I have been involved in “e-tailing” for almost four years now. I own and operate three virtual stores. One of these stores markets antique and vintage items. While checking out the competition recently, I focused on the category of used wedding gowns. The ones that sold fetched good prices.
Vintage clothing is not a category in my shop. I have an “accessories section” for leather gloves from my mother and aunt and some vintage scarves I’ve collected over the years. I wore scarves wrapped around my head as headbands or ponytail adornments in the 1970s and tied in fancy bows or knots around my neck in the 1980s. Otherwise, I never keep clothing, except for the lovely satin wedding gown up in our attic. It has been in the family since 1942.
My mother chose this dress it for her wartime wedding that year, and my sister and I chose it for our weddings in 1968. However, my niece and daughters did not want to wear it for their 1990, 1999 and 2000 weddings.
My 8-yr old granddaughter, Julia, spent the day at our house this past Monday because her school had a “non-pupil contact day.” I told her about the dress while I looked through old pictures to use in listing the item. She looked at wedding pictures of my mother, my sister and me in the dress, and then pictures of her mother and her aunt in their wedding gowns.
She wondered aloud why her mother and her aunt did not want to wear the shiny satin gown with a sweetheart neckline, rucked (fabric sewn into folds) bodice, long tight sleeves and a cathedral train. I explained that they wanted different kinds of weddings than the older generations did. “Oh, I can see that,” as she explained the differences she had noticed between our formal church weddings and the smaller gatherings in an old historic home for her mother and a city park for her aunt.
After a pause, she wistfully commented that it was nice when things were passed down. I asked her if she wanted the dress and she softly answered, “Yes.” I quickly replied, “I will save the dress for you. It is yours. Do you want to see it?” Oh yes, she did! I took her up to the bedroom and flipped opened the window of the “acid free chamber” in the box where the gown has been stored since I had it cleaned and preserved. I explained the fabric was called a “blush” satin because it was originally white, but turned a cream color over time.
When I said, “Grandpa will put this right back in storage,” she smiled a big smile, then added, “I won’t be getting married for a long, long time.”
So, I’m not selling the dress, for all the right reasons!