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Archive for the ‘Mom’s Closet’ Category

Pearls go with everything and can go anywhere. They’re not too much and not too little but everything you’d ask for in a piece of jewelry.

Cindy Marshall, retired antique jewelry dealer and my mother.

Mom comes out with these little gems every so often. We were chatting on the phone and I mentioned that I’d been wearing her pearl bracelet that she had passed on to me years ago. I hadn’t worn it much, saving it for special occasions until my recent pull toward pearls inspired me to wear this bracelet every day, just because I like it.

It seems I’m not the only person drawn to pearls lately. Fashion designer Marc Jacobs told Harper’s Bazaar that after years of wanting, he finally bought himself a strand of pearls for Christmas last year. He says that the pearls are like a good luck charm and bring him joy during the pandemic. I recently interviewed a jeweler about trends and pearls are on the list. She told me that young women, influenced by the young British royals, are buying pearls.

I suspect that women are also inspired by another fan of pearls – Vice President Kamala Harris, who has made pearls her signature. Single strands, double strands, layered, mixed with gold and even diamonds, Vice President Harris loves her pearls. (I love that fact that she sports her pearls with her other favorite accessory – Converse sneakers.)

I agree with my mother that pearls are now an every day choice that go with everything. I like pearls with t-shirts. Or layers of pearls peeking out from underneath a blouse. Or a long strand on a lightweight sweater. Pearls are fun to play with and they don’t have to be real; faux pearls can be as lovely and lustrous as the real thing. And by the way, pearl is the birthstone for June.

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My mother once told me that her best friend from her younger days went through a phase of using paper shopping bags as handbags. Not just any old paper bag! No, one from I. Magnin or Saks Fifth Avenue. How intriguing. She could afford to shop at high end department stores, but she couldn’t afford a purse?

I love the irony and I wonder if that was her intention.

Mom thought that perhaps her BF couldn’t afford the expensive purse she wanted. But having good taste, she wasn’t going to settle for less, so, to be quirky or humorous she used the paper bags she got for buying a lipstick or stockings at the the best department stores in Downtown, San Francisco.

Fast forward to now and paper shopping bags are all the rage for reuse. I see it frequently – sturdy bags used for the gym, carting around kids stuff, used as totes to take to work or on a day out. I use some of my bag collection to carry packages to the post office and they’re perfect for packing a lunch.

These days in California and elsewhere (but not NY) customers have to pay for a bag and that’s a good thing for the environment and a good opportunity to reuse some of the shopping bags we already have. Maybe even carry a really nice one as your handbag. Why not?

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I have many of my late mother’s dresses from the 70s. Some are unraveling, but I feel close to her when I wear them around my house. There’s a red floral one that reminds me of summers in Oklahoma.

Sherri McMullen – boutique owner.

Originally from Oklahoma, Ms. McMullen owns the fashion boutique McMullen, located in downtown Oakland. Offering luxury clothing by designers from around the world, McMullen has been named among the top American boutiques by Vogue and Women’s Wear Daily.

I also own much of my mother’s clothing from the 50s to the 70s and I can relate to what Ms. McMullen is saying. These vintage pieces of fashion are woven with memories and images that connect us to our past. I think that’s of great value.

Sunday, May 9th is Mother’s Day. ODFL wishes all the moms out there a very happy day!

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The classic 2.55 handbag by Chanel.

I inherited my Chanel 2.55 bag from my mother, who herself had been gifted it. Whenever I wear it I’m wearing her history. I know it sounds like an inflated idea, but our attachments to objects and the paths they’ve all taken are real.

Lucy Chadwick, Gallery Director of Gavin Brown’s Enterprise in New York.

The iconic Chanel 2.55 handbag was named after the date of its creation – February 1955. At the time it had unique features including quilted leather and a chain shoulder strap. Since the original hit the shelves, there have been many interpretations and spins on the original design but like a true classic, it has never gone out of style.

I have a little tan leather clutch bag with a kiss closure that belonged to my mother. I remember it was always kept in her dresser drawer and it didn’t come out to be carried but instead held important little things like her old driver’s licenses. She just recently gave it to me and I have considered using it but, I don’t want to disturb the contents. Now it sits in my dresser drawer.

So, I agree with Ms. Chadwick that objects carry the history of their owners.

Coming up later this week it’s all about handbags on OverDressedforLife. Stay tuned.

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From afar we wish all mothers a very Happy Mother’s Day.

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Resort 2020 for Louis Vuitton.

On my first trip to New York, I was fascinated by the incredible craftsmanship of the Art Deco buildings. I tried to go back to those emotions with this collection. It’s about rediscovery of American Heritage. 

Nicolas Ghesquiere – French fashion designer and creative director for Louis Vuitton.

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It’s been quite awhile since we visited Mom’s Closet. Let’s step inside for a little Halloween story. Click on the Mom’s Closet tab above and scroll down for “Spooky Halloween Wishes from Mom’s Closet.”

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My mother circa 1950s (before my time) ready for a night on the town.

My mother was a well-dressed woman. She liked to go out, and when she went dancing we children would follow her, marveling at her beauty as she awaited our goodnight kisses. A white tulle dress with big sleeves and large white polka-dots comes to mind, and it does so poetically – the tulle so light, so spider-like. 

Yves Saint-Laurent (1936-2008), French fashion designer.

I think we all have memories of our mothers dressed for an evening out: the rustling of a ball gown; the sparkle of an earring; the whiff of a special perfume.

My parents went out a lot while I was growing up – the era of cocktail parties. My most vivid memory of those evenings watching Mom get ready is of her scent. The woodsy smell of Cabochard was her choice for nighttime.  Dressed usually in black, Mom would say goodbye with a kiss on the forehead for each one of us. The youngest of the three, I was last and when it was my turn I’d take a deep breath of her scent to carry me through the long night without Mom. (It wasn’t a bad temporary replacement.)

Cabochard means headstrong in French and the perfume by Madame Gres was created in 1959. I always remembered the special nighttime perfume and when visiting Paris one time with my dad we bought some for Mom. The small round bottle with a grey velvet bow tied around the top still sits on her dresser. It’s empty now but of course there’s a lingering bit of the familiar scent that can flip me back to my childhood in an instant.

Today is Mother’s Day. Wishing all mothers out there a very happy day. And to all daughters and sons, a day of happy memories.

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Visit Mom’s Closet for a little holiday cheer: https://overdressedforlife.com/moms-closet/christmas-stockings-in-moms-closet/

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MG_8222_lowA more sophisticated client respects that linen will crease because it is indicative of its premium quality, much like a collector would appreciate the patina on an old vintage watch. 

Guglielmo Miani, CEO Larusmiani

Summer is approaching, get out your linen duds but leave the iron in the cupboard.

I chuckled when I read Mr. Miani’s quote in WWD, as it called to mind what my mother has always said about linen clothing – linen was meant to to be worn wrinkled … you can always tell a linen wrinkle, it has its own pattern.

Wrinkles used to drive me crazy, linen or not. I secretly thought Mom came up with that line because she didn’t like to iron. When I was a kid we had what we called The Ironing Drawer, which was overstuffed to the point of not being able to shut it closed. Among the cloth napkins and boys shirts was a favorite summer dress of mine. I outgrew that dress waiting for it to be ironed.

But now I think that Mom and Mr. Miani have a point; wrinkles are part of the charm of linen.

 

 

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