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I’ve known for many years that I’m a collector of hats, vintage and recycled clothing and accessories.  This would be difficult to ignore.  All I need to do is look around my living space to realize that my home is a closet.

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Most every piece in my collection is organized by category.  Hats in one area (except for a few favorites on display in the living room and dining room), shoes in another, and on and on.  You get the picture!

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At this point in my life, I embrace my desire and love to collect. I have no shame about this part of myself that enjoys the hunt and finding beauty in pieces from the past or that have a history that I can only imagine or make up in my mind.

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There may be several factors that explain my desire to collect. My brain, my emotions or perhaps it’s an addiction, but it hasn’t negatively affected other parts of my life. I see no reason to pathologize this interest or change a mindful activity that brings me joy and doesn’t hurt others. Rather, collecting enhances my life and my blog.

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Photos By Daniel

In fact, if I didn’t enjoy collecting an item because of its beauty, this hat would not have come to mind when I discovered this silk reptilian print Lanvin dress deeply discounted at a consignment shop in Minneapolis during my most recent trip this past summer.  The fabric hat was also discovered in a Minneapolis boutique at least 25 years ago. The gifted vintage faux snake-skin hat pin has been waiting for an outing for years.  Somehow they all came together with consignment shop black skinny jeans, open shoulder top,  jewelry and booties as I was planning my ensemble for a party in September.  This composition was created by scanning my beloved collections!  And so, I will continue to search the estate sales, thrift shops and consignment stores to my Style Crone heart’s content.

Linking up with Catherine’s #iwillwearwhatilike HERE at Not Dressed As Lamb and Patti’s Visible Monday HERE at Not Dead Yet Style.

28 Comments

  1. My mom is just like you in that collection respect Judith—although hers is not quite as organized!!
    You look stunning in this outfit!!
    Where did you find this fun yellow chair to pose? There’s a great bright pink one on University across from Bonnie Brae ice cream!!
    jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com

  2. That dress! Great find: I love Lanvin. It’s almost impossible to find this level of fine clothing now in “thrift shops” in England :-((

  3. Thank you Judith for expressing so delightfully what is in my mind when I acquire an object I love and being totally unapologetic about ‘collecting’. All the emphasis these days seems to be on paring down. And I do appreciate that sentiment as I look around at the things I don’t use or fully appreciate. And as usual, you look breathlessly beautiful. Thank you for shining some light on my cloudy, Pacific NW morning.

  4. I too am a collector of sorts and feel no need to apologize for it! You have fabulous things and why not? As you say, it hurts no one and brings you joy! Have a wonderful week Judith.

  5. Like you, I’m a lifelong collector although I’m very disciplined with what I keep and what i chose to sell.
    Your Lanvin dress was made for you, what a lucky find. xxx

  6. Dear Judith;

    Once again, a marvelous example of fashion forward styling compiled from just shopping your closet and the occasional purchase. Both you and the ensemble (it is too glorious to just call an outfit!). I really love your creativity in creating your personal and wearable works of art. I also applaud your collections; I have a little of the same thing going on with St. John knits. I also have a small “wall of hats” that I wear all year; mostly Fedora or more utilitarian stock, but I couldn’t be without them; they also always add “punch” to an outfit.

  7. Hi Jodie, Found the yellow chair downtown off of 18th Street on an outdoor patio. I can’t remember the cross street! I will have to check out the bright pink chair. Thanks.

  8. That hat is so unusual, I can see why you wanted it. The more of a “collector” we become, the more the unusual speaks to us.

    You are an iconic collector and I’m always inspired by you and your words. It isn’t often that as a collector one gets to wear the pieces and show the world their passion. Such is the joy of collecting vintage clothing aka, wearable art pieces rather than coins or paintings.

    You truly treat your body as your canvas and it is always a delight to see how through the years your collection comes together to create compelling outfits through different decades of fashion.

    bisous
    Suzanne
    http://www.suzannecarillo.com

  9. Beautiful. I’m so excited to have found your style blog that I discovered through your brother on the WW connect while he was singing your praises. There was a famous actress who had a list of things women should and shouldn’t do over the age of 50. She said not to wear hats….What!??! You have proved her wrong ten fold and I’m extremely gladdened by your proof of fabulousness in this photo shoot. I’m looking forward to reading past and future posts. JG

  10. How liberating to read this Judith. I struggle with feelings of guilt and shame about my growing collection of clothes, both vintage and new. My shoes and boots are lovingly stored but even then I sometimes suffer a twinge about how many pairs I have. This is like a “get out of jail free” card from you my dear. I shall join your club for joyful collectors who have a sense of pride in their hobby. It’s right to celebrate what a wonderful resource you’ve brought together as without it, your blog would not be the celebration of beauty this it is. Brava!
    Anna
    http://www.annasislandstyle.com

  11. Judith,
    I love your blog. You are indeed an inspiration! I love remembering the historical context of items in my closet, scarf bar, or jewelry drawer. Where I bought it, who gave it to me, and what occasion did I wear it. One of my favorites is a tunic like “top” that I wore to my son’s wedding and then wore it again to a friend’s art exhibit. At the wedding I wore formal leggings of the same material of the tunic. At the exhibit the tunic was paired with skinny jeans and boots! Both festive and very comfortable. Look forward to the next occasion to see what I might pair it with. Many thanks! Kathy

  12. Your collection brings so much joy, not just to you but for those of us who follow your blog and for those lucky enough to see you in person.
    Your ensemble is truly wonderful in each and every element .

  13. I think you speak for a lot of us. My collecting goes across genres into art and design (especially mid century). Your hat collection is what I truly appreciate. The Lavin is beautiful. Kansas City has lost two great consignment shops during the last two years and we won’t get to find great things like that here anymore.

  14. THATA GIRL!!!!!!!!!!
    KEEP COLLECTING and ENJOYING!
    MAKES me SO sad when women would tell me they are tossing out!
    YOUR FINDS……OMG…… that LANVIN is incredible!!!
    GOOD BUY!But YOU Knew that!!!

  15. Thank you for articulating so clearly how I feel about my “collecting” habit as well, although my collection is not nearly as extensive, or as impressive, as yours. The search is part of the appeal, and there is nothing like the spark of joy that erupts when you stumble upon a treasure that you know is going to be a perfect addition to your wardrobe.

    The Lanvin dress elevates the simple black foundation and the hat pin is marvelous!

  16. How deliciously refreshing to have ‘collecting’ as a life enhancing bonus rather than a problem with me. More power to collecting! I love collecting. It is as natural as prowling through a thrift shop for the gems that hide away in such places.

  17. Thank you, once again, Judith, for inspiration and beauty. I don’t have the collection that many others have, but I do have years of gorgeous clothes and jewellry stories, pre loved or given to me by people I have loved and love, and places I have visited which are meaningful to me. My collection is like a priceless edition of poetry or short stories – personally signed. xx

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