A Vested Interest

A Vested Interest

Greater Than RubiesGreater Than RubiesGreater Than RubiesGreater Than Rubies

I’m pretty sure my very first vest was made of cow print fabric, and I think I had a tee with a cow head sewn on that went with it. Y’all know I used to be in the “I can only wear this piece with that one” camp, so that’s the only way I ever wore it. :)

My dad was a dairy veterinarian for years before he retired, and always said our house was “built by cows.” They were definitely our thing. We had cow clothing (even cow costumes- Dad would go as the grown up vet, I was the little vet, and Mom and Kyle were a mama and baby cow). We had cow games, decor, and even boarded cows for some of dad’s clients…plus everyone gifted us cow stuff for every occasion imaginable. (I think Troy and I even got a few cow items as wedding presents!)

While the cow tradition has not lived on at la casa de Skidmore, the life lessons they were used to teach me have. Like when I wanted something new, Dad would tell me how many cows he’d had to stick his hand in to cover the cost. Gross? Absolutely, but it totally taught me the value of hard work and wise spending!

I definitely haven’t always gotten this right, but thinking about what I’m trading to add something to my closet (or house or whatever) always puts things in perspective.

Recently, I heard someone say they don’t want to buy just to buy or because it’s “just what you do” because it adds clutter to your life and takes resources away from other places and people they could go to. I loved that! (And if I’m honest, simultaneously hated it just a little. But in a oo-that-hurts-my-toes-but-I-want-to-make-it-happen sort of way.)

This year, I’m not doing a specific shopping challenge, like in years past, but every month I’ll show 10 ways to remix a specific item. We’ll be shopping our closets so well we’ll make Tim Gunn’s new catchphrase, “Girl, you made that work!”

Today’s post is a dead giveaway for January’s remix star (I invested a lot of thought into it!), but as I’m planning the rest of the month’s items, I want to hear from you! Leave a comment on this post with what item(s) you want to make the ’10 ways to wear…’ cut!

PS The GTR e-mail list will dig deeper into how to make the item of the month remix til it can’t remix no mo! Up, down, running around town, plus specific strategies and tips to make the most of it with your shape, style, and life. You’ll get other fun goodies and extras, too! If you’re not on the list, get your cute self on over here and sign up!

About the Author


  • Selah @ A Bibliophile's Style January 20, 2015 at 8:49 PM

    Oh, this made me laugh so hard I snorted! I bet knowing how many cows your dad had to examine to pay for stuff really made you think about purchases. Your dad is awesome!

    • Caitlin Author January 21, 2015 at 7:00 AM

      :D He is!

  • Amy G January 21, 2015 at 8:21 AM

    I love all the backstory here! I actually grew up on a small farm myself. I can totally picture what you’re talking about.
    I did not have a cow vest growing up (that I remember, anyway), but I did have a couple of memorable patchwork vests that my mom made. Actually, my sister and I usually had matching ones. I remember one with lots of floral and rosy pinks, and one with all Christmas print fabric. We didn’t have matching shirts with them, but usually vests went with turtlenecks. Classy.
    Sometimes I get some perspective on worth by comparing the cost of something to my hourly wage. Is this item that I’m looking at worth three hours of work? It’s an interesting way to look at things sometimes. It can also be a bit of a downer though, haha.

    • Caitlin Author January 23, 2015 at 10:41 AM

      How funny! Super classy. :)

      That’s a great way to get perspective, but you’re right! It can be a little depressing to think about how many hours you worked for something. But it definitely helps you appreciate what you get! :)

  • Nora Minassian/Jacket Society January 21, 2015 at 5:05 PM

    This is such a cute look and I love the fur vest and I am sure there is a million other ways you can weat this and share with us. Its a great piece because it is so versatile!

    • Caitlin Author January 23, 2015 at 10:41 AM

      Thank you, Nora! Yes- it’s super versatile! I’ve got 4 more ways headed to the blog this week!

Leave a Reply