Thursday, September 22, 2011

Excavations & Discoveries, Part 3

To start from the beginning, read this and this and this. OK? Here's what happened next.

When Precocious Daughter and I pulled all of my old clothes out to be sorted into Donates and Discards, this is what we got.

Plus two more sizable boxes not pictured here. Of clothes I don't wear. And not counting the clothes in my actual closet, from which I pulled out another gross ton or so later in the weekend. Insert expressions of dismay here.

That'll do.
 So PDaughter and I went through every single piece of clothing. We tossed out a few that were mothy or otherwise unfit to be donated. We created a large pile of items for the local resale store. Damn, but I used to wear some nice stuff. I hope it helps someone needy and petite build a new wardrobe.

The Siamese kitten did her best to be included in the donation pile,
but she doesn't get away from us that easily.
What remained was the cream of my vintage collection. It looked like this.

Whoops, I left out a few things. I mean it looked like this.

Oh, crap, I forgot about this stuff over here. When it was finally all gathered together, it looked like this:

Plus a few extra pieces that I unearthed later. But you get the idea.

Let's do some math. I put a few of my vintage items into the regular donation pile because they were less collectible and perfectly wearable for everyday. I did have to discard one or two things (including an outrageously wonderful purple wool pantsuit by Bobbie Brooks that the moths had gotten into). And over the years I've sold off part of my collection - I'd say maybe 30 or 40 pieces. So what you're seeing up there is somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 dresses, tops, jackets, and other marvelous garments, plus a smattering of belts and shoes.

It's hard to think about getting rid of all of these clothes. It's harder to think about how much money I spent assembling this collection. It's hardest of all to think about the fact that I wore just about every piece here, but none of them would fit me now.

Keeping in mind that I am absolutely freaking fabulous at any size.
 If I were to sell each piece individually, I would have to quit my job and work full-time at listing them on eBay. This idea finds less than complete favor from my Beloved Spouse. So I'm hoping a local vintage store will agree to have a look and make me an offer on some or all of the items. Many of them are just too nice to be dumped at Goodwill. They deserve an appreciative home.

Another thing that would take me an insane amount of time to accomplish is photographing every piece. Although I would love to do just that. It would be the best show and tell ever. Alas, a few representative samples will have to suffice.

I already showed off the fabulous chicken dress:

I love the chicken dress! My mighty fabric stash does contain a few pieces of chicken-themed material, so maybe a new chicken dress is in my future.

Then there's this marvelous number:

That's by L'Aiglon, a top-shelf designer. It was cut down by a previous owner to be a micro-mini. I wore it as a tunic because even when I was skinny, my legs were stubbornly chunky. Still, so fab.

And do I have a Bill Blass dress made of pink Ultrasuede? What do you think?

This one, believe it or not, was made by a very talented home sewer - it has the label from the Vogue pattern it was based on. (It's a bit wrinkled - photographing these dresses was mad enough without ironing them first!)

And I had to show off some (that's right, I said some) of my collection of groovy polyester shirts.

Oh yes, there are more. And they're amazing.

Eventually I got tired of dressing and undressing my mannequin, Ms. Thang, for every picture. So I just pulled out a few dresses at random and laid them flat.

That last one is an Alfred Shaheen. By the time we were through, PDaughter could spot a Shaheen from across the room. I'm so proud.

Eventually even photographing pieces this way got time-consuming. I thought I'd just give you all a sense of the color and texture palette that makes up these clothes.

Damn, I love these clothes. But as I said earlier, they've got to go, because I need the space in my closet and the space in my head. I do hope some nice vintage dealer out there will want to add them to its inventory. They can't stay where they are, and that's final. Wait, final? Yes, definitely, final.

So that brings us to the end of the Great Crapapalooza of 2011. It was hard work, it was fun, it was not something I want to have to repeat in a few years, although I'm sure I will. I can accumulate all kinds of stuff in a few years. 

Next project: World peace. Or my bathroom. I haven't decided which needs my help more.

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