While I was taking pictures, I looked more closely at the only tag in the sweater. I noticed that a woman's name tag was hand sewn onto the brand tag. I clipped the threads below and confirmed that the vest is, indeed, 100% cashmere as I had suspected. However, it was something else that struck me.
There was a time when clothes were special.
I'm guessing this sweater is from the 1950's. This Donna Hotel didn't have as many shopping options as I do today. No malls. No Walmart or Target. No Forever21 or H&M. No internet shopping. No 20+ monthly fashion magazines to vie for her attention and wallet.
I don't know if Ms. Hotel was a woman of means or not, but one thing is clear: her clothes, at the very least this sweater, were important to her. So much so that she had personalized name plates embroidered and hand stitched them into her garments, and in this case, with matching thread! I have to believe that her intention, when she purchased this vest, was to have it for a very long time. It's in such lovely condition, I can tell it's been cherished!
I know I'm being nostalgic for a time before I was even born. But seeing this really spoke to me. How much of my wardrobe is special? Am I filling my closet with "stuff"? Is clothes shopping a hobby or a treasure hunt? Do I mindlessly purchase clothes that really have no value other than being on trend for the season? And the big question: how much of what's in my closet will be there 10 years from now (wow, even 5 years from now) and what condition will it be in?
Often I feel like my soul is from another era. But if it wasn't meant to be for me to live in the 20's or 30's, then maybe it's okay if I take a bit of sentiment and sensibility from that time.
To take a little extra time and effort to select and care for these bits and pieces of fluff that I adorn myself with.
To make my clothes and how I use them........special.