Thursday, December 23, 2010

Some of My Estate Ladies

Being in the business I am, I always send silent thanks and blessings to the women whose closets I clean out, the women who lived through tougher times than we do, the women who purchased quality garments, the women who saved all their clothing for years and years, the thrifty women of New England. When I purchase clothing from an estate, I try to find out a bit about the woman whose clothes I am buying and I bring home a photograph of her if I can. The other day, I was searching for a piece of paper in my office and came across a few of those photographs. I thought you might like to see them.

This intriguing photo was found in a house where I purchased some lovely dresses dating from the Edwardian era right up through the 1960s. I still puzzle over this photo. The person on the left looks like a woman in a man's shirt and tie. Or is that a man with long hair? Or is that a woman's blouse??????

This is Jean. She lived in a small house in Cambridge. This looks like a college dance. Isn't her date handsome in his white bucks? While I didn't find this dress, Jean saved most of her clothes from the 50s, 60s, and 70s. The suits, blouses and sweaters that came out of her closets were incredible.

Many of you will remember the opera singer's clothes I sold many years ago on eBay. Irene's closets were filled with the most incredible plus sized dresses from the 30s, 40s, and 50s. Here she is (on the right) with two friends at the Brockton Fair sometime in the 1930s.

See the fashionable woman sitting on the sofa? That's Barbara. Barbara loved hats. Barbara loved furs. Barbara saved everything. I emptied Barbara's closets on a very hot day in July. I was packing to go away on vacation when the phone rang. Barbara's nephew wanted to know if I was interested in her clothing. The dumpster was arriving the next day, so I had to come now or it would all be thrown out. Who cares about a vacation?

In 1986, Louise was honored by Governor Michael Dukakis for 50 years of service to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. This photo was taken on that day. Louise is flanked by two politicians here, but I can't remember who they are. Louise was a buyer for the state. It was her job to purchase all the uniforms worn by state workers, prison inmates, etc. Louise's attic was filled with rack after rack of dresses and suits that she wore to work from the 1940s to the 1970s. There was some incredible stuff in that attic and it took me 4 trips with my car to bring it all back to my office. Good times. Oh yes, good times.

9 comments:

Erin said...

Thanks for this post. So nice to hear about some of the fashionable women whose storage habits make the colelcting habits of a later generation possible.

Nancy said...

Thanks for sharing these--it is good to have a face and a story to place with some of the lovely things you've offered. As to the first picture--I think you'll find that's indeed a woman's blouse--it's a shirtwaist, popular from the 1880s through the Edwardian era. Those hairstyles definitely look Edwardian...

Wearing History said...

I loved reading this so much and seeing pictures of these ladies. Thank you so much!

And ditto what Nancy says above Re: the blouse. I think Gibson did some amusing illustrations having to do with that fashion, but I can't remember them off hand.

Couture Allure Vintage Fashion said...

I think you're right. It is a woman. The tie is what was throwing me off.

Sandra @ Debutanteclothing.com said...

Thank you for sharing these pictures. What a wonderful tribute to the women who have passed down their treasures to your customers.

Monique said...

Thanks for showing some of the lives behind the fashions. Not only do I love vintage clothing, I love old photos... I guess the speculation and story telling get me.

Have a wonderful Christmas season and thanks so much for sharing your wonderful collection.

Monique xx

Couture Allure Vintage Fashion said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed my ladies! Happy holidays to you all!

elena daciuk - fabulous finds said...

what a fun post - and such a beautiful tribute to the women whose clothes we swoon over today...thanks for sharing...absolutely loved looking at the photos...and reading a little bit about their lives...

Libby said...

thank you for sharing their style and their spirit with us!

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