Cynthia from Missouri

When the Car Hit Me – Recovery and Hopefulness in Ivey Abitz Bespoke

This is a real story by an Ivey Abitz client, Cynthia from Missouri.

This is the actual Camille Frock by Ivey Abitz that Cynthia was wearing when she was struck by a drunk driver. She has recovered from her injuries.
This is the actual Camille Frock Cynthia was wearing when she was struck by a drunk driver. She has recovered from her injuries.

2017 was, in many ways, a year that I was eager to see end, punctuated as it was in the middle – July 5 – by an accident that left me with a broken knee and torn ligaments. On that evening, I was hit by a drunk driver as I walked across the intersection of two very familiar streets in my hometown. The surreal occurrence set in motion a cascade of events, good and bad. As painful and disorienting as it was, I was lucky. I never hit my head; I never lost consciousness. I was also immediately helped by many kind strangers, who came to my aid: getting the license plate of the hit-and-run driver, calling 911, calling friends and my 14-year old son, holding my head, holding my hand and cheering me on.

Interestingly, earlier that very day I had also received four garments from Ivey Abitz, my first-ever order. I have been trying, for the past two years, to have far fewer items of clothing: to develop a “capsule” wardrobe, where the pieces are the best quality I can afford and are produced in a way that is ethical to both people and the environment. When I’d “discovered” Ivey Abitz, I felt pretty certain that these garments would meet all of my wardrobe aspirations. In fact, I had been so impressed and delighted by the beautiful pieces that arrived on July 5, that in the early afternoon, I had written an email to owner Cynthia:

“…I cannot imagine being more pleased. The craftsmanship, tailoring and design are exquisite… I immediately started trying things on, and have yet to take off the Camille Frock. It may sound odd to say it, but it may just change my life.”

Addy Frock in Lake Tufted Plaid Voile by Ivey Abitz
Addy Frock in Lake Tufted Plaid Voile by Ivey Abitz

Indeed, I was still wearing that Camille frock in Feather Vine Weave, when the car hit me that evening, a fact I was also compelled to convey to Cynthia, in an email just a few days later:

“…the very good news is that I am able to write to you to tell you this incredible story. I am thrilled to bits to be alive! The other good news is that, though the emergency medical team cut off my pants, I quickly undid the buttons and inner tie and convinced them to slide, not cut! my [Camille] frock off of me! Whew. Talk about wearing your garments doing everything and weaving your own story into them!”

And, I started to incorporate Ivey Abitz into my recovery plan:

“The not so good news is that I have a broken knee: lateral tibial plateau fracture with ligament damage, and will have to have two surgeries this summer. I will also likely have my left leg in a bulky brace for about 12 weeks! …I would love to order an Addy Frock or Baedeker Skirt to wear during this uncomfortable period.”

Finally, I added, “By the way, despite being hit by a Camry, flying over the top of a car and skidding across asphalt, I cannot find any damage to my lovely Camille Frock!”

Long weeks of recovery again brought frustrating challenges and welcome pleasures. Dismal, uncomfortable and inactive days were interspersed with loving and helpful friends and family members, whose value in my life came sharply into focus after such an unsettling event. And, my Addy Frock in Lake Tufted Plaid Voile, which Cynthia had so kindly and thoughtfully helped me select, arrived and was worn very happily throughout the summer. It made me feel a bit better whether at doctor appointments or just sitting in bed with my leg elevated.

Heraldry Duster Coat - one of Cynthia's "capsule" wardrobe pieces.
Heraldry Duster Coat – one of Cynthia’s “capsule” wardrobe pieces.

As the year ended, I completed physical therapy, and life was returning to a much more normal rhythm. I also added a few more Ivey Abitz pieces to my wardrobe for fall and winter. And indeed, I’m coming close to the capsule wardrobe I envisioned. I have a small but well-orchestrated collection of pieces that work beautifully together. And, of course, that Camille Frock in Feather Vine Weave is key player in the ensemble!

Limited Edition Holkham Hall Vest - one of Cynthia's "capsule" wardrobe pieces.
Limited Edition Holkham Hall Vest – one of Cynthia’s “capsule” wardrobe pieces.

Though I was certainly ready to close the books on one of my most challenging years to date, I am not without a profound appreciation for lessons I learned in 2017: that every moment is truly a precious gift, especially those moments spent with friends and family; that where possessions are concerned, quality is more important that quantity; and that it’s extremely gratifying to be able to incorporate your values into all aspects of your life – wardrobe included. I’m eager to find what 2018 has in store. I know that where Ivey Abitz is concerned, it will be beautiful.

Editor’s note: Thank you, Cynthia, for sharing your harrowing yet hopeful story. May we all endure life’s challenges with such grace and courage.