As a kid, I used to sneak into my grandmother's attic and try on all of her stored dresses and jewelry--every little girl's fantasy I am sure. When a story appeared in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch this week: For Sale: 1,300 Vintage Dresses--I was already making plans to attend. In fact, if truth be told, the day before I found myself searching sites for best "vintage wear" shops in St. Louis. You could not have written a better story with more intrigue than the one about the finding of these dresses. Apparently a contractor working to renovate an old downtown office building came upon these boxes and boxes of dresses. Thank god he did the right thing and made a few calls and found a home for them. The question remains as to who might have originally owned these dresses--a vintage store owner who had a bit of a "hoarding" problem, or an eccentric gentleman collector of dresses. It makes for wonderful speculation and fodder for a good book someday!
I refuse to go the mall and refuse to find myself in a dress someone else is wearing--and that philosophy dates back to high school. We did not have a lot of money then. We could never afford a dress for a homecoming or prom. We didn't even have enough money for me to get my high school senior year yearbook. My mother said if I wanted it, I'd have to pay for it--so I did. For my dresses, I found the best seamstress in town. I'd take her my sketches for a dress design and pick out my fabric, go in for fittings and then, there I'd be--in a one-of-a-kind dress! Needless to say, as I have aged, I have found more and more ways to find fashion that suits my taste discovering I am less and less a fan of the mall or department stores. But I do love vintage. Now, I am not someone who you would see on the street and make that call on right away--most of clothes I wear day-to-day come from sale racks at Target--a girl cannot just go shopping for soy milk in a tulle lined v-neck, fitted dress, now can she? Interspersed with that are my hand knit sweaters. To top it off, collectively, I now own more black running pants than dress pants (has nothing to do with vintage, but certainly is a must for keeping my health in check, something more people should try). Leaping from the corporate band wagon changes your closet--I never imagined I'd see mine convert to "casual" from "business"--but it has.