She Had It First

Posted by Bella Coeur on

Meet Chloe, my most recent addition to the Wall of Fame


I have no idea what this lovely lady’s real name is.  Sadly she is one of the “instant relatives” so often found tossed into a box in an antique store.  (Let this be a lesson to always identify your photos!  Do you want to end up with your face in a box with a thousand other unknown faces 50 or 100 years from now, with strangers making up stories about who you were?)

For some reason, she just “told” me her name was Chloe … so now she is Chloe.

Chloe caught my eye because, well, she has the Attitude.  And an awesome blouse.  Oftentimes, an old photo will catch my eye simply because of the clothing.  Chloe caught my eye because she has both.  Take a good look at her.  She KNOWS you want that blouse. 

One of the great things about scanning an old photo is the ease of enlarging it to see the details.  And the details of this blouse, or waist, are wonderful!  Each shoulder has a small, probably ¼” tuck, then working toward the collar, it looks like a vertical wavy line of whitework embroidery, then flowers with 5 petals – they almost appear to be individually sewn on – then 5 or 6 tiny pin tucks.  Vertically, down the center is ruffled lace decorated with fabric covered buttons.  Sort of makes the graceful high neck collar look a little boring with mere lace insertions and pin tucks. 

Was the blouse a ready-made, or did she make it?  What was the occasion of the photo?  A graduation?  An engagement?  Whose picture is in the locket?

So feminine.  So romantic.  And Chloe owned and wore it when it wasn’t vintage!  Wouldn’t it be amazing to have a vintage blouse AND a photo of the original owner wearing it?  Those are so rare.

Of course now I wonder what her skirt looked like.  Or was it a full “lingerie dress”?

It’s kind of thought provoking to realize that the antique or vintage dress we may be fortunate enough to own today originally belonged to and was worn by someone so many years ago.  The original owners would probably be surprised to learn that many of us today are so appreciative of the style, beauty, workmanship of the clothing that was taken for granted as part of their lives. 

Ahhh … so that’s explains Chloe’s attitude, “Remember, I had it first”.

Originally posted 6/6/2009

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  • I LOVE this post. I troll personal property auctions for old jewels. More often than not, I get WWII sweetheart jewelry with engraved names or name pins. Also, pictures. And I always do a little research out of respect. You can tell so much about a woman through her jewelry. I’ve also returned WWII Red Cross Nurses badges to Washington DC museum for display. My husband thinks this process is crazy and you just justified it a little more for me. Thank you!

    Christa Frye on

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