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Sisterhood Post

I have to say that collecting vintage fashion can be a bittersweet experience because of the way things come to me. Usually, someone dies and their family members are disposing of things.

That’s just how this sweater came into my life. It originally belonged to an Indianapolis bank executive—the first resident to move into Riley Towers around 1963. She was a well-traveled woman who died a few years ago in her 90s.

When her nieces settled her affairs, they invited me to take a look at her wardrobe, a mother lode of distinctive clothes from all over the world. As usual, I felt like a vulture, awkwardly going through things that once belonged to someone they loved. While I rummaged, they described their aunt, a refined woman who collected teacups, many of which their father (her brother) had given her.

Discovering this sweater and its matching skirt from the late 1960s era of her wardrobe was rapture. It was so beautiful that it seemed to have a life all its own—past, present and future. It deserved to fall into careful, appreciative hands. For a while, those would be mine. Through her relatives, I had a glimpse of its past, but what about its future?

All dressed up and no place to go

Fast forward to last spring, when I met Jody DeFord, founder of Red’s Shoe Diaries, at the IMA Hats Off luncheon, where she won the Hatastique category for the best all-round ensemble. We bonded over our mutual love for vintage clothes and quickly became friends and blogging compadres.

This summer Jody and I hatched an idea—a collaborative project where we each styled a remarkable vintage garment in our own unique way. The idea got a little bigger when we decided to make it a traveling project that highlighted other women doing the same—bigger still when we reasoned that it should have a benevolent cause.

The idea simmered until September, when we began scouring our wardrobes for the right vintage garment. We both fell in love with this bubblegum pink sweater, which not only satisfied our desire for something uniquely vintage that could be great on many women; it also solved the riddle of our benevolent cause.

Can you guess what it is?

Later this month, I’ll link to Jody’s blog, where she’ll unveil the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pink Sweater, a year-long journey for a grand purpose that’s near and dear to so many women like us.

Here in Indiana, it’s getting to be sweater weather. One of my friends still has her letter sweater from high school. What about you?

Life is short. Wear the good stuff.