Cleaning Out My Closet, Part 1

brown and gold wool dress

I spent a few hours yesterday moving the winter clothes OUT and the summer clothes IN. This involves a great deal of dusting, both mental and physical. (For instance, why did I let another year pass without wearing my turquoise shantung hostess coat?)

Every time I make this switch I *vow* that I will finally pare down my closet to essentials. Just a few well-chosen pieces, blah blah blah. The truth is that I am not a "few well-chosen pieces" kinda gal. I am the kind of gal that has fifty cotton summer dresses and wears a different one every day, if she can.

However, I *am* getting rid of a few things, such as this brown-and-gold wool crepe wiggle dress. I made it several years ago (maybe even five or six?) and wore it, I dunno, once. I was having a wiggle-dress moment, back then; I don't know why. (Perhaps it was the joy of no longer looking mildly pregnant?) Anyway, I spent a lot of time on it and figured I should now set it free to live a full life with someone who will love it the way it ought to be loved.

Here's a closer view of the bodice:

brown and gold wool dress

The points on the tabs are a little lumpy, I have to say. Luckily the buttons are so nice (vintage!) that it draws the eye away.

This dress measures B 36-38, W 32, H 46, and the skirt is 28 inches waistline to hem. From the front neckline to the waist is 13.5 inches; from the back neckline to the waist is 14 inches.

So here's the plan: I'm going to put it up on eBay, at a very very low starting bid. If it sells for that, fine. But if it sells for anything upwards of $25, anything over that will go to charity — I'm thinking helping victims of rape in the Congo. How does that sound?

Here's the link: Brown Crepe Wiggle Dress.

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0 thoughts on “Cleaning Out My Closet, Part 1

  1. Yes! This is a wonderful plan!But I don’t suppose a sundress could be the next item on the menu? Please? 🙂

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  2. Excellent plan. It’s a (potentially) modestly priced garment being used to support people in need of aid. And give pleasure to a wearer.I love this blog.

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  3. Wiggle dress — so tight at the hem that you have to wiggle to walk around. But this doesn’t seem to be the case — Erin? Is the dress just a wiggle shape and doesn’t actually sport a 22 inch hem circumference?I’ve decided — and here comes a revolutionary idea — to write down an entire week’s menu so I know what to eat every day.And I though, hey that’s a great idea to do with clothes, also! Because although I don’t have a fabulous shantung coat in my closet, I do have other things I never wear because I forget about them.I love this blog too!

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  4. I found this definition online….and it’s from A Dress A Day 2005! (“A ‘wiggle” dress’ is a dress with a tight, tapered skirt that doesn’t allow for normal-sized steps. So when you wear it, you wiggle. Think Marilyn Monroe and the ‘sexy secretary’ trope. Searching for ‘wiggle dress’ on Ebay will get you many, many excellent examples.”)

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  5. People will pay serious money for this hun. You are a talented seamstress and a wonderful person. I love it. I’d totally buy it if I had money to spare. Unfortunately as it is I buy everything on rewards points.

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  6. I see your pockets; it reminds me of seeing something in my paper this weekend mentioning one Claire McCardell of Baltimore, creator of the “American Look” in dresses, complete with very large pockets, usually topstitched. Of course, I thought of you when I saw it!

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  7. Great idea! I like Kiva, too, because the money is given as a loan to people who are starting or upgrading third world businesses. The recipient pays you back, and you can keep it, or reloan to someone else. I love that concept of paying it forward.And I love that dress. Alas, it wouldn’t fit me. Maybe I’ll bid, just to get it. Maybe you should put DaD in the title, so we can search for it. 🙂

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  8. On second thought, “Wiggle Dress” might also apply to the fact that one has to “wiggle” into them. (You know, the jumping and shaking and smoothing required as the dress goes up over your hips?) Just a thought 🙂

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  9. Love this dress! Unfortunately that much brown on me is Not a Good Idea. Waiting to see what else we might benefit from the Great Closet Reshuffle.

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  10. Aw man- this dress is too small in the chest! The hips I would have to take in. I love brown. i love wiggle dresses…maybe a crash diet…Butterick has some new ’47 repro sundresses out.

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  11. I’m not to great in brown but what about the turquoise shantung hostess coat – gonna post that? 8 )I think if I wore a corset I might fit. 8 P

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  12. What a great dress and a great cause, too bag it wouldn’t fit me in the hips (I have a lot to wiggle there). This looks like something that “Joan Holloway” would wear (and wear well) on Mad Men (new season starts in July!)

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  13. Thanks for pointing us to what’s happening to so many women in the Congo. It’s also great to hear that something can be, and is being, done to help, and that the women who are treated at this facility may find some positive experience after the horror that they have gone through.

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  14. Drat1 I’ve been looking for a brown dress for the ‘overlap’ seasons, and it would fit me – except for the neck-to-waist length! (I’m very long waisted, and that’s one of the main reasons I began to sew.)

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  15. Thanks for signposting that Congo story. The hospital sees 200 rape victims a month so maybe we should all get selling our old dresses. You know, maybe if you go for a Wear-a-Dress Day in September we could drum up sponsorship for some such worthy cause? Or is that taking it all too far? Keep it simple, huh? Just a thought…Great style dress, Erin, but it’s not for me: I’m too inverted-triangle-slash-ruler (all the angles of your standard school geometry set, basically) and generally uncurvaceous for it to work on me, but I’ll admire it from afar. I like the button details.Glad to see that you’ve already got 6 bids, and with 6 whole days to go! Could you maybe add your charitable intentions to the description? – just in case people don’t find it via the blog.

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  16. I’m not entirely sure what a hostess coat is, but because of your description, I’m curious to know whether it looks anything like my mother’s wedding dress… Nice tabs!

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  17. A hostess coat (or gown) is an at-home garment that’s not as flimsy as a peignoir nor as utilitarian as a bathrobe. I think the style was started by Madam DuBarry (or some French noblewoman, anyway) who wanted to be comfortable while entertaining away from the rigors and protocol of court. Then, it was called a Robe de Chambre. They are soft, sensual garments that are still fairly covered up. You could make phone calls in them, dress your hair, plan menus, or receive visitors. Most importantly, you didn’t have to wear the restrictive foundation garments other styles from those earlier eras required.

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