garbage bag and hauled through several moves that I swear I’m going to have made into quilts someday. If our clothes define us, I guess that makes me cheap and a hoarder! I vote for turning that sweatshirt and its wonderful message of Stay True into a pillow, although maybe remove the zipper first for a better snuggling experience…

    • I like Solmate socks which are kind of expensive. They last a long time, but they wear out — only at the heels! I’m definitely darning them. I’m not so much cheap as, uh, not over-flush with cash? 😀

  5. Your Stay True Mantra is awesome. And favourites are amazing, clothes, pets, and mantras. Thanks for the story, it helped me Stay True today

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