Who knew that one article of clothing could make me feel like Marilyn Monroe, Jay-Z and a 50’s debutant all at once!
Yesterday my family and I stumbled across an estate sale on our way home from the cottage. My parents have an appreciation for antiques and I have an appreciation for a deal, so of course we had to stop and check it out. “Estate” was the right word to use for this sale. The huge house had a beautiful staircase with a carved banister and even a servants’ entrance in the back. Each room had antiques on display, some were beautiful, some were not, but all were of immense value. Clearly the people who once inhabited this house knew how to live well. The furniture and Royal Doulton china was all lovely to look at, but it was the room where the lady of the house’s personal affects were laid out that captivated me the most.
A white crinoline prom gown from the 40’s hung against the faded wall paper, with its red details it spoke of a woman who knew how to dress with whimsy. A wrought iron bed laid out with fur coats, a slew of handbags, a collection of leather and silk gloves and a pair of dainty sequenced heels made me imagine that their past owner was not only up to date with style, but also knew how to have a good time, these clothes were not bought to sit around the house in! These clothes were bought to go out and have fun in, to fall in love in and to be admired in. These were things that I wanted too, so even though I had never met the woman who had owned them, I felt a kinship with her. I was most curious about her hats. Ladies in the 40’s and 50’s really knew how to wear a hat properly. Hats to them were like what shoes are to us: a statement not to be taken lightly. I wish we still wore hats like that. I tried on all the hats: silk flower caps, mink lined winter wear and berets with veils. None of them fit. My modern woman skull was too big for these delicate hats of yore. I started to think that nothing here would fit and that’s when I picked up the mink coat. I, of course, did this just to feel how soft it was and to try and soak up some of its luxury. I should point out that, just like vintage hats don’t fit my giant head, modern coats don’t fit my manly shoulders. That’s right; I have the shoulders of a linebacker. Day after day of swimming during my formative high school years gave me massive shoulder muscles which, although good for swimming, are not compatible with jackets. Because of this fact I never imagined that this mink would fit. But fit it did, nay not even fit, glided and molded to my body was more like it! I immediately fell in love, now I finally understood what all those shopaholics were talking about! This was not just a coat… this was destiny! I looked down at myself and saw Marilyn, I strode over to the mirror feeling like Jay-Z and I saw the reflection of a 50’s debutant in the mirror. I needed this coat.
No matter how much my heart said “yes”, my wallet screamed “NO” when it saw the $800 price tag. I started to think about putting the coat down and walking away when my research addicted boyfriend and my barter savvy mother stepped in. My boyfriend Scott had been fiddling away on his iPhone between glances of me in the mink while I conferred with my mother who kept saying “it IS a really beautiful piece…” when he came over and then with the hands of an expert began running his hands across the fur and lining. Then he started spouting off fur information like he’d been doing this his whole life, explaining to me the make of the coat and its worth. According to Scott and the internet this mink was worth well over $800. So with encouragement to barter from my mom and Scott I approached the seller and got her to knock off $150 and throw in a cute handbag for free. I skipped to the car! I had never paid so much money for an article of clothing in my life, but I had also never felt this amazing about any material thing.
I officially can’t wait for winter so I can feel like Marilyn in my pimpin’ mint mink. I hope its previous owner felt the same way when she wore it, judging by her house and accessories, I have a good feeling that she did ;)