Like all sentimental people, my grandma keeps ev-er-y-thing: postcards, letters, photos, and albums. Personally though, my favorite thing she has held onto throughout the years is her amazing clothing collection she accumulated from the 1960s to the 1990s. A few months ago I went to her storage room to look through some old family albums and stumbled across a closet full of fabulous items, which even included my mom’s prom dress from 1984!
My grandma’s sense of style spanning those three decades was classic and elegant, but she definitely had a good mix of all the trends from each period. I mean, as a mother of four girls she was always up to date on what was in vogue: A-line dresses, shoulder pads, faux-fur necklines—you name it. She loved her shopping adventures in New York City, especially the stores on Fifth Avenue. (Same.) Her top picks were Chandler Shoes and Lillie Rubin, which are both sadly out of business now, but she also hit up stores that are still around like Bergdorf Goodman and Saks; she bought most of her clothing and accessories from these four retailers because she was nothing if not efficient!
After going through her impressive collection (and after she so kindly let me take some things for myself), I was inspired to wear the vintage designs and style them with a more, well, modern approach. But basically, this is my PSA that your grandma’s, great aunt’s, and great-great grandma’s wardrobe is truly a treasure. Or you can even hit up your grandpa’s, great uncle’s, or great-great grandpa’s closet; hello, stylish blazers! Since Thanksgiving and the holiday season is officially here, where everyone will be gathered together (albeit safely), it’s the perfect time to do a deep dive through their collections.
For me, wearing these pieces made me feel much more connected with my grandma and even the time period they were worn in. Forget watches or expensive jewelry! Clothes can definitely be special heirlooms to pass down from generation to generation.
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