Oh my GOODNESS.
That was my first reaction when I saw what was there, but those weren't my exact words I said to myself....heehee. I do try to keep the blog clean, y'know.
I've been doing vintage this and that for almost 16 years, and I've NEVER seen this much clothing in one place. At least, not one single person's. Emma, gods love her, saved it ALL. Every dress, every hat, every girdle, every slip.
I felt, after awhile, like I was raiding Joan Holloway's (Mad Men) closet. I giggled with glee everytime I thought of that. I almost expected her to come flying through the door to ask me just what I thought I was doing!
Four boxes of nothing but white blouses from the 50s. One box of nothing but white pedal pushers and high-waisted shorts of the era. Two boxes of nothing but sky-blue wool, orlon and cashmere sweaters. The two boxes of white sweaters. Red sweaters. Colored sweaters. The one box of just navy blue rayon 40s 50s suits. Pencil skirts in twill and wool, never worn. A stack of countless pillowcases with crinolines and slips. The boxes of black 50s bras and girdles. Same with white. RED circular stitched bras and matching garter belts.
Dresses. Cocktail dresses. Matching jackets. Lace dresses. Chiffon, Silk twill. Summertime halter dresses. Spring pastel linen dresses with matched sweaters, in multiple colors if she liked the style. Black rayon dresses. Box after box of dresses, folded neatly 40 years ago and waiting patiently for me to come, unfold them and bring them back to life. I think she wore things a couple times and then bought more because the condition of it all is AMAZING. Those old lace-over-taffeta dresses that are almost always rotted out under the arms? Nope. Near mint. The only thing about alot of them is that Emma had a lot of weight fluctuation in her life and let the darts out of MANY of her things. (I cannot tell you how many dresses I have already re-darted. That has been an interesting experience!)
And then the boxes of purses. She loved reptile, so there were tons of those. The 40s purses were pretty cool-Corde' ones with lucite pulls were plentiful. Many of them were dried out, unfortunately, having been stored in the garage for 40 years. Every single purse was full of wadded-up hankies and gloves. One real treasure-a GORGEOUS mint condition Llewellyn amber Lucite beehive purse. I drooled over that...... And her SHOES...long, narrow spiked heels in 8, 9, 10. 40s platform shoes in suede. Small, of course!
Hats! Hats! Hats! More old millinery flowers than we will use in a lifetime! And the good ones, too-40s and 50s velvets, European-made. Floral hats, picture hats, toques, juliet caps, bonnets.
I finally ran out of time, and had to stop. I was there for two days, and we hopefully will be going back in the spring when the son comes back from Montana, as there are still boxes in the garage and the dresser drawers to go through. You know those wardrobe boxes from U-Haul, the tall ones? Well, there are four of them in the master closet full of nothing but slips, girdles, gloves, etc. I ran out of time!!!
Do you know why it is hard to find vintage? Because Emma was hoarding it lo these many years. :-)
So, Heidi and I are washing, steaming, mending, taking to the dry cleaner this treasure trove of goodies. I have a good number of dresses at the shop and will have a major influx the end of next week. The bestest, most fabulous part? NOT tiny stuff. Most of the dresses range between a 26 to 36 inch wasit, with the majority being in the 30-34" range. She also had a bust that probably could stop traffic, so there you go. Real vintage for real size girls......it does NOT GET ANY BETTER than this!
We feel very honored to have been lucky enough to make Emma's lovely wardrobe available to the next generation of ladies. Come and see the "new girls" at the shop!