Monday, December 12, 2011

The Life of One Spectacular Jacket

My grandmother was truly elegant. It was a different time and a different place, but even now, although my lifestyle is pretty casual, I long to 'be a lady' once in a while.

When my grandmother was almost 50, a frightened three year old little girl came to live with her and Gramps - me. She went 'to business' every day but managed to be a mother to me, attend my school functions, and keep our family together.

She didn't have a ton of clothing and jewelry, but what she had was well-chosen, even spectacular. She wore Pauline Trigere and Abe Schrader, got her hair done on Tuesdays and 'combed out' on Fridays, while those around her looked like they shopped at Woodstock.

When she'd visit my school, I was so proud of her. She moved quietly. It was only in meeting up with my former elementary school teacher a few years ago, that I learned that the envelope I carried to school each Monday with my milk money had enough in it for every child in the school who didn't have milk money. She raised the bar on elegance in our provincial little town, without being pretentious - she was quite a lady.

Understandably, I'd reminisce during the holidays, but there's something in the Ulla collection that prompted me to write this, the Sequined Swing Jacket, #15340. My grandmother had a similar sequin cardigan and a coordinating sequin handbag that she wore for at least 30 years. Why? Because it complemented everything she owned. It was a gracious, elegant combo and she carried it well. So, why change it? That's how she bought - for the long term.

When holidays or family celebrations came around, she didn't need to run out for a new dress. Quite the contrary, what she already owned transcended the decades and snickered at the fashion trends because they were already so right, spot-on and always worked well for her. I can picture the dresser drawer where her special cardigan and handbag waited at the ready, to be called up for yet one more celebration. The memory of the fragrance of that drawer with its delightful orange and clove sachet overwhelms me now.

I keep my Sequin Swing Jacket and Rhinestone Evening Bag, #15945 in a drawer with an orange and clove sachet and wear it when I want to be reminded of the woman I called Mommy and what being an elegant, well-grounded woman is all about.

Here's to you, Mommy!

I hope you'll share similar memories!

Ulla Popken Stylist & Blogger

Be your personal best.


Jodell said...

I was always taught quality and not quantity. How true!

Anonymous said...

Yup, guiding principles like that work in every generation!

Thanks for commenting!