What's the oldest thing you own? Some people inherit old things, some people buy them, some people just buy them new and keep them forever. When I was in high school, circa 1980, I started to carefully shop vintage clothing. It was easier then because there was a secondhand shop within my school (a private school, meaning donations got a tax decuction), so I could begin to get an education in fabric and cut and the history of style. Now I have things from every decade, including a beautiful dark brown Oxxford suit from 1955 and a glen plaid from 1948, but they're in storage. A couple of ties seem quite ancient; one has an NRA tag and a red eagle; I think this is from the National Recovery Administration, an industrial reorganization plan from FDR's first years in office; it was struck down by the Supreme Court in 1934. Another has a tag from "neckwear progress exhibition," which to my mind evokes the Century of Progress exhibition that Chicago had in 1933. They're very short by contemporary standards, of course, so I usually wear them under a v-neck sweater vest.
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10/12/04 at 11:03am