Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Clothes She Wore

Love, Loss, and What I Woreby Ilene Beckerman, Algonquin Books, 2005, 144 pages, ISBN:  1565124758

Ilene Beckerman tells and illustrates her life story through the clothes she wore.  I am not a clothes horse, but this charming book got me thinking about the clothes I've worn in my time.
  1. Red Snowflake Sweater.  Typically, I don't know if an article of clothing "belongs" to me until I've gotten it home and worn it for awhile, but this Ralph Lauren hand knit cotton sweater called out to me from the rack in the consignment store where I purchased it for $17.  Pretty good price, given that one just like it is going for $167.99 on Ebay.  I am not usually a label snob, yet I know just how Marge Simpson felt when she found a Chanel Suit at an outlet mall for $90.
  2. Black and maroon dress.  About sixteen years ago, I bought a cotton dress with a long, tiered skirt at Target, the only article of clothing I've ever bought there.  But I loved that dress.  I wore it in the summer with sandals.  I wore it in the fall with clogs and cardigans.  I wore it until it was threadbare.
  3. Pirates of the Caribbean Crocs™.  I saw these in the gift shop of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney World about three years ago.  I loved them on sight, but the $50 price tag seemed a bit steep.  As soon as we left Florida, I regretted passing them up, and I complained bitterly to my husband that I should have bought those bitchin' Caribbean Crocs™, so he surprised me on Mother's Day with a pair he purchased online for $35.  I'm now wearing my third pair of Pirates Crocs™.
  4. Scottish Terriers Flannel Nightgown.  From October to May, I sleep in flannel nightgowns.  I always have and have never considered graduating to adult lingerie.  Nothing is more comfortable to sleep in and for me comfort trumps all.  A few years (15?) back I noticed the flannel on new nightgowns had gotten so thin that it was no longer keeping me warm.  A friend of mine, also a flannel lover and a flight attendant, told me she buys hers in England, where they still make them out of thick flannel.   Though I've no immediate plans of traveling to England, I did discover that The Vermont Country Store sells Lanz of Salzburg sleepwear,  made of--you guessed it--thick flannel.  Pricey, but I no longer have to shiver under the covers in January.
  5. Gold knitted wool baby hat.  My Oma made this hat for my newborn daughter to wear home from the hospital.  Over the next seven or eight years, Oma knitted sweaters, dresses, and even a coat for my daughter, but by the time my son was born, Oma was too old to knit.  And, though he never met his maternal great-grandmother, who lived in Germany and died when he was seven, when I brought him home from the hospital, he was wearing this gold hat Oma had knitted fifteen years earlier.

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