Thursday, September 2, 2010

We'll Meet Again Some Sunny Day - DAY 19

I dug up this photo of Mum (front) with her two sisters and brother taken during a family reunion in the  mid-60s, a few years before I was born.

Mum's wearing a ready-made silk suit made in New Zealand at the end of WWII, purchased for Mum by her mother, before her wedding in 1945.
Off-the-rack clothing was a complete no-no back then; rationing was incredibly tight and so was Nana;)!
It was unheard of for struggling families to have such luxuries as this and Nana would have thought long and hard before spending precious pounds on such an extravagance.
I can't remember how much it was, but recall Mum telling me it was exorbitant for the time.
What I find amazing is that this feather-light silk has survived nearly 70 years without acquiring any moth holes, rips, stains or any damage whatsoever - and that's with my parents having seven children!
What is even more incredible to me is that the suit fits Mum perfectly in this photo, shortly after she had given birth to baby number six, my older sister.
The suit would have been pretty dated in the 60s, but I still think she looks extremely chic and glamourous!
The jacket is unlined and the so is the collar, which is softly pleated around the neckline and  allows the collar to float in the breeze:).
It fastens with yellow pearlescent buttons and has a very stiff peplum at the bottom of the jacket, typical of the period.
The pencil skirt is lined, has a narrow waistband, metal zipper, matching button fastening and a vent-type split at the back.
There's a little twist to the tale.
With five daughters clamouring after the precious suit for more than 50 years, Mum managed to keep it from us and a couple of years ago she let it go.
She gave it to me.
I still gasp when I look at it hanging in my closet.  
I was only allowed to touch it with clean hands as a child.
Now, it fits perfectly and I'm completely overwhelmed with gratitude for a gift that is irreplaceable to me.
I will be keeping it safe from harm's way until my own daughter is well aware of the suit's history.
So just in case the sky falls, I thought I'd better get some pics of me in the suit.
I'm sorry there are so many, I don't usually add many pics, but I'm sure you'll understand.
In styling the suit, I didn't want to go all-out vintage, but instead chose modern accessories which I felt gave a nod to the 1940s.
I'm wearing Forever 21 black fishnets, Nine West bottle-green velvet wedges, black silk rose  hairclip, assorted bangles and a leopard-print ponyskin belt worn around wrist.
Thank you Mum.
Do you have a similar story to share?  A much-admired-from-afar piece that finally ended up with you?  Do tell!


  1. This is a lovely story and you look wonderful in this outfit - so glamourous! What amazing condition it is in - looks like you bought it yesterday. How wonderful to have an hierloom that will be passed down three generations in your family.

  2. You look wonderful in this gorgeous suit, as did your Mum when she wore it. Her investment was worth every penny as it looks as good now as it did forty years ago. Fabulous! xxx

  3. What a cool story! Wear that dress with pride, girl. You rocked it out amazingly :)


  4. You look absolutely gorgeous in that dress and what a history it has! Now we know where your coolness factor comes from, your mom! Love the way you've styled everything and am especially digging the leopard print belt you've used as a bracelet.


  5. Can i just say how incredible endearing this story is. It's like a slice of fashion history! I love how you styles it to look more contemporary!

    PS- You have yourself a new follower now!

  6. wow wow wow-- first, i loved that story! there are so many pieces from my grandmother and mother that make me weep with joy upon receiving them. luckily for me i am the only daughter (no one to fight with) and my cousins are not sentimental bats the way i am so they wouldn't really bother about an old lady's stuff.

    second, the way you've put this outfit together is amazing. so much spunk and energy!

    third, you've gained a new follower :)

  7. What a lovely suit! I really liked seeing the first photo and reading about how you came to have the suit - it reminds me of a lot of the stories my grandma told me about her wartime dresses, and my mum's stories about all the clothes she used to sew. I think your suit will last for a very long time still - it looks very well cared for :)

  8. I adore the history behind this amazing suit and think you did a fantastic job of bringing it into the future! May it live to see many more generations appreciate it's beauty and history!

  9. You look amazing in your Mum's suit. It so special and you have made great choices with the accessories. I love how you look in it :)

  10. Thank you so much all you beautiful ones! I have so much admiration for you fellow fashion-lovers and your fabulous blogs:). I must say that I felt very privileged to be able to actually do this post as Mum's suit could easily have been (horrors) moth-eaten, ripped to shreds by naughty kids (me), so how it survived this long is beyond me!
    And thank you new followers, I will be stopping by for a visit:) xoxo

  11. Awww...fab story...I just saw your blog at it:)

    Im your newest follower:)

  12. Love your blog. The suit looks amazing on you and your Mom. Loved the beautiful story.

  13. Wow! that`s an amazing dress! adore the colar and the print of it!gorgeous!:)

  14. I love the print and you totally did a great job with making it look modern!

  15. Congratulations on having been chosen for this week round up IFB. You deserve it.

  16. I love hearing the story behind the garment!

  17. Wow that is so amazing after all those years it's yours!!! You styled it so well it's so cool to have such an amazing heirloom in your closet. =)

  18. Aww... it looks wonderful on you! I'm an only grand daughter, so I've inherited some wonderful pieces of clothing. My cousin and I (our grandmothers are twin sisters) just discovered that we have matching Somali leopard coats that we each got from our grandmothers. The twin sisters got them for their high school graduation in 1937!

    xo Marissa
    (The Well-Appointed Catwalk)

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