I bought a stretchy black pencil skirt from J. Crew back in 1997 or so and wore it to every graduation, fancy family dinner, and job interview for about a decade. The elastic waistband finally gave out and I've been keeping my eye out for a good replacement ever since.
I was late getting on the Franzen bandwagon. I just read The Corrections (and was duly swept away) after reading this fantastic short story of his in The New Yorker. Turns out the short story is an excerpt from his new book, Freedom.