Moths invaded my keep/return pile!

So yes, that happened. I think it's ok though. No damage. But I should decide on this vest!

Every season for the past two years, my wish list has had VEST!! at the top, but I never find the right one. Long but not too long, tailored but casual, wool but not heavy. This is by Alexander Wang via Nordstrom Rack and it's tailored beautifully from lightweight, unlined woven wool. (Almost the same texture as the lightlaine fabric from Ann Demeulemeester, a hint gauzier than suiting.)


  • Expensive ($250) so it would have to become a central part of my look. 
  • The racerback cut is actually a little tight on my back (not too small, just not the best cut for me).
  • I don't love how the a-line cut emphasizes my new wider hips (I just haven't gotten used to that silhouette on myself yet). 

But overall it's so close. What do you think? Will I wear this a few times a month?

Ok, but here is the moth saga: I brought the vest home a few days ago and hung it neatly on the back of my bedroom door, my cat-hair-free holding zone for purchases I might return. Then I walked in yesterday and saw a moth flutter off the vest, and little lines of tiny, tiny spheres (eggs?) on the vest and on an Everlane silk shirt I also might return. F#*$! So I jumped into action.

  1. Used a clothes brush to brush off the eggs. Checked every square inch. Then folded it neatly, put it in a giant ziploc, and put it in the freezer just in case.
  2. Assessed my wardrobe. Damn but I own a lot of wool. Photo #4 is all my wool wovens. I am carefully brushing & checking each one and bagging them all while I sort this out.
  3. Bagged all my wool sweaters and tops (photo #5) and put them all in the freezer (#6) to kill any larvae. Luckily we got a new fridge just last week so the only things in the freezer were one bag of frozen edamame and a bottle of vodka (for making pie crust...)!

Did I mention I own a lot of wool? Oy. I keep finding more. Scarves, gloves... my Pendleton blanket... so far, the only serious damage was to this old wool scarf at the bottom of my scarf bin (photo #7). I never wear it (it is not black!), so I don't know if this damage was recent or ancient. I did find one hole in my interview blazer a few weeks ago... but so far the damage is mercifully light.

I ordered pheromone traps (one day Amazon delivery, so I already have them!). They'll catch the adults, and tonight I'll do a thorough vacuuming and clean inside my drawers. I decided not to worry about all my silk - I hope I don't regret that!

But what a tedious way to spend a whole Sunday...

And here's a stray WIW outfit from last week (photo #8): Uniqlo IDLF silk shirt, thrifted J Brand boyfriend jeans that I love SO much more now that I chopped and cuffed them, and Steve Madden block heel sandals that I never wear but are actually perfect so maybe I'll hold onto them and work them into the usual rotation.

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • minimalist replied 6 years ago

    Oh, dear. We're battling this as well. I'm so sorry you're going through this; but thank you for the detailed steps. I never before thought to look up what the eggs look like. (You'd think I'd have been on that, given my familiarity with every stage of flea development.)

    Vest a little tight and not feeling like the best cut for you: I'm returning one about which I have the same complaints. Different style and so on. But lately, I'm getting even pickier about comfort. Only you know how much the slight imperfections will impact how often you'll reach for this vest.

    Moths, though. Sigh.

  • Joy replied 6 years ago

    Yikes! A moth attack! It sounds like you are on top of it. I like that vest on you but only you can assess how it feels. Would you reach for it often? Love your last outfit.

  • Emily K replied 6 years ago

    Vodka piecrust is the best, right?!  But, sorry about the moths.  It is super lucky that you were so sharp-eyed and spied that first flutter!

  • unfrumped replied 6 years ago

    Boo on moths!
    I like the vest! I do not see a hip problem- the lines are very clean, looks good.
    But, I've sometimes talked myself into something that was a smidge tight- for me, sometimes sleeves or armholes look fine but are annoyingly tight and then I put off wearing it. I'd want to wear this vest over a light knit top or sweater in cooler weather- will that be too snug? You want to ENJOY wearing it, not feel obliged.

  • Ledonna N. replied 6 years ago

    Hmmmm to the moths looks like you got it covered.

    The vest dilemma. So you think you might have what you want custom made?

    Certain things i like having made from scratch.

  • Greyscale replied 6 years ago

    Ledonna, that's an idea... I'd thought of doing something myself but, after looking at the tailoring on this one, I realized I'd never live up to it. But someone else could. I've kept an eye out for patterns that match what I want.

    I also just noticed a lot of nice consignment vests on The Real Real so I suppose I could try one of those instead. But I do like this one a lot. Hmm.

  • RobinF replied 6 years ago

    I like the vest and don't see any hip emphasis but of course it has to be what you like. I get frustrated because often I don't know how much I like something (or don't) until after I have worn it a few times and then of course it's too late to return.

  • replied 6 years ago

    Been battling a clothes moth infestation for about 7 years now. All it takes is one set of stragglers to keep the issue going, one moth can lay many eggs and they can lie dormant for up to 2 years before developing into the larvae that eat your clothes. You are handling it exactly as I keep doing, I hope it all sorts out much more quickly for you than it has me.

    Btw, this also has me curious how often people donate or return clothing that has been exposed, thereby creating a moth avalanche for businesses and others who buy the items. Makes me want to immediately freeze any wool. And speaking of that, 3 jcrew sweaters I bought all made of the same wool and the exact same style were all eaten, making me question if they came to me infested!

  • replied 6 years ago

    The vest looks fantastic on you. It gives you an elogated shape, and the overall effect is straight, not a-line. You can wear it with everything. It's that third piece that makes an outfit look more like an outfit.
    Well, now I need one!

    I'm sorry to hear about the moths and how you spent a Sunday getting rid of them. I would be very grumpy about that! Great to know that there are solutions though.

  • Angie replied 6 years ago

    Oh no. Moth attack. GOOD JOB. I'm impressed with your proactive behaviour. 

    I like the '90s gilet. KEEP.

    Loving those jeans and booties on you in #8. 

  • Elle replied 6 years ago

    I think the vest looks great on you and I like the A-line shape on you.  So unless the fit really bothers you, I'd keep.   The booties  in #8 definitely deserve more wear.

    So sorry about the moths.  They are maddening.

    Absolutely, completely off topic, I love the gray of your walls.  Do you happen to know the paint color?  I want to paint my new living room (was my son's bedroom before he moved out).

  • Julie replied 6 years ago

    I can vouch for those pheromone moth traps, very effective.

  • Greyscale replied 6 years ago

    Elle, I don't know the paint. It's a rental and the wall color was what caught my attention in the Craigslist ad. It's grey in some light and purple in other. The purple aspect was probably very subtle on the paint chip but less subtle on the wall. There's a chance the paint cans are kicking around in the laundry room - I'll take a look.

  • Greyscale replied 6 years ago

    Jlpp, I wonder that too. Thrift store clothing is a notorious source of moths but I like to think it's usually an accident, not people donating things with known problems. I suspect that's where mine came from since so much of my clothing came from consignment.

    Returns of new things to stores... that hadn't occurred to me until this incident. But I guess it must happen sometimes. I would feel awful if I infest them but I'm very confident that the vest will be moth-free when and if I return it. Still feel some qualms about it...

    Incidentally running everything through the dryer is a more surefire way to kill the eggs than freezing. Things shouldn't shrink if they're already dry but I can't quite bring myself to put my sweaters in the dryer. I'll try it on a few less-beloved things first maybe.

  • ClaraT replied 6 years ago

    I like the vest a lot with bare arms in the pics. Since you live in a can-be-cool-all-year climate, I'd make sure you like with with a long sleeve shirt under it (probably also a good look) and also see how well it layers under the coats you favor. You know, just to make sure it will get worn in real life! 

    Boo moths.

  • Greyscale replied 6 years ago

    Clara, that's a really smart point about the layering. I like the look most with sleeveless layers, but I should try other options. A vest-over-tee look reminds me too much of my own style in the early 90s -- nothing wrong with it except personal associations -- so it might take some getting used to.

    But a warmer layer for over it, that's something I didn't think of at all. And jackets / coats are a constant struggle for me. I need something loose and cropped to go with a lot of my outfits and I just don't have anything that works for our spring/summer temperatures. A boxy moto jacket would actually work with this vest, but I'm not sure what else (and I don't own one... and the budget to buy one would be depleted if I keep the vest!)

  • Glory replied 6 years ago

    So sorry to read about the moth issue! Horrid!
    I absolutely vote keep to the best - I think it looks spectacular on you.

  • jill58 replied 6 years ago

    I like the vest and can totally commiserate on the moth problem. I'm a fan of these.

  • Cee replied 6 years ago

    You need to send in Warrant Officer Ripley to deal with those varmints ! 

  • krishnidoux replied 6 years ago

    Keep the vest! (not the moths)

  • Style Fan replied 6 years ago

    Love your look in #8.  Boo to the moths.  I have heard that consignment clothing can be moth carriers.  I have not heard that about new clothing.  You seem to be on the moth problem.
    The vest looks great.  Very in keeping with your style.

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