Monday, June 20, 2011

The Secret Lives of Dresses: Book Club Style

My Mother is the member of a wonderful group of ladies, who gather together each month to discuss their thoughts on a wonderful book. Each month, a different lady hosts the other women at her house for the evening, provides them with dinner and some desert and gets to choose the book they will read and discuss that month. This month was my Mother's turn, and she chose a book that she knew I would love, 'The Secret Lives of Dresses' by Erin McKean.

Book Club Show and Tell

This book was a great story, of a young woman named Dora who suddenly finds herself taking over her grandmothers Vintage Shop. I was so excited that my mother had recommended this book to me, and was even more excited when she welcomed me to join her friends for their monthly Book Club meeting as a Special Guest. I loved reading this book. The author allowed me the opportunity to fall in love with both the characters, and the various items of clothing that hung in the shop. As a thrift store lover, I often think about where the clothing I'm buying came from. Who owned this before me, and what has this sweater seen? The author seemed to recognize this sense of emotion that I often feel when I find the perfect piece hanging in a Vintage Store, and was able to not only put that feeling into words, but to also give those pieces a life in this book. I was interested to see if the ladies, who maybe don't often shop in thrift stores would have a similar reaction to the book.

Book Club Show and Tell

My Mother asked each lady to bring a special item with them to this month's gathering, and to share the item's story. In our own version of Show and Tell, we would get a chance to allow each of our items Secret lives to be told. It was a wonderful chance for each of us to dig our favorite things out of the closet, and let their stories be told. Each of these items got their turn as we 'oo'd' and aah'd while we passed them around swapping stories and sharing tales.

Book Club Show and Tell

There was the box of hand sewn doll clothes, perfect for little girls who loved to visit grandma, a necklace made from the jewels from a wedding dress, a dress once purchased on a whim almost 30 years ago that has since proven it's worth. A hat joined our evening with a poem about evenings out with friends, and a bag showed us the dangers that traveling sometimes brings. There was a wonderful dress, made even better with some bigger button's, and expensive jewels once found behind a dresser. We heard stories about fast wedding's in pink dresses, and first I Love You's in denim. A charm bracelet showed memories from stops on a trip across Europe, and a choker sent from over seas was made even sweeter with stories about special Aunt's. Pink Pajama's told the story of a grandmother's love, and a Christening Gown showed marks of hand stitching and tradition.

Book Club Show and Tell

In sharing each of these items stories, we each got to share a bit of our own history. When our time comes and we each pass on, these items will stay behind, and with them will stay our stories. I can't recommend this book enough. As a lover of Vintage items, and of a great story, I found this book to be a perfect summer read. I also can't thank that ladies of my Mother's Book Club enough for letting me join them for a night of discussion and sharing. These items have so many memories to share, and it was so nice to get a chance to be a part of their history!

Book Club Show and Tell

** The White Gown you see in the front is actually my family gown. It was hand stitched by my Great-Great-Great Grandmother for my Great-Great Grandfather, and since has been worn by each generation during their baptism. That includes both me and my siblings!

** If you've been reading my blog for a while, then I'm sure you picked my story item right out of the crowd, my favorite Seven Jeans! I wear these jeans often (at least once a week) so they have plenty of stories to tell! I actually bought these on Johnny and my first vacation together. We took a weekend trip to Boston the first year we were together, and while there he convinced me to try these on, and then buy them while we were at the Marshall's there. I was wearing these the next day when he told me he loved me for the first time some 3 1/2 years ago! I hadn't even realized how much history this one pair of pants has until I sat down to decide which item to bring.


Katie Elizabeth said...

This is such a cool idea especially for that book. I've heard it's a great read from many people and I've wanted to read it but never got the chance.

xo katie elizabeth

monster cakes said...

I love that you went to a book club! I do one too. : ) And I'm always so impressed with people that are good at buying vintage/thrifting. I'm new at it, and my area doesn't offer a lot, but I try! And amen to zippers being difficult. If my mom wasn't there, I would have resorted to safety pins. ; )