Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Vintage Vardrobe Vednesday

See what I did there?

Maybe one day I'll give a blog tutorial on how to be perfectly witty on a regular basis. Until then, you should just try to smirk nonchalantly when you recognize my exercise of such skill(z). (See that! I just did it again! Ha.)

Where was I? Ah, right... a good vintage.

Let me tell you a bit about my good friend Blair.

Blair is a Southern belle, through and through. She has a husband, a dog, and an open door policy to friends and family looking for dinner, a glass of wine, a place to crash, or really anything else she can offer. Southern hospitality? She haz it.

She was born and raised in this here small town, and that fact is ridiculously obvious any time she is in public. ANY TIME. She will see someone she knows every single time I'm with her. This gives her a sort of local celebrity feel. She knows our waiter. She gets called out in checkout lines. We were kayaking (OUT OF TOWN), probably saw a total of 10 people other than ourselves, and she knew three of them.

She was proposed to about 8 times by 8 different people before she gave in to the right guy. And though 8 proposals surprised me, they don't anymore. She's quite the catch. Anyway... What's so vintage about Blair?

Her dress-up clothes. That's right. Doing some moving, reshuffling, reorganizing, Blair rediscovered the dress-up clothes that she'd been given by grandmothers and great grandmothers and great great great (I'm being serious... check Blair's comment on this post!) grandmothers to play with.

Luckily for me, this discovery was made while I was sitting on her couch. She unzipped a garment bag of goodness and my eyes got huge. She flipped through each of the dresses, showing me the different fancy bits, and telling me about the woman who wore them or what she used to pretend to be when she had them on. And, for a minute, I just stood and looked at them. In my head, I was wondering if I grabbed them up and ran if she'd be able to catch me before I got to my car. But I was also thinking, maybe these are the kind of vintage dress that people appreciate but don't actually wear anymore. Turns out both thoughts were silly (should have known) because when I timidly said, "Can I try one on?" Blair said, "Of course you can! Why do you think I pulled them all out?!"

So... between teacher training workshops, on a Tuesday, I played dress up at the age of 25.

The first one I grabbed was the most beautiful, in my opinion. I don't know what it is about me and a shiny blue dress, but I just can't help myself. When Blair pulled this one out, I wanted to die. She told me her grandmother felt very edgy in this number because of that flesh toned panel, and you know, I can see that.

I myself felt edgy for a number of reasons. First, it's not often that I wear something that fits so... glove-ish. Second, the corseting effect of that panel is a-ma-zing. And third, butt bows. Need I say more?

There were other dresses in the bag. One was a very pale pink, embroidered number that put young Blair in a very Alice in Wonderland place. That one did a similar here-is-my-waist-at-the-closest-it-will-ever-be-to-Scarlet-O'Hara's thing but the length was all wrong and my black bra was too.

There was a red number that was just not having any of my measurements, and there was a mink stole that... well... I don't know why we didn't get a picture of that stole. But I do have one last look to share. This... believe it or not... is a bathing suit.

(That dark circle below the armpit is a patch... not a sweat stain. Sorry... just couldn't let that go out into the interwebs without mentioning it.)

Blair and I don't know what decade this one comes from, but it was her great grandmother's great great great grandmother's bathing suit. Her great grandmother great great great grandmother wore it on the beach, her grandmother great grandmother wore it as a costume, and I would wear it as a dress. And a darn cute one at that! I would probably forego the bloomer like pants that accompany it, but those sadly aren't around anymore anyway.

While I was trying on each of these dresses, my first reaction in each of them was to laugh at myself. It cracked me up to put on such legit dresses that Blair used to play in as a kid. Well... for one thing... I was surprised that I could pour myself into them. For another, these dresses are so classily pretty. Even the bathing suit.

So... now I'm sitting on my bed, eyeing my dresses and wondering if 70 or 80 years down the road anyone will even look twice at my ratty old dresses. I don't even know if my T.J.Maxx filled wardrobe will last 50 years honestly.

What has happened to our clothes?! Where have all the flowers gone?!?

(Too much?)


Evan said...

Very nice. Just remember when you get all nostalgic, though, that for every classy and pretty vintage style there are dozens of god-awful ugly ones. It appears, though, that you found the diamonds in the rough.

Jecca Andrew said...

i love love loved this post. i want to play dress-up! and i agree, our clothing-making standards have decreased. perhaps i will start a movement of indestructable clothes. (you know my theory...yea? if i can't wash it and dry with extreme temperatures then it's not worth having). i'd love to make you something...

Blair said...

Dammit man, I need to hire you as my PR person! Glad you had fun playing dress-up at my house! I had just as much fun watching you play. Just a few little changes: The dresses belonged to my great-grandmother (Mema) and the bathing suit belonged to her great-grandmother (so my great-great-great-grandmother). But everything about me is soooo, 100% correct (I wish!). Loves - B

Amber said...

i LOVE the blue dress. I, too, grew up in the kind of town where I know every.single.person and I, too, had an amazing dress-up box as a kid. My family is comprised of community theater geeks, ballet teachers and packrats, so my costume box was bangin.

You have such a cute little figure, Amanda; I don't know how you do it with all the baking. I'm guessing it's the tofu bacon?

Amanda said...

Good point, Evan. Do it, Jecca! Hopefully I correctly counted and adjusted your "great"s, Blair.

And... Amber, do you still have that box?! As for my figure (thank you for calling it cute and little!), I have facon, my 80's gym, and a healthy dose of self-loathing to thank for it. ;)

Anonymous said...

that blue dress is darling!
who doesn't love a little game of big-girl dress-up?

Ash said...

What awesome treasures and how fun!! That blue one it stunning!

Amber said...

I believe my stepsister is currently enjoying the 80s portions of the dress-up box. The tutus and 60s Lord and Taylor dresses and old metallic belts and knee-length fake pearl necklaces are probably in my Dad's basement.

Amanda said...

Awesome. Dig it up. :)