A Sparkling Vintage Life

summer dress and hatThis is the weekend for end-of-summer clearance sales. Stores have been clearing out their summer inventory since July, so the selection might not be quite as great as a few weeks ago, but prices will be rock-bottom on those hot-weather items that are left. Of course we hope there is still some warm weather left to enjoy wearing summery clothing. But even if you buy it now and have to pack it away until next year, think of how much fun it will be to find a brand-new garment waiting for you next spring.

If you  have some spare time this weekend, take some of it to look over your summer clothes, get rid of those that are torn, faded, or past their prime, and note what you need for next year. Then hit the sales, either in store or online, and see what bargains you can score. Getting good value for your money is a very “sparkling vintage” thing to do.

You probably have a good sense of what you need to fill in the holes in your wardrobe. Think back over your summer–was there ever an occasion where you wished you had something more suitable to wear? Also think ahead to fall. What activities are coming up? Any special events planned? Do you and your family have appropriate clothes for all of them? Jot down a list of activities and clothes and check to see if there are any gaps to be filled. If you’re interested in knowing what such a list might have looked like in 1943, here’s a handy checklist for a city-dweller from the ever-on-top-of-things Grace Margaret Morton:

Coats and wraps, both tailored and dressy
Dresses for street, office or school, dates or “afternoons,” dinner, and formal
Sportswear, both spectator and active
Lingerie: slips, bras, girdles, briefs, sleepwear, robes
At-home wear: hostess gowns, pants and tops
Accessories: shoes, hosiery, hats, gloves, handbags, jewelry

Whew, that’s quite a list! Miss Morton suggests you budget your clothing expenditures carefully. She wrote, “Regardless of how little or how much one may have to spend for clothes, the smart, intelligent, alert young woman will take stock of what is on hand at the beginning of each season. Note which items are wearable as they are, which ones need to be cleaned or altered, and which ones are of no further use to you. Ask yourself the following questions:

Do you have certain basic costumes over which your coat is not suitable because of a pronounced discord of style, color, or trimming?
Do you have suitable accessories for each costume or wardrobe area?
Are your separates of such a type that they may be mixed harmoniously and worn for many occasions?
Do you have certain costumes in which you never have a good time? If so, why?
Do you have certain ensembles which you have worn for several seasons and each time you wear them you receive compliments? If so, why?
Do you have certain needs which your present wardrobe does not supply?
Do you have garments which require so much care that you hesitate to wear them?

Honest, straightforward answers to questions such as these in relation to your inventory of clothing will determine how skillful you really are in the selection, planning, and financing of your wardrobe.”

Ensembles. Costumes. How many years has it been since we thought of our clothes in those terms?

If you wrote down a list of clothing necessities for your life this fall, what sorts of things would be on it?