Today's topic is all about recycling! Well, not really.....but it is all about passing classic clothes down from generation to generation. This is a rather long post, but we believe in keeping our clothes, so there are quite a few examples!
Many of us have the traditional things we pass down. For instance: the family christening/baptismal gown. Our family gown was originally my father's (as shown here from 1914):
I would wear this same gown when I was baptised (1959)
As would my nieces (in 1989 and 1990)
Older Daughter (1991 at just 2 months old)
Younger Daughter (1996)
As I am the family keeper of the dress, I have it ready to go for the next generation!
I am also the keeper of the family wedding dress and veil, which is from my mother's side of the family. When my aunt became engaged, my grandfather sent her, my mother ("Miss Betty") and their other sister to New York to look for a wedding dress.( I believe the search actually started in South Carolina and covered major cities from Atlanta to New York.) The plan was that three of them would choose something that they all liked and could all wear eventually. My grandfather was a smart fellow!! They chose a wonderful dress of a beautiful cream colored silk satin, with antique Brussels lace down the front. The veil, purchased elsewhere, was Brussels lace as well, and was over 100 years old.
My aunt wore it, when she was married in her early 20's.
My other aunt wore it when she was married in 1961, at the age of 32.
My two cousins both wore the family wedding dress...
As did I.
And it's here waiting for my daughters, too.....
But Miss Betty, who was 34 when she was married (more unusual in the 1950's), decided that she was
"too old" for such a dress and a big wedding and opted for a lovely tea length dress and smaller wedding.
(No one, not even Granddaddy, argued with Miss Betty.
Even as a young person, hers was the ultimate word on what was proper or appropriate!)
The tradition of recycling a dress was definitely strong in Miss Betty's family!
My grandmother made Miss Betty (her eldest) a dress when she was little, and had her picture made in it.
(In the South, when you are doing a special picture, you don't have it "taken," you have it "made!")
Miss Betty saved the dress and had my picture made in it:
And I had my daughters' pictures made in it as well.
It, too, is in my safekeeping....
....and we all are on display in my upstairs guest room.
I have other examples of clothes "through the generations," but I will save them for another time. I am sure you have them too. It's a classic preppy thing.. It's never to late to start this kind of tradition in your family, either....Well made clothes last forever!
In closing I will leave you with just one more.....a little smocked dress of mine that got a lot of wear when I was growing up, but here it is today, washed and pressed and ready for my granddaughters or grandnieces to wear!
It is a precious little dress from Best & Co.
and I certainly didn't sit still when I was wearing it almost 50 years ago (1961)...