My aunt Marie with me at the tender age of one—I think I was eating her light meter. Look at Marie's striped cotton beach shoes!

My aunt Marie with me at the tender age of one—I think I was eating her light meter. Look at Marie's striped cotton beach shoes!

This is a little homage to the clothing, especially the prints, my Aunt Marie wore. She died when I was just 3, but I still have a few of her clothes. I wish I had more.

 

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Here she is in the late 50s. She was born in 1899, so she was in her late 50s too. Just look at the skirt! I would absolutely wear the whole look (including the glasses) right now.

 Me at 19 or 20 wearing Marie's French guard print shirt. I finally wore that poor shirt to death! 

Me at 19 or 20 wearing Marie's French guard print shirt. I finally wore that poor shirt to death! 

At the time of Marie's death, my family gathered all her household possessions, and some of her costume jewelry (she had a penchant for colorful rhinestones) and clothing survived in our basement until I was old enough to decide I really liked it. Some of my first vintage wearables came out of boxes of my aunt Marie's possessions. I remember especially liking the prints, including one with an 18th-century French guard motif on brushed cotton. I started wearing it when I was about 15 or 16.

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Aunt Marie was a school music teacher, and had some really great music-themed prints, which I imagine her elementary school students loved. This sash, printed with antique musical instruments, was part of her stash. I wonder if it had a dress or blouse to match?

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I've worn this big Western print rayon scarf of Marie’s since I was something like 14...approximately forever. It is even large enough to tie into a top like this.

 

I love knowing my Aunt Marie through her clothing. As ephemeral as mere woven and knitted yarns can be, it is an incredibly powerful way to connect to a past generation.

 

 

Do you keep anyone's memory alive by wearing that person's clothing?

 

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