I always liked Easter. My Mom would make each of us new dresses, buy new shoes and sometimes outfits for spring and summer.
Swiss polka dotted sun dresses, t-strap shirts with matching shorts, sandles. It made it exciting, special and because it was spring better somehow than Christmas. When I had my first daughter I would make as much of her clothes as I could. I would buy fabric in the fall and spring and make at least five little outfits, till she decided she liked store bought better around the age of ten, not being a little kid anymore. I have tried to make my own clothes most of my life, but the last few years the fabric
has gotten cheaply made and expensive, the pattern styles not to my liking. When I was a teenager I loved "vintage" clothing. Vintage then was anything from 1900 to 1950. Beaded sweaters, jackets with padded shoulders, rayon blouses (which was exotic to me as everything in the 70's was polyester.) I had no problem scrounging around junk stores for a bit of old victorian underwear or slip, scarves, gloves.
It was my style to have a bit of the past over levis worn out and faded naturally over time. Most of my life I have worn second hand. Goodwill, salvation army are treasure troves. I also began to realize that second hand was/is environmentally sound. The making of clothing, the dyes and chemicals that go into them? If I could afford organic I would, but second hand the clothing is clear of formaldihyde. If they were going to fade or fall apart they would have already.
I fantasize about Clinton and Stacy from What Not To Wear showing up to peruse my closet and finding Goodwill tags. I dare those folks to find fashion at Goodwill. I do all the time. The photo is of five items I found just today. Neon, I am told is the color for the season and
I found some, plus silk. It makes me feel smart and creative to buy other women's clothing. I wonder who it belonged to, why she bought it and then gave it away in most of the time perfect condition. I know some clothing is given by department stores and manufacturers, there will
be store labels on them or I will find the same blouse in different colors. Apparently blouses and shirts are the most commonly donated. I have never seen jeans, sweaters or shoes brand new from a designer or store. I have a sweater thing. I love them and have a cupboard full including my own hand made.
In all the years of buying and donating to Goodwill (yes I too, buy new and then decide it wasn't for me) I have only seen one thing I donated on another woman. We have no clothing stores for women in our tiny town unless you count WallMart (which I don't). We have two consignment stores
and two charities to buy from. An Alco sells levis and nurses stuff. That is it.
No one here is a fashion plate, but I see some interesting creative choices. I have been complimented many times on my outfits and will brag; "everything is goodwill except my underwear!"
As I run my hands over the racks I sometimes get melancholy, wondering who "she" was, is she dead, got fat, lost weight, decided she was to old for lime green, to young to wear baggy t-shirts over polyester elastic waist pants. I see the other old ladies poking about sometimes I hold
something outrageous or horribly ugly and say; "oh honey, its you!" to giggles and rolling eyes. I wonder what my Mom did with all of her nice outfits she bought over the years. They mostly didn't fit me and I was so happy when I did get hand me downs from Mom. A black, yellow and white dolman sleeve sweater by Dion. The brown plaid circle skirt all of my daughters have worn in turn. A little blue beanie with a tiny cashmere stripe a Nun made for her. I wonder what happened to the lovely negligee Dad bought for her when they were newlyweds. That Red dress and the sleeveless mock turtle neck blouse she wore with panties and high heels when she posed for private cheese cake photos for Dad. Memories are in the clothes I touch, the clothes of other women full of harmonal hatreds and flashes of beauty. Trying to look pleasing or just not be bored with comfortable. The cloth imbued with that little contentment or thrill at seeing it for the first time. Tiny pleasures derived from a favorite color or fabrics luster. The pride in being able to tell silk, linen, cashmere by touch alone. I heard once we dress for other women not men, perhaps but I dress in othere women's clothing to feel a connection on an intimate level, an vicarious affirmation of community. Its spring, go buy a pretty something, feel good about who you are what you do. Merry Ostara Easter Passover.