Downsizing, decluttering, whatever you call it, is hard. Today I gave away 38 pounds of clothes and recycled 18 pounds of old bedding. Taking these pictures was supposed to help me let go, but now I am mired in a swamp of reminiscence. It is interesting and fun, despite the occasional tear in my eye, and the process has opened my teary eyes to my relationship with clothes: In my mind, I wear nothing but jeans and turtlenecks. Apparently that has not always been the case.
As a side bonus, I am very pleased that I was able to create a tweaked NGG template that displays the title as well as description with thumbnails in the compact gallery view. NGG resisted, but I overcame. I feel like a fucking genius.
Peacock taffeta off-the-shoulder evening dress with huge bow and diamond buckle.
Another favorite, this was a great dress, perfect for dancing, with that full, heavy, waltz-length skirt. The bow did tend to droop over the jewels, though. When we first moved to Framingham, the downtown Salvation Army was full of treasures, I got quite a few evening dresses there, and I always wondered if some local matron would accost me and say I was wearing her dress. Wore this one to Silver Grays once or twice.
Red slinky evening dress with spaghetti straps
Bought this new, on sale at the Natick Mall I think, along with the similarly cut beaded black dress. Wore them both for Y2K Sylvester in Germany, when Mark and I stayed with Anna and Martin. She had recently found out he was cheating on her, but they were still trying to make it work. Ron proposed to Kathy then too. I changed to the other dress at midnight.
Black beaded evening dress with asymmetrical spaghetti straps
The other Y2K dress.
Closeup of the black Y2K dress
Overexposed to show the beads, which were like stars on a velvety black sky.
Flesh colored satin evening gown, bias cut with spaghetti straps, beading and cameo
This one really hurt to say goodbye to, it was so glamorous, and I've carried it around for so long. It was an attic find, left behind in some house or apartment we moved into, at least 30 years ago. It fit, but the straps were not what they should have been, and it was extremely exposing. Don't think I ever wore it outside of trying it on a few different times over the years.
Two two-part evening dresses, periwinkle blue with lavender, and flame orange
This were Salvation Army finds, and I wore them both to Silver Grays dances, but their real claim to fame is that Felicity and I wore them to the Stopwatch red-carpet world premiere at Amazing Things Art Center on December 26, 2011. I wore the blue/lavendar taffeta with matching feather boa, and she wore the flame, and she looked fabulous. It was a fantastic night.
Long black dress, missing its black knit cropped single-button jacket
Bought this one new, in Germany, for wearing for CTK choir concerts, and wore it on a Paris choir trip. Unfortunately, it got longer and longer while I was wearing it, to the point of eventually dragging on the ground, through puddles. I wore a few more times, but not many. The jacket, on the other hand, was one of my favorites, I wore it constantly, and it's still around here somewhere. I might not be finished with it.
Ruffled burgundy knit dress
Bought this one new, though deeply discounted, and wore it once, to a Democratic dinner. It was stretchy and super comfortable, though a bit loose, and was flattering, except for being sleeveless. Its big downsides were an astronomically high rate of snagging, due to the loose knit, and the lack of any kind of jacket, shrug or shawl that would work with it.
Graphic black and white short sleeved dress with pseudo jacket and big pearl buttons
I love this dress! I wore it quite a few times. Did I have it while we were still in Germany? I'm not sure. I know I wore it as a compromise (in my own mind) for a First Parish concert for which we were supposed to wear a black skirt and white top. an outfit that I find humiliating, childish and unprofessional. So instead my behavior was humiliating, childish and unprofessional. Oh, well. I also wore it for perfoming wedding's, I think that's what I wore for Emily and Jarret's, that sweltering day, with the sweat slithering down my back. This was borderline for getting rid of, but I haven't worn it for at least ten years.
Copper and moss patterned dress and jacket with beaded ornaments and fringe
I fell hard for this dress and jacket, by some known designer, bought at a for-profit consignment store for something astronomical like $40, even though a few strands of the beaded fringe were missing. I wore it once, to the Cow Parade Boston opening event, of which my piece Make Way for Calflings was a part. Never wore it again, though; just couldn't quite get past those missing beads.
Vintage sailor suit with culottes
Wore this Salvation Army find to one nautical-theme Silver Grays dance. Comfortable and fun. I wish there had been more occasions for it. The world needs more costume parties!
Red linen designer suit with VERY short skirt
Loved, loved, loved this suit! Bought it at a high-end resale shop in Germany, and wore it in pleasure for years, with red stiletto heels and a fabulous red hat, including to the award ceremony for the Cheryl di Mento Memorial Art History Essay at Framingham State once we were back in the USA. When I was forty, the skirt was borderline, and at sixty it's out of the question. Plus I am done with heels. Reminds me of the orange wool and black velveteen suit that had to go a few years back due to moth holes. Pretty sure I have a picture of that around somewhere too.
Snakeskin print satin pantsuit
Oh my god I love this thing. Occasions to wear it have been fewer than I expected, however. In fact, zero, unless you count trying it on at Saver's before I bought it, and again when I got it home. Still, that alone may have been worth the price of admission, which I think was $14.95.
Bought from Target, in one of those spells of deciding to look respectable. Don't think I ever wore it, but I could be wrong.
Blue and white Hawaiian print strapless dress with full skirt
This was an awesomely constructed dress, and fit beautifully. It was originally from some upscale place, Saks maybe, but I got it at the Salvation Army. I think I wore it twice, and one of the wearings was to a Hawaiian-themed Silver Grays dance.
Another blue and white print strapless cotton dress.
A lot like the other one, but never worn. I'm done with strapless.
Pink tiered polyester flapper dress
Bought this new, in the run-up to Hilary's wedding, under huge pressure to come up with a mother-of-the-bride dress. I bought four altogether, of which this was the second. I ended up feeling pretty good in the fourth one, natural cotton, though it may have been unsuitably light relative to the bride's dress, I was never sure. Can't remember if I ever actually wore this pink dress or not. Maybe once.
Very fine cotton summer dress, green print, button-down, with pockets
I loved this when I found it in a thrift store, beautiful thin all-cotton fabric, with a kind of eyelet trim. it seemed brand new, or perhaps just well cared for, freshly starched and ironed. It was lovely and cool to wear, but it never felt as flattering as I would like.
Blue oxford cloth shirtdress from consignment store in Ashland, Wisconsin
I was thrilled to find this one in a second-hand store in Ashland, WI. It seemed like just the thing for our upcoming Moonshine Alley at an Ashland, Massachusetts, farmer's market gig with a vintage theme. It was on the loose side, though.
Pearl satin vintage dress with huge button
St. Vincent de Paul, super cool, but too short. I wore it once, to a Moonshine Alley gig at Nobscot's Cafe.
Intense rose print, with black ribbon laceups on the sides.
This was a foolish impulse buy at Hot Topic, deeply on sale, I think it was $13. I wore it once, for the rather uncomfortable Moonshine Alley gig at an Irish pub in Hyde Park.
Ruffly summer dress with music print
Bought at Hot Topic at the same time as the red and black roses dress, same price, similar shape, never worn. Way too short, juvenile and naked, but I was under a lot of pressure at the time. I hate halter tops.
Green taffeta asymetrical top with diamond spray clasp.
Loved this one, wore it a lot, to dances, art openings, whatever, but haven't worn it for years. I suspect those might not be real diamonds...
Ruffly olive blouse
Ruffles wouldn't lie right, even after the extreme step of ironing them. Never worn.
Cool fitted printed blouse
A little too tight, and not quite long enough to reach the tops of low-waisted jeans. Never worn.
Moonshine Alley uniform. Found a much nicer blue shirt.
Multicolored ruffled silk Jimi Hendrix rockstar shirt
Wore this as a pajama shirt for years., but not in the past couple decades. This is what I was wearing when a friend's husband made improper advances. Kind of exciting, thanks, but no thanks.
Red cotton Okinawan blouse with beautiful painting
Very sad to say goodbye to this lovely gift from my daughter Hilary, who lived in Okinawa at the time. I wore it a few times, but it was always too big for me and made me feel a little dumpy.
Closeup of the design on the Okinawan blouse
Farewell, my lovely!
Sky-blue silk long-sleeved blouse
I hung on to this for as long as I did, decades, because my mother gave it to me and I love the color. It was too big, though, and too thin to be a useful overshirt, so I haven't worn it in years.
Black and white India print skirt with sequins
I also have a lot of black and white skirts, at least three more like this, and I don't like sequins. I think I wore this multiple times, but since I have so many similar skirts, it's hard to be certain.
I have a lot of black skirts, probably 8-10. I can spare a few.
Green skirt with navy-ringed white polka dots
St. Vincent, I think, and never worn. It's strangely difficult to find a shirt that goes well with it, plus maybe this green just isn't my color.
White skirt with big blue and black floral print.
Somehow the blue was just a little too electric. Might have worn this once.
Tiered longer skirt with sequins, kind of gray, kind of tan.
Purchased during the hunt for a skirt that would go well with a certain vest and Western-style boots. Fail. Ugly color. Did I mention I don't like sequins?
Off-white cotton summer skirt
Another fail in the quest for the perfect skirt for a certain vest and boots. Too flimsy, too short, too wrinkly, too boring.
White cotton pleated vintage skirt
Bought this on a foolish whim at Charlene's consignment shop in Natick. Couldn't resist the vision of myself playing tennis with the Great Gatsby or something. Never worn.
Black evening jacket with electric blue thread
Wore this a lot over various little black dresses for dancing and parties. The photo does't do it justice.
Boring Tweedish jacket for pretending to be respectable
Super comfortable and warm office camo, getting a little shaggy. Got this from that huge second-hand store near my sister's in Virginia, for working at Wellesley. Also wore it while campaigning. I'm done with that.
Nicer, more real Tweedy jacket
I like this and it's comfortable, but it's just too short.
Brown taffeta shell with velvet trim.
Pretty, but never worn. The zipper is a little weird in the context, and it wasn't warm, and didn't fit very well.
Tiered black velvet skirt and black bolero with gold sequins
I have enough black skirts, this one is heavy and dowdy, Goodbye. I've worn the top quite a few times, over a little black dress, for dancing, always leaving a trail of tiny gold sequins for finding my way home. Hm, I guess sometimes I do like sequins. I think I will keep it after all.
Hot pink low-rise skinny jeans
Still with tags on. What was I thinking?
Pink satin chemise
I believe at one time I found this attractive. More recently it has been lying on my bedroom floor for at least five years. I'm keeping the red silk one, though.
White muslin traditional nightgown
Don't tell Victoria, but I got this at a thrift store, Sally Ann, I think. I used to wear nightgowns like this in my youth, but the only times I wore this one were with a skirt over it, for Moonshine Alley gigs, including our very first one at Holli's winter holiday pop-up shop. Thank you, Holli!
Knit watermelon-colored summer dress with machine embroidery
Might work for someone with a more ample bosom, but for me it was only ever useful as a swimsuit coverup or loose summer nightgown. Wait a minute, this was a great summer nightgown! Why did I get rid of it?
Felicity's prom dress
Shedding tears over saying goodbye to this one. Miss my kids! She doesn't want it, though. Moving on. It was a pretty fabulous confection and I hope someone else can enjoy it now.
Eighteen pounds of old bedding ready for recycling
Sad to say goodbye to one of those old sleeping bags from our cross-country drives when I was a kid, all seven of us in the VW microbus, drawing straws to decide who got to sleep in a bed and who had to sleep on the motel room floor. Still have one or two of those sleeping bags left, though.