Lauren Lapkus Can't Stop Wearing a Sweater Jacket She Bought in 2004

Samantha Sutton

Perhaps you've spent some time over the past few weeks cleaning out your closet, deciding which pieces to hold onto and which ones to purge. But, before you make any rash decisions, you might want to take a note from Lauren Lapkus, star of the Netflix hit, The Wrong Missy, a slapstick rom-com that revolves around mistaken identity. The actress has been holding onto one specific jacket for 16 years, and while she's debated passing it on at times, she's since reconsidered. The Urban Outfitters piece is still an essential part of her wardrobe, and Lapkus simply can't part with it — which is why she was the perfect person to kick off our new InStyle series, The Oldest Thing I Own.

At a time when we're being more thoughtful about our purchases, it's nice to appreciate the stuff we already have: the classic items that were well worth the investment, and have gotten us through decades of different trends.

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Ahead, Lapkus tells us why, exactly, this jacket holds a special place in her heart, and shares a few stories surrounding the purchase. Plus, should you be looking for something funny to watch this weekend, she's also given us a few great reasons why The Wrong Missy is the perfect film to watch right now.

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What is the oldest fashion item you own and how long you have had it?

It’s a camel-colored tweed jacket with knit sleeves by Lux that I bought at Urban Outfitters at the start of my freshman year of college in 2004.

Do you remember buying it? Is there a story behind the purchase? 

I remember it very well! I had just started college at DePaul in Chicago, but would often hang out with my friend Sam in our hometown of Evanston, just 30 minutes from where I was living in the dorms in Lincoln Park. We would usually go shopping and see a movie. We went to Urban Outfitters and I had to have the jacket. It was just perfect! I believe it was $98. I did not have that kind of money myself, but I called my mom and asked if I could buy it with her credit card. She didn’t want me to buy it, but I convinced her. I sound like such a brat in this story, and there’s really nothing I can do to change that! Sorry!

Is there a reason you still have it?

I LOVE IT! It always looks good, I always get compliments on it, it’s comfortable, it is adaptable because the collar can be high or low, it’s cozy, and it’s very 'me.'

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How often do you wear it?

I have worn it countless times over the last 16 years. When I lived in Chicago and New York, I wore it way more often because it is the perfect fall jacket. I love to layer! That is one thing I really miss about living in a city with distinct seasons. Los Angeles is great, but this jacket only gets to shine for a few weeks out here.

Have you ever tried to give it away or get rid of it? 

My mom has suggested upgrading to a new version, but I haven’t found a piece that gives me the same amount of joy. My BFF, Natalie, convinced me to keep it in a weaker moment when I almost tossed it into a Goodwill bag. I’m so glad I still have it. The pockets developed major holes and I tried to get them fixed, but they said it would be easier to just cut them out completely. I don’t know why I listened to the tailor who said that — probably because I don’t know a thing about sewing. So, now it has pockets with no lining and my hands just go into nothing. And, I still love it!

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Do people comment on it when you wear it? What do they say?

YES! This jacket always gets compliments. People often say, "I like your sweater," and I don’t correct them that it is a jacket because I am a saint.

Do you have any particular memories tied to this item?

This jacket has seen some things. I wore it on dates with my high-school-into-college boyfriend; I wore it to my first 'adult' parties; I wore it while biking through the streets of Chicago on a rickety vintage Schwinn that always had flat tires; I wore it when I moved to Bushwick, Brooklyn after college, and learned how to live in a new city without the comfort of my parents being an El train ride away; I wore it when I moved to Los Angeles and started really trying to make it as an actor. I have worn it in Paris, shoving foreign currency into the weak silk pockets. I wore it on my first date with my husband, Mike [Castle], where he encouraged me to just go for it and shove my hamburger into my mouth without trying to look “cool."

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Do you find it’s suddenly back on trend now, with how fashion comes back around?

It has somehow never been out of style as far as I’m concerned. It always works. I’ve worn it every year for 16 years and it has never felt dated.

Why is The Wrong Missy good to watch during this time?

I am constantly looking for distractions during this time, for the moments when I need a break from the news. The Wrong Missy will make you laugh for a bit and relieve some of the quarantine tension. FYI, it’s decidedly not for kids, so if you are reading this and wanna watch, make sure your kids are 100% asleep, grab a glass of wine or whatever makes you happy, put on sweats, and watch this fun movie!

Welcome to The Oldest Thing I Own, where our favorite celebrities tell us all about the one item in their closet that they can’t seem to part with.

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