iwannabealady.com finding old clothes

Finding Old Clothes

So I found some old clothes the other day. The kids and I were cleaning up their room, or should I say cleaning out. I was pulling out boxes from deep inside closets that hadn’t been opened for four years or so. It seems that they were from a different time. A different lifetime. But they were mine. And because they were mine we have memories. As I tried on some of the clothes, I imagined they would fit they way they did when I used to wear them. That was quixotic. My body changes as frequently as the cycles of the moon.

iwannabealady.com finding old clothes

There was this skirt which I imagine would be long and flowy like the skirt a girl would wear in a country music video from the 90s. Modest but thin enough to feel sexy. Especially with the buttons down the front. Instead the waist is much higher up than it was intended to be and my butt shows quite a bit more than it used to.

iwannabealady.com finding old clothes

This citrusy floral skirt that was a big favorite. It’s still just as perfect as before. Plenty of room, soft fabric, lays well. This goes with a little black spaghetti strapped shirt.

iwannabealady.com finding old clothes

iwannabealady.com finding old clothes

There’s this wild thing from the 80s that was way too big for me when I got it, but I couldn’t resist. And now? It kinda fits. The waist has some room in it but it’s not falling off. Good thing I never got around to those alterations. Pair with a black or red blazer with shoulder pads. I like to steal my son’s dress jackets. Shhh. I’m kidding. He knows.

iwannabealady.com finding old clothes

There’s these jeans I know will never fit my ass again unless I’m in a terrible accident and my mouth gets wired shut. Size 1 apparently. I’ll take the food, fuck the jeans.

iwannabealady.com finding old clothes

There’s this skirt which I sewed. It one of my favorite things I made. It was a time when there was no money for shopping except for some yards of discounted fabric. I’d carefully choose my fabrics and go home to make 1 to 5 new skirts and dresses, depending on how good I had it at the time. The skirts were all very simple. No buttons, no zippers. I’d cut the waist wide enough for it to go over my shoulders and rest on my waist. This skirt is now huge on me and I’ll have to take it in by 3 or 4 inches. I feel like a winner. Everything is relative, you see.

iwannabealady.com finding old clothes

There’s this shirt that couldn’t be more old lady, right? I always hate it when I see it, but everytime I put it on I remember why I like it. It’s sheer and super thin and the colors play well with my skin. I couple it with a tight black mini skirt tucked in or left out. It’s a surprisingly sexy shirt, and fun too.

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It strikes me that all of the clothes I found were either made by me, bought from a thrift store, or given to me by a friend. What does this tell me? Well I don’t know that it should tell me anything, and yet I’m compelled to find meaning in it. Surely this can’t be the norm among my friends. For as far back into my adult life is I can remember, I’ve always been the friend with the least.

It was during this time of financial strain, when I was sewing the most, that I began giving my children basic sewing lessons. I learned to sew because my mother sewed. She enjoyed it, yes, but it was also out of necessity. She sewed my prom dress. And when the evening before my wedding I picked up my dress only to find that the sleeves still had pins in it, and it was too late to take it back, it was my mom who sewed the straps on.

Growing up, our default shopping was the thrift store. Clothes, toys, books, that’s where they came from. I couldn’t pull it off very well when I was a kid and there was some teasing, but I’m a master now. And everyone who’s just discovering thrift stores on a wave of hipster euphoria are rookies in this game. Even now, most of my house is designed with thrift bought accessories, and for the record, my house is damn cool.

What does your closet say about you?

21 thoughts on “Finding Old Clothes

  1. My closet is conflicted. Why do I have more formal wear than everyday clothes? Charli Ava and I did this last week. Took everything out and put away summer stuff and saw what still fits . Then she said, “If you die, can I have all your gowns?” Heck, you can have them even if I don’t die. Sewing is the one thing I wish I had paid attention to in HIgh School!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, why on Earth do you have so many gowns? I like that doing it with a friend idea. They can give you perspective on what fits, it brings energy to the process, and anything you don’t want you have a person right there to try and hand it off to, lol. Good for you offering her those dresses before you die!

      You might be able to find done sewing classes in your area, or better yet, ask a friend who knows how to sew to teach you. You could offer her wine and Netflix in exchange. 😃

      Liked by 1 person

        1. No, actually quite simple if you do them the lazy girl way like me. I may do a post on it. But seriously, if you cut out the waist to be wide enough to go over your shoulders, you won’t have to worry about zippers or buttons. You can learn it in no time.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank goodness for thrift stores! I’m by no means a master in it, but I have always loved seeing what I can find there. Also, kudos for giving your kids basic skills in sewing! That is a life skill, and something I ‘m slowly trying to build on. If I could make myself a skirt, then I could cross it off my bucket list. Not sure how good it’d be though 😀

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    1. Oh my goodness, Angela you are so crafty that you could make a simple skirt in no time. I was sewing all of the time so it came to the Forefront of my mind to teach them. I wish that all things in parenting were like that. I am proud that I taught them, though all of us could use more practice now. I can’t wait to see what you create.

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  3. I love your Golden Girls-esque Shirt. I could totally see Dorothy wearing that hehehe! I totally have not gotten back to your email, but I am going to do that Right. Now. Or possibly in an hour…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, you dare show your face! 😀 I’m just kidding girl. I actually haven’t followed through with one of my promises in that regard so your delay has been making me feel better, lol. p.s. I wrote a lot 😅 And oh shit, I get to be Dorothy? She was in her prime, that woman.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. And ain’t nothing in the world wrong with that, so long as you like the pieces and they’ve still got life in them. Plus, thrift shopping is so much more fun because there’s more bang for the buck. I can go to the mall and wander forever trying to decide what to buy, so might as well do it at the thrift right? 🙂

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    1. Thanks Casey! I probably squealed a little bit when I first saw it. I actually have a second one as well with a different color scheme and more subtle pattern, but still that 80s style. I think I’ll just love it more as time goes on 🙂

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  4. I am by no means a master of thrift stores here…but I used to be a flea market junkie in Delhi where they would sell export rejects in heaps and for a pittance. Every Sunday I used to wander the streets of the market, bargain like a hippie with no restraint, and return home with bags of stylish but inexpensive clothes. It used to be a terrific high.
    I love the fact that you can sew your own clothes and that you taught your daughter to sew too just like your mother did. It is a neat tradition…I wish I had paid attention when my mother tried to make me sit at the sewing machine. But I was too flighty. Now, I am appreciating the art of knitting as I crochet in the evenings, marvelling at the kind of peace it brings.

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    1. It really is a terrific high. Some people like racing cars, we love a good flea market on a Sunday morning. I love the feeling of promise and the thrill of the hunt. I’m a moderate haggler, but I’d definitely like to improve my flea market game.
      The kids took to sewing much like I did. They sat down for long enough to catch the basics and then they were off to something else. I wasn’t the best student either, but I picked up enough to get out of a bind. I did practice more as an adult, but to be honest, I prefer embroidery. Like crochet, it’s a calm repetitive action whereas sewing is constantly changing this or that. What sort of piece are you working on with crochet?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am with you there. Flea markets do thrill my nerves. And I like to do it best on my own – abundant time on hand, no one to badger me about how long I might be spending on a single iffy item of clothing, …
        Well you did good with what you learnt then if you could introduce Austin and Annie so efficiently to the game. I was terribly at sewing but yeah I did have a weakness for cross-stitched embroidery.
        I have just started learning it, so I made a couple of cuffs, coasters, muffler with tassels,…now I am getting ambitious and thinking of an Afghan blanket. May the crochet goddesses smile down upon me. xx

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