Saturday, October 26, 2013

History Lesson

Just got back from rummaging cleaning house at Grandpa’s again. Well, after that we went to drop off a lot of the clothing at the Goodwill kiosk, and then S-mart and Winco to get groceries for Auntie Lea and him and me, but the highlight of the day was rummaging and scavenging from the upstairs bedrooms.
It sounds bad, but I did not want to donate the stuff to Goodwill or Salvation Army or anywhere of the sort. Before I sound like a callous sociopath, let me explain. I wanted to save it all. Each piece there had so much history and intrigue, and the fact that it belonged to my great-aunt and great-uncle and my grandpa and maybe even their parents is simply amazing. Each piece is a testament to good construction and strong materials and unique detailing and proper storage (cedar blocks for the win) and should be exhibited as such. People at thrift stores will not be buying this stuff for the pieces’ history, is all I’m saying. They will buy for necessity or for Halloween costumes or for themed parties and will not care about the craftsmanship or the details like the button cowl or handsewn labels of well-known designers who faded long ago. In fact, they may buy in spite of the era-specific detailing. They may even cut out the shoulder pads. I couldn’t help but want to save and caress and wear and appreciate each piece. Each distinctive, somewhat crazy handknit sweater. Each tailored 100% wool Pendleton suit. Each slightly-too-big Harris Tweed blazer.
And so, I saved all that I could. Don’t get me wrong—I couldn’t save it all. Goodwill got at least four garbage bags worth (to my chagrin). But I saved pieces I figured I would actually wear and ones I considered too precious to part with. Read: all of the sweaters I could get my hands on, plus a lot of the jackets and blazers. Even a few men’s wool houndstooth ones. And a navy suit of my great-aunt’s that is technically too big but the pants are elastic so whatever.

Of course, I wasn’t allowed to bring all that to my dorm room. For now, I only have a multicolored windowpane plaid cardigan (Alfani, size large, made in Italy, wearing it tomorrow with a BDG chambray and highwaisted Current/Elliott skinnies); a lightweight geometric pullover in eggplant, maroon, forest green, butterscotch and other colors (fabulous, Club Room, size small, 100% Merino, made in Italy--will wear Monday); a houndstooth men’s blazer (rescued last minute from the Goodwill bag); a charcoal gray wool men’s Member’s Only jacket (couldn’t resist, knowing the past popularity of the brand); and a Club Room burgundy wool bomber (also men’s, but cute oversized and with a superwarm flannel plaid lining). The rest is stored in one of those big plastic storage tubs, awaiting my mother’s pickup for dry cleaning and then subsequent wearing by me!

My Member's Only jacket looks exactly like this one.

And my burgundy bomber looks like this, except more burgundy, of course. ;)

Labels inside many of the tweed blazers, which are awaiting TLC in the tub. (Source)

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