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There’s something for everyone in this week’s giveaway, but especially for my librarian friends and Moms out there!

• a 1970s dress with a back-to-school vibe

• a vintage handbag for anyone who can’t enter the dress giveaway

• a copy of former Children’s Poet Laureate Mary Ann Hoberman’s new picture book, I Like Old Clothes

I am enchanted beyond words with this darling book. It begins: “I like old clothes, Hand-me-down clothes, Worn outgrown clothes, Not-my-own clothes…” Through the eyes of a little girl who loves old clothes, you’ll see why people swoon over clothes with past.

I found this vintage handbag at Minx, a local vintage shop I’ll tell you more about later this week. I love its distinctive toile design and its roominess, a rare attribute in a vintage handbag. From the way it responded to saddle soap, I’m convinced the body is patent leather. It shined up beautifully and has only a few imperfections in the toile to add vintage cache.

I can’t look at this dress without thinking of my childhood friends Melanie and Michelle Bolen. Melanie and I were the same age and Michelle was a few years older. With a grandmother who sewed for them and a mother who loved clothes, the girls were my idea of style makers. I was a step behind them in size, a plight that made me the happy recipient of many fabulous hand-me-downs. This dress is reminiscent of Michelle when she was in high school.

I still remember a powder blue dress I inherited from her, a high-collared number, which I wore to my eighth-grade graduation. Mom let me shave my legs for the first time that day. Yes, I was in the eighth grade before my blond, hairy legs were given this ladylike lift! Some rites of passage happened later than they do now. The prevailing question parents had back then: what do kids have to look forward to if you give them access to EVERYTHING before they are even 16? Or 10, for that matter. I’ve never been a parent, so I’m reluctant to cast judgment in this area. But I do wonder if the idea still has merit, old-fashioned though it may be.

How to enter the giveaway

To enter the contest, please subscribe to the blog if you haven’t already AND add a comment explaining which one interests you. If you’re entering the dress drawing, please read the full description to make sure the dimensions work for you. I’ll draw the winners on August 27.

Who was your hand-me-down friend or relative when you were a girl?

Life is short. Wear the good stuff.

1970s Powder Blue Baby Doll Shirt Dress DR135
Laura Ingalls, did you forget your lunch pail?
Condition: Good to excellent vintage condition

Measurement of garment:
Overall size: Small
Bust: 36 inches
Waist: 26 inches
Hip: Open
Length: 38 inches
Underarm to waist length: 8 inches
Shoulder: 15 inches
Sleeve Length: 24 inches

Description: Large cornflower blue and white checked cotton dress is a trimmed in white pique cotton at the collar and cuffs. The waist is defined by a belt and flat pleats that fall into a generous skirt, pieced with three wide horizontal bands of ecru cotton lace. The same lace defines the length of the dress on either side of the button-up placket, running from the skirt’s topmost tier of lace all the way up to the collar. Note: the seams where the sleeves attach to the bodice could benefit from reinforcement.
Label: Anne Fogarty