Saturday, April 23, 2011

Elite Repeats

I've already gone ahead and questioned my father's taste in men's neckware (and he noticed, much to my chagrin), so as an equal opportunist, I had to move to his better half--my mother.

Whenever I return to my childhood home, I am immediately brought back to moments throughout my life--one type of moment I remember clearly from when I was pretty young happened in my parents' room. They were busily making dinner or at work, and I would go up and:
  1. Shove my two feet into one of my Dad's penny loafers and hop around. Why? Probably the same reason I used to sit under the table and drink lemonade out of a bowl with a medicine dropper.
  2. Open up Christmas presents with McGyver skill, and identify the season's booty before re-taping in a way that you could never tell the present was manhandled (and my husband wonders why I hate surprises--I've never had one!)
  3. Secretly watch Saved by the Bell.
  4. Try on my mom's dresses and jewelry and do some sort of acting in her bureau mirror. The best was using her old handmade bridesmaid dresses to pretend that I was going to the prom (apparently, a 60s prom)
Some of the jewelry I would try on was kept in this tiny glass container--there were high school rings, two jade rings, and a scarab bracelet among the lot.

This time when I was home, I wanted to go on my own hunt--for that jewelry. Much to my dismay, I was told that it was probably donated to the church fair. Rats!

So then I thumbed through her closet, looking for other vintage gems.

And then I became convinced that my mother retired and has been the #1 wardrober for that show "Sister Wives." That, or she has been purchasing clothing from the handful of women who have escaped from Warren Jeff's polygamist camp. Listen--I'm not judging polygamy (though if you like, I can), but more so the fashion--and subsequently, my mother's wardrobe.

And I can do this for a number of reasons. I am pretty sure my mother agrees with my assessment. And she does have some other great clothing that fits her "New England, LL Bean" appearance. But we both shared a good laugh at the handful or pinafore type dresses. Shapeless "shmatas" with floral prints that she wears to church--but it's okay, she assured me, because she hides it all with her choir robe. If God and the congregation only saw the choir robe, I certainly wouldn't choose a mumu with buttons. I would opt for some leggings and oversized sweatshirt.

Don't get me started on the applique vests she got for her two decades worth of directing a preschool.

But we dug a little deeper, and the real gems emerged--Elite Repeats I'll call them. (Ode to my parents' church's consigment shop.) Outfits spanning from the 60's to 80's that I am adopting. And what I wouldn't give to have access to my mom's entire wardrobes during those times. But what I did find I was given permission to take. Sweet! In the words of Corey Feldman in the movie "Goonies",  "So I'm taking it back. I'm taking them all back!"

As you can see above, we unearthed my mother's honeymoon outfit. I love it! And for a woman who now sports floor length dresses, my mom's scantily clad honeymoon outfit was a gas to see.

And that was just the beginning. Going in backward chronilogical order, the Elite Repeats I'm taking home:

(Note: I am no model. Not trying to be a model, and was up at 5:03am the day the photos were taken. I hadn't showered at this point, and am just thankful that the photos came out grainy.)

80's: You know, those female neck bows were soooo cotoure. And we found a great silk "set" in my mom's dresser:

But I'll be making some adjustments

Early 70's: Wool sweater my mom had in college. I cannot wait to pair with some leggings and flats.

60's: two dresses my mom wore in either early high school or middle school. I mean, vintage at its finest! The fabric is so sturdy, and construction just remarkably solid. The 2nd I think I might be auditioning for a 60's stewardess role.

And finally, this is a skirt that was made by one of my uncle's girlfriends that was actually made in the early 80's. It's made with Welsh wool that my grandmother brought back from Wales. It's a little big (even with the some 5lbs I've packed on that stress and anxiety stole away from me in 2010), and long, so I am trying to figure out how to get it tailored to be something more fun. It never quite fit my mother, either, so it's never been worn. Any ideas seamstresses out there?

And just because I feel slightly bad I slammed my mom's closet, one thing that I will forever be envious of is her abs and guns. Although I couldn't convince my mom to get into a bikini to show she's still got it at over 60 (and she does, people), I had to pick out some pictures of her after she had my first brother that had both me and Eric slack jawed (sorry for the quality--pictures of pictres, and the originals had pen bleed through them.). How can I get that body and essentially keep it until 60?

But the real question is, how did she transform from Anne to John Lennon?


  1. Wow! Is that last photo recent? Not that the, um, styling looks modern, but that baby is surely one of your boys! (no offense to your mom if it is recent, because she still has a better figure than I ever could.)

    All of the pics are so cool!

  2. One little bone to pick. I am not over 60 yet - just 60. Let's not rush things. Isn't Seth adorable?!
    I am delighted that you are able to assume part of my wardrobe. Those were my favorite items, and I love that they are back in style.
    I do agree about the Sister wife dresses, but I still wear them. Oh well.

  3. I love this! How cool! The clothes are awesome. Especially that incredibly cozy looking sweater. I so wish my mom had some of her outfits, but I don't think she kept anything...

  4. Love it!

    I am pretty sure that the long never wore skirt could be transformed into an incredible mini skirt. I don't know how much material you'd have left over but perhaps enough for a girl's skirt (have any nieces?)

  5. Catching up on the blog - I think you could hem that skirt at the knee and it would be super cute for work! I wish I was confident enough to do it, but I think it would bewoeth the tailor fee to have it done! Maybe I could craft you a bag out of the scraps!