Thursday, December 1, 2011

Sequins and the memories they evoke...

I am joining Adrienne today from The Rich Life on a Budget and Jill at Everything Just So on the topic of sequins...

My wardrobe would not be complete without some sequin studded garment.
Sequins were something that I grew up appreciating.

Mother in her hey day had a few sequined garments. I remember sitting on her bed watching her at her vanity getting ready to go out with Father. She would be sipping a martini and  smoking a cigarette.
She took great care with her hair and makeup and she would dab Shalimar on her pulse points.

Mother and Father had quite a busy social life when I was growing up. My Father was involved in the ELKS Club, a fraternal order of gentlemen who raised money for local causes. He wore a purple Fez and held office while doing many good deeds for the under privileged.
Father was either in the May Day parade riding in a convertible with Mother beside him or at the start co-ordinating behind the scenes. Our parade is one of the largest in BC and many bands from the US would venture north to join in and get practice and exposure.

There were numerous dances and galas which required fancy dress and often Father would wear his tux.
Mother had a large wardrobe just for these occasions and would often whip up a dress the week of a big event.

She would clear off the kitchen table and set up her sewing machine and stitch well into the night.
On those weeks we'd be fed quick and easy meals, often grilled cheese sandwiches and Campbell's soup!

One of my favourite outfits was Mother's black velvet skirt and silver sequined top. The top was pure magic, at least that's what I thought when she put it on. Father would zip up the back zip in one deft move. He'd also fasten the clasp on her Sherman sparkly rhinestone necklace...she'd clip on the long dangly earrings.
She'd pop her lipstick and cigarettes into her clutch and snap it closed.
She was ready for their evening out...

I thought Mother had the best taste in fashion.
Through the eyes of a pre teen, she was much better dressed than my Barbie or Midge.
I must add that Mother made many of their clothes out of the velvets and silks that she herself would be wearing.

Mother elevated getting ready to a fine art.

She'd bathe in bubbles scented with Yardley's Lavender for at least an hour...and we had one bathroom back in those days. She'd announce her intentions so if we needed to use the facilities do it before she finished drawing her bath!
Her hair would be in curlers under the commodious bonnet of the portable hair dryer which was attached to a 12 foot cord that allowed her a range of movement. It was kept in a round case which had an image of the Eiffel Tower on it, I think it might have been made by Sunbeam. Check this out!

Often she'd apply her make up sitting in her silk slip before dressing.
Mother loved fur coats...she had several but never owned a stole.
A stole would have elevated this to a higher plane...

My sister has the silver sequined top now and wears it once in awhile.
It is a heavy top to wear but so worth it!
Vintage circa 1966-67.
Mother mentioned that she had spent quite a substantial sum for this top which is sleeveless with a U shaped neck, a simple tank style. Mother wore it on many occasions over the years, and received many compliments probably because it lit up her face.

I still love sparkly things and I am older than Mother was when she wore her top.
My sequined top is subtle and something I like to wear under a jacket.

Memories of watching Mother get ready for a party and sequins are forever linked.

Lovely daughter has a dress heavily laden with sequins.

I used to sew sequins on her leotards for her ballet recitals....
sequins link the generations.

I spied these silver shoes at a local shoppe
I think they might be Tom's

my favourite things...
 bling and shoes!

I didn't realize how the thought of sequins would bring up so many cherished memories...
it's surprising how easily the past can be revived and I find myself back in the home that I grew up in.

There's no place like Home!
Which reminds me of Dorothy and her sequined ruby slippers.


  1. Your mother and mine should run a grooming course together, their generation knew how to be feminine.

  2. Hostess, did having such glamorous, full-fledged "dresser upper" for a mom, ever intimidate you? If you don't mind my asking?

  3. Bourbon and Pearls- Mother did send me to Charm School...I wonder if they have these classes any more!

    LPC- Yes she did as she set the bar pretty high, still does in fact!
    I wore Levi's and T shirts most of my teen years, perhaps as a statement of rebellion! Mother still shops for clothing and she buys more than I do and I am in the work force and she is a lady of leisure...go figure.

  4. I had the same question as Lisa, as I read your post. Your sequin top is great. I appreciate blingy and sparkly on others, but don't wear either myself.

  5. Your mother sounds elegant and so chic! It's no wonder that you are too.

    That is the style of top I was looking for - something with a scoop neck. I never found one like that so I opted for a sequin jacket.

    Thank you for playing along with us and for sharing such treasured memories of your childhood. xoxo

  6. Your Mother sounds fabulous - you should ask her to do (dictate!?) a Guest Post for you!

  7. I loved hearing your memories of other getting ready for a special evening out!! The sequined top is gorgeous and classic!! I hope that you borrow it from Sis sometimes!

    Please Come and enter the 1st of Twelve Days of Holiday giveaways! It is stunning!

    Art by Karena

  8. Thank you for sharing these lovely memories. Your top is perfect.

    I've always had a soft spot for sequins myself, even though my mother had an aversion to anything sequined or beaded.

  9. I enjoyed reading this post. You write in such an interesting way - about your memories. I can " see " it all.
    Like Kathy, the blingy on others are ok, only not meant for me (;

  10. Dad was an Elk. Above the lodge door were the letters BPOE (which he said stood for Best People On Earth), but I learned (eventually) was Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. He did not wear a fez but my mother had a sequined shell, too.

    Those dress-up-to-go-out rituals are lovely memories. My mother would sprint to make sure she was changed into a dress, heels and perfume before my father came home from work.

    I like sequined tops but prefer wearing one with a scattering or sequin trim as they are not all that comfortable, to me.

  11. Your memoir of your mom getting ready to go out is wonderful, and I agree with Karina, I hope you borrow your her sequin top and give us a peek!

  12. I love a little sequin or two in moderation - a lovely post evoking such memories. And so nice how sequins link up the generations. x

  13. What a lovely piece of writing, Lesley. Your memories evoke some of my own -- my mother putting on lipstick seated at the vanity, spraying Arpège or Chanel No.5 . . .And I'll be sporting some shine over the holidays myself, spreading the sequins out Duchesse-style.

  14. That was so sweet.
    I've never had a vanity, but well remember my mother sitting at hers, applying her makeup - the ritual so interesting to the little-girl I was.
    Yesterday, in a dress shop in town I saw a beautiful sequined dress - something for New Year's Eve on a luxury liner!

  15. What sweet memories. My Mother never really dressed up like that. Those silver glitter shoes are Tom's, I have some and love them. I remarked the other day that I wanted some in red to be my ruby slippers. I do live in the land of OZ!

  16. Great stories Hostess, I enjoyed reading about your parents. What wonderful memories to have!