Friday, April 19, 2013

Friday, What I Wore, Remembering . . .

Besides marking papers today, I'm going to fit in a yoga class with Pater followed by late breakfast at our favourite little cafe, Mon Petit Choux, and then I have an appointment with my stylist -- so, a couple of hours of pampering and laughs and lots of chat. A good day, overall, I expect.

But I'm still being stingy with my words -- too much of what I might write about directs me into territory I haven't got the emotional energy for yet.

Even these WIW photos. . . .I snapped them the other day because they show the jaunty red Ferragamos that were among the items I took home from my Mom's condo as we began clearing it out two weekends ago. Another sister who shares the same foot size   will be wearing a great pair of pointy stilletos and thinking of Mom when her toes pinch at the end of the day. Mom did love her shoes. A few years ago, when we were shopping together (and oh, I wish I'd taken her more often -- she really did enjoy those excursions), she justified a potential purchase by saying, "Well, if I see a pair of shoes I like, I'll buy them -- it just helps my other shoes last longer." uh-huh, purely practical . . .

And she did make them last. Thanks to her cognitive impairment/memory problems over the last few years, we got to hear some stories repeated (some of you may know what that's like). One she told a few times was of taking a favourite pair of shoes to the cobbler, who thought she might just as well buy a new pair, but who humoured her and repaired the beloved red loafers. Of course, walking 15+ kilometres a day, as she did up until January, she tended to wear shoes out.

The Ferragamos, though, were reserved for special outings -- she found them at a consignment store she loved for its high-end offerings. My sister R, who can have no regrets at all about the number of outings she took Mom on, remembers her being quite thrilled to find them, in all their jaunty butter-softness, for under $100 in their near-new condition.

Of course, she'd probably never wear them with quite as short a dress as mine (and I probably shouldn't either -- did it shrink?!), although she certainly had the legs to. . . And they're not quite what I might have picked up on my own. But they are superbly comfortable, and I will walk them in her memory. I'd love to show her how I've styled them though: Dress, The Gap; Cardigan, Banana Republic (3 or 4 years ago); Scarf, Bon Marché Paris, 7 or 8 years ago; and red shoes, Ferragamo via my mother.  . .

See? Tried to stick to a WIW post, and even that turned out to be a hazard.

Curious to know: Have any of you inherited clothes or shoes? Have you worn them or does that seem too odd, uncomfortable? 

23 comments:

  1. "Ferragamo, via my mother..."

    I truly want you to feel no guilt for the degree of care you gave your mother. I can promise you it was better than most.

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    1. Thank you. But I wish I could have been a better friend to her before that. . . . I was never able to manage that, really. I do know we took really great care of her these last months, and in the years leading up.

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  2. Hello Mater, lovely stories of your mum and her shoes. The only thing I wear of my mum's is her wedding ring - and I can't get it off anymore!

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    1. So she really wants you to keep her in mind! ;-)

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  3. Those red shoes are super with your navy stripes and scarf. I have much the same logic as your mother with the shoes. I used a purse of my grandmother's and a lovely creme princess line wool coat. A visit to the stylist, yoga and a French restaurant sound like a lovely day.

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    1. I bet that purse and coat are lovely.
      Quickly reading your summary of my projected day, I thought how close it sounds to yours lately, excepting the yoga. ..

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  4. I've been your devoted reader for a long while, have never commented before. My mother loved shoes and had a good sense of style when I was growing up. In her later years her taste changed utterly, and she'd apparently shed, without our knowing, the gorgeous shoes, bags, coats I remember in loving detail. A red leather swing coat she'd had made in New York, an olive dress and matching coat she'd knit for herself, Delman handbags... so many items that read "her" to me. I would proudly have worn any of them in her memory, had we been able to find them. I'm glad you have your mother's Ferragamos and are wearing them even though they depart somewhat from your own style. We daughters all walk in our mothers' footsteps, whether we have departed from their route or stayed close. Thank you so much for your blog.
    Amy

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    1. Amy, welcome and thanks so much for commenting!
      How interesting that your mother changed her style so completely, and too bad she never thought of passing along one or two pieces.
      You're so right that we follow our mothers' footsteps, whether to walk in them or to try not to. . . . as Virginia Woolf said, We think back through our mothers, if we are women.

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  5. A sweet memory, materfamilias. My mother actually tried to •return• a pair of shoes after three years (she too was a walker and it showed) because she thought they had not worn well! When the store refused she would not enter it again. Ah, mothers, ah memories.

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    1. Oh, I love this story! Remember/imagine a time when stores/brands were held to such high standards. I know that Eaton's long ago had a reputation for taking back products long after purchase date -- although 3 years for a pair of shoes, well walked in . . . Obviously no shrinking violet, your mother.

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  6. First, the dress is NOT too short!

    The shoes are wonderful and as time softens the edges of your loss, will perhaps provide a sense of connection and continuity. And yes to what LPC said; we would all be quite fortunate receive the level of care and caring that you and your family provided to your mother.

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    1. Thanks for the vote of confidence re dress length, Sue. And I do think I'm going to quite enjoy thinking of Mom in these jaunty red shoes, and walk in her spirit. Debating taking them to Paris . . . ;-)

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  7. Ditto the not too short comment - you look fabulous.
    Yes I do have some hand - me - downs. A lovely red suede boxy jacket of my grandmother's which I should wear more, and a wonderful cream linen blazer of my grandfather's. A stylish pair they were.

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    1. Oh My! I'd love to see you feature both those jackets on your blog one of these days, and perhaps a little story about your memories of them. . .

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  9. Love the red shoes and their provenance. When a beloved aunt died, her daughter gave me a lovely ivory coloured winter coat with a soft fox (I don't know if was real or fake) trim around the hood. Although it was slightly large on me, I wore it on the coldest days and thought of her. Last year, Tim bought me a coat that fitted me better, and my mother asked me for the other coat - her sister's - to treasure.
    Enjoy your day of pampering.

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    1. Having seen a photo of your aunts on your blog, and knowing of your family's closeness, I have no doubt that coat gave you much comfort. That your mother now wears it makes it even more communally loved and rich with memories (and blended scents, no doubt).

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  10. I always think that red is such a cheery colour for shoes...and Ferragamo's are classic.
    They look great with your striped dress.

    I hope that your day is full of wonderful moments and like Lisa mentioned I agree that you need not feel guilt. Take it easy...



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    1. Ferragamos are indeed classic -- beyond my budget and beyond Mom's, so I'm glad she was so clever with her thrifting. I do like them with my stripes -- they'd suit you as well, no?

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  11. Frances, I have recently started wearing my mother-in-law's wedding ring and I am loving it. I thought it would be weird and didn't put it on for two years. Now I don't know why I didn't do it sooner. It's very tiny and old-fashioned with two minute diamonds so it's quite understated. I wear it with my plain gold band and my 15th-anniversary ring that has a small ruby. So, three rings that are significant to me and somehow work together. I am having the three diamonds from her engagement ring put into a bracelet/cuff so I can wear that in her memory as well. I am so happy to have these small reminders of a wonderful woman who was an important part of my life. A friend of mine has rings and other jewellery from several family members and she loves wearing them as mementoes of people she loved. I think the beautiful red shoes are a lovely way of remembering your mother, especially as she loved shoes so much. Shoes, jewellery, clothing, are so invested with meaning and sentiment. They all have such memories and images attached to them don't they? So wear the shoes out in your mom's honour and remember all the fun you had shopping for shoes with her!

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    1. I love the idea of having jewelry reworked into pieces that suit you and that still hold the memory of the loved one. But I also love the idea of combining inherited pieces that we assume are not our style -- and finding that they become something different in the blending. I have my Mom's original engagement ring, bought in '52 on a very small budget, with the teeniest diamonds, old-fashioned like yours. I'm still figuring the best way to incorporate this -- maybe I should try simply wearing it, as you do your mother-in-law's ring. . . Thanks so much for commenting here!

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  12. I wear my grandmother's Aquascutum scarf all winter. It reminds me of her and of England, and of our shared philosophy to buy one good item and wear it for a billion years.

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    1. Lovely! A scarf seems a particularly good way to carry a loved one's memory -- that hug around the neck. . .

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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