Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Oldest Thing in Your Closet

Posted February 4, 2010

What is the oldest thing in your closet?  What item is off-limits when it comes to spring cleaning every year?   How long have you had it? Why do you still have it?  Could you ever let it go?

Elizabeth Gardner still clings to a medieval gown her mother made as a 10th grade Halloween costume. Lizzy still wears it just about every Halloween.

For Kelcey Carlson it was her first expensive dress – a 1996 polka dot beauty. Kelcey also has a strong sentimental attachment to a 1995 pair of black J. Crew dress pants purchased for her by a grandmother.

Brian Shrader recently moved to a new house and purged his closets. Brian put it this way: “I threw away everything that I hadn’t worn in the past year. It was uncomfortable, being as sentimental as I am, but two months later, I haven’t even thought about that old stuff. I also threw away a bunch of T-shirts. I only wear T-shirts on the weekend, so I need two a week. And I’m too old to wear T-shirts that say things. You know what I mean?”

For me it’s a ninth grade bright red NC State sweatshirt. I was gladiator on the basketball court whenever I wore it. After graduating from UNC more and more blue apparel filled my closet. I still have several items from the 1982 NCAA National Championship basketball game UNC won in New Orleans thanks to a clutch shot by Michael Jordan.

What about you?  What’s the oldest piece of clothing that still clings to your closet?  I'll give one of my books to the person with the most interesting answer.


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  • tex2marb Feb 6, 2010

    my 55 yr old wedding gown.

  • momotwins Feb 6, 2010

    I have some old sweaters from my time in France 17 years ago. They no longer fit because of mommy body, but I hold on to them because they are homemade by the lady I stayed with while I was there. I just got rid of a couple of other sweaters too small as well that I had worn since freshman year in high school more than 25 years ago.

  • jdem Feb 5, 2010

    Probably not the oldest, but even my children think the most interesting thing I have is a fringed leather coat that I was convinced to splatter/tie-dye when I was in college - during my "hippie" days. It did make it to the original Woodstock festival so it does have some history. Close to it in my mind are my English sea captain's coat (ankle-length, heavy wool so it is not of much use around here) and my London bobby's cape.

  • asdazy Feb 5, 2010

    The oldest thing in my closet is a size 6X white Sunday dress that I was baptized in.

  • piratepeople2 Feb 4, 2010

    probably the dress my daughter wore as a flower girl in my sister's wedding 25 years age??

  • smurph92703 Feb 4, 2010

    The oldest thing in my closet is my 1972-1975 Smithfield Selma Spartan high Scool Marching band flag girl /banner girl uniform under the direction of (Sugar Bear) John "Doc" Windley! It's Spartan colors of blue & gold, with fringe in a "V" down the front! I could NEVER part with it! We wore this during ALL the footballs games and halftime shows and marching in parades. It even made it to Disney World in 1974 when the band was invited to perform in the parade! Wow, what great memories it brings back!! :-)

  • rucontento2 Feb 4, 2010

    The oldest thing in my closet is a pair of plaid, seersucker, elephant bells (bell bottom pants with a very wide leg!) that I bought at the underground in Cameron Village in the early 70's. The waist is really small now - by about 8 inches. But the fabric has colors that I like... I would like to part with them - but I keep thinking that one day I could wear them to Walmart and someone would snap my picture...

  • enjoytheride2011 Feb 4, 2010

    I have a red sweater I loved to wear in 1st grade.

    I have a money halloween costume that was made by my aunt 17 years ago.

    I also have a 1982 UNC Championship sweatshirt from my mom.

  • wdwbmw Feb 4, 2010

    My husband and I married quickly in 1963 during the Vietnam era when he learned that his draft notice would go in the mail on the following Monday morning. The white wool suit that I wore (and purchased on my wedding day) is the oldest thing in my closet. Wouldn't part with it for the world because we're still happily married 46 years later.

  • dontaskme Feb 4, 2010

    My "blue fuzzy" given to me over 45 years ago. My husband says, when the "blue fuzzy" comes out, that means winter's here.
    (my mother died in 2004 at 95 - the Fuzzy lives on!)




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Bill Leslie