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The Life From The Roots blog topics have changed several times since I began this blog. In 2009, with my first posts, I wrote only about the family history I had been working on for 20 years. Many ancestors lived in New England so it was easy to visit gravesites and towns where they lived. I shared many photo. Years later, I was into visiting gardens, historical homes, churches, libraries that had genealogical collections, historical societies, war memorials, in general, anything to do with history. I enjoy posting autographs and photos of famous people I met or saw.

My New England roots are in Connecticut and Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire). Other areas include New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and the Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada.

Please check out the labels on the right side for topics. Below the labels and pageviews is a listing of my top nine posts, according to Google. Four of them pertain to Lowell, MA, three are memorials, one about a surname and one about a discovery I made. These posts change often because they are based on what people are reading.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

My Fashion History Continues Part 2 (1979-1994)

This post is a continuation to My Clothes History through Photos and Diary (1964-1978).

In January 2020, I was busy getting rid of some clothes that didn't fit and trying to decide what to do with them. None needed to be tossed, but should be donated. My decision was made to photograph the items I wouldn't keep because they all had memories attached to them. It is indeed my history. I remember where and when I bought them where I wore them. I frequently bought certain labels, they were Talbots, Liz Claiborne, and Jones New York. In 1979 I was working at the Veterans Affairs building in DC, 2 blocks from the White House. Naturally, I wanted to be stylish and there were plenty of stores in which to shop during lunch. I loved the Garfinckel's, the Hecht Co., Woodward & Lothrop, Lord and Taylor, and Talbots stores.

I realize I have shared a lot in this post, but it is for my own benefit and memory. However, I thought somebody would get a kick out of some styles we all wore. Not only do the clothes elicit a memory, but the memory also brings thoughts to working in DC, both at the Veterans Affairs and the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).

The VA is the triangle-shaped building on the upper right side. (I took this picture from the tall Washington Monument in 1976.)

I am writing this history of my love affair with clothes for several reasons.
I can now get rid of some clothes, especially those that don't fit, and with this blog, I will always have photos, both old and new photos.
The clothes that still fit and I wear are documented for memory. It is amazing how much you forget over the years, especially a 75+ year-old who has moved many times. These photos keep the memories fresh.

Hold tight, below is the outfit I wore to meet my future daughter-in-law and her family in 1980. I think it was the first time I ever wanted to impress somebody. The wool sweater and dark pencil skirt were given to my very thin neighbor last year. I had a light grey/blue silk blouse to wear with this, and it still fits me. My daughter-in-law doesn't remember this outfit. Even though I explained it in detail.






At a gathering for my grandfather's funeral in 1981, I wore this two-piece cotton outfit, which was a favorite of mine. I believe it was made by Jones New York. I loved the lace collar.









Nothing special about the dress, but I sure loved these dark brown shoes. I'm not a shoe person at all, and these were the only stylish shoes I ever wore. I remember walking all around DC wearing them. I wouldn't now! I also wore a jacket on most days. When I left Virginia I had 15 dress jackets (have kept three Talbots that still fit).
Max Cleland was watching over the Veteran's Affair's birthday cake.
I was wearing a pink and white wrap dress by Diane Von Furstenberg, I wore this to help celebrate a new stamp to honor the 50 years of the VA's years of service. Max Cleland was the Administrator of the VA.

Another Liz Claiborne outfit. I gave the two pieces outfit to my neighbor.

I loved this skirt, but it was a tad too small. I gave it to my neighbor. In the below photo, I was wearing this orange/red print skirt. The other two VA pals and I spent a long weekend in New York City, seeing Chorus Line and seeing all the other touristy things.

The pencil skirt I mentioned wearing with the lavender sweater. Way tooo small to wear now. Gave it to Miss Skinny neighbor.

My neighbor got the skirt and I kept the top. This print is so me.

This is a Liz Claiborne two-piece outfit. I gave my neighbor the skirt and I kept the top. Note: Both of the Liz Claiborne tops had shoulder pads.

Another skirt the neighbor got.

One of my favorite outfits is by Alpert Nipon, cost $138, bought in 1983, I still have the sales slip. There was a black dressy tie for under the collar at the neck, that I kept, but my neighbor got the outfit.

I loved sweaters. I gave these to my neighbor.

Red wool Pendelton suit, I gave to my neighbor. I always felt overdressed when I wore this. Although just a suit, it was a bit too fancy for workdays at the DAR.
The top purple grey blouse is silk, the bottom is white satin, both fit perfectly. Still in my closet, waiting for the perfect occasion to wear. I also have three other blouses I can't part with.

This blue and black plan washable wool heavy shirt has an interesting story. 
Although it belonged to my friend Mark Sherman, a co-worker at the Veteran's Affairs, he gave it to me before he departed DC for a brighter future in Hollywood, making movies. He learned how to make movies at the VA. We had a lot of fun, and this shirt/jacket represents happiness when I think of him, and also when I wear it on cooler days.


This coat was hardly ever worn. One of my co-workers, Rita Montgomery, and I went shopping one noon in DC and saw this in the window. She had to buy it, but I, without thinking did the same thing. We each bought them at half price, spending $400 on the cashmere wrap coat. It was too fancy to wear to DC and about a year later I left to get my Associate's degree. It remained in a hope chest for years, then last year, I gave it to my neighbor along with the other clothes. Then I asked for it back so I could take this picture. We then agreed I'd keep it until she wants to wear it. So now, neither of us has worn it in over a year. It fits perfectly.

Pre 1989 purchased sweaters that I still wear.

Carol Reed lined wool skirt that I could wear if I had a place to go! I bought it in North Conway, NH, during a trip from Virginia.



One of my favorite outfits, purchased in Talbots just before I left employment at the DAR in 1994. Still fits perfectly, except, the skirt is the old style...long length. It can be rolled under the jacket tho.

Two washable light wool skirts I bought in London. I could still wear them. During my two trips to London, I also visited a Laura Ashley shop and bought several blouses. In addition to these winter skirts, I bought two summer ones, I gave them away last year.

Matti of Lynne dress I bought to wear to my husband's reunion. It still fits, but is way too long now...that was the style in the early 80s.

There are two Pendleton jackets purchased at their outlet in Pennsylvania between 1980-1980 shown above. (The plaid is nice heavy wool.) Still Fit. The other jacket is a Brooks Brother corduroy green lightweight jacket bought at Shelton's on Sept. 12, 1990, in York, Maine, now out of business. I went to that store every time to buy something.


This Vanity Fair bed coat and pajama bottom were bought in Reading, PA at their massive factory outlet. We went twice a year.  The original pajama top was worn, so I threw it out, but I took a photo at the last minute. It lasted a good 35 years. The pants are faded because of all the washings, but the lace on the sides and leg bottoms are still intact. I also have saved and can wear 4 velour tops. Note: I wasn't able to crop the photo on the right. This is what I threw away after abt. 35 years because the sleeves were completely worn, glad I took the picture, but wish I had saved it.

The other day, I showed my niece two of the light velour bathrobes I bought so long ago. Pink was for summer, maroon is for winter. Hardly ever wear them, but I just don't want to part with them.

Another outlet I liked was the Barbizon store in Freeport, Maine. My Virginia husband loved Maine so we went up there quite a few times. This long nightgown has hardly been worn. I think because I have to hem it.

We faithfully visited and shopped at LL Bean's in Freeport, Maine, but I don't have anything over 26 years old.

The last pair of shoes I bought in DC, in 1994. Yes, still fits, but where am I doing to wear them to? And yes, the style is obsolete.

When I moved to my town in Massachusetts, I had one executive-type job, but I always seemed to be overdressed.
Here I am at the right. The Plant Manager of Prince Spaghetti is in the yellow long-sleeved shirt, the others are in accounting or various department heads. A couple of the women never wore dresses or skirts, let alone jackets. I actually think people were getting relaxed about dressing up. Even though my husband worked in an office, he was able to wear jeans on Friday. I wore some of what I had and bought other clothes at either Macy's, Talbots, Marshalls, and more recently Kohl's. It's what I still do today.