Sentimental Style

It isn’t always, or even often, that garments worn by a woman’s mother or grandmother will fit her as well.

Although my mother and I were almost identical in height, I have a shorter waist than she did. What this means is that her fitted garments would extend too far down my torso, and would not fit correctly. I also have higher figure-eight hips, which further affects the line of garments.  Wearing her satin wedding dress was a non-starter, even when I was at my lowest adult weight.

I very much enjoyed reading an article by Clara Spera, granddaughter of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, in the December 2020-January 2021 issue of Harper’s Bazaar. Spera writes that her petite stature has been a blessing in that she is the same size as her grandmother. She describes her delight in “shopping in Bubbie’s closet” when her grandmother was alive, learning “the exact history of the piece—where it was from, when she acquired it, what special events she had worn it to.”

Spera writes: “Now that my grandmother is gone, I am humbled and comforted when I wear her clothes. These items carry more than just a legacy of sartorial elegance; they are a tangible reminder of the woman underneath the judicial robe and of everything she taught me. . . .”

Spera mentions being re-gifted an Italian leather clutch that her grandmother had received in Rome, provided to her with the observation that “Sometimes a small bag will be in order.”

Happily, whether one is the same size as one’s mother or grandmothers becomes irrelevant with regard to accessories. I can and enjoy the handbags I inherited from my mother. I well remember her wearing and enjoying her jewelry. And every time I carry one of her bags or wear a piece of her jewelry, I am filled with loving memories.