Theresa’s Dress

A few weeks back, my husband and I visited his Memere (French, for grandmother).  Her name is Theresa, and she’s 88 years young.  I enjoy visiting her because she always makes me laugh and has such a pure heart, something which is hard to come by these days.

Memere, Jonathan and I were all looking through her photo albums.  Some from the 1970s when Jonathan was young, and many from the 1940s – when she was a young woman.  Memere loved taking photos back then and learned to hand color them for the photo studio down the street, to make some extra money.

When nosing through the photos, gushing over hairstyles, shoes and clothing – I asked Memere about a dress she was wearing in a photo (see below).

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She told me all about it, as she remembered it fondly.  She said the color was a pinkish peach, and that it had lovely fans on it.  Now, I had already asked her about the clothing she had when she was younger – sadly, there was nothing left.  She had moved several times and well – it wasn’t saved.

Fast forward to a week later.  I received a call from my husbands mother.  She was at Memere’s house.  She said, “You remember last week when you were here, and you were asking about a dress that my mother was wearing in a photo?  Well – you’re not going to believe this.  But we found it.  Sitting in a drawer, folded up.  No other clothes from that era, or any other era.  Just this dress, THAT dress.  And she wants you to have it.”

So the following week I went over and picked up the dress, and yep.  Its the exact one.  Memere wanted me to sell it, but I just couldn’t.  The chances of the conversation we had AND the dress just appearing like that – too cool.  So the dress will stay in the family.  I thought I’d photograph the lovely Chantal wearing Memere’s dress for you to see it in its glory!

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1st & 4th Anniversary Time!

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I hate throwing parties for myself, but I want to show my fantastic customers some appreciation!  On Saturday, October 25th at 7pm – I’ll be having a 1st and 4th year anniversary party!  Why 1st and 4th?  Well, I started this little dream of mine in four years ago in October of 2010 in Newmarket (see the old shop below!)

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And then I moved to Portsmouth in October of 2013!

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So in honor of my customers keeping my dream alive – we’re gonna celebrate!

Come join us for *generous* door prizes, wine, cheese, sweets and a very special sale for all that attend that night!  Wear your Saturday night best!

Please RSVP via the Facebook Event Page! 

Playing Favorites

Do you have a favorite dress that has graced the racks at the Closet?  I do.  Actually, I have quite a few.  The list is long, so Ive condensed it, and some you may remember from a month or so ago – some you may have never seen, ever!  Here’s a *short* list of some of the best dresses Ive ever offered!

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Which is your favorite – is it on this list?  If not, let us know!

Open Call for Models! (and a farewell to Lauryn)

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As most of you already know, Lauryn has been our main model for three years now.  We’ve had some amazing times together shooting on Tuesdays.  We laughed, (nearly) cried because of laughing, ate lots of food and churned out some great photos.  I can’t think of a better gal to spend my day off with!

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But, Lauryn is a young woman with opportunities that await her, so she is off to a far away place to see what the next chapter of life brings her.  Sure, I’m sad.  Really sad actually.  But Im also very happy for her as I cant wait to hear about all the adventures her new surroundings will bring!

With that being said, Concetta’s Closet is looking for a NEW MODEL!  This time, we are doing it a bit different – we will be hosting an OPEN CALL day for models to come in to do a small test shoot.

What does it take to be a Concetta’s Closet model you ask?  Well – first and foremost, a sense of humor, as we have LOTS of laughs and make working fun!  Second, you gotta be OK with being recognized EVERYWHERE!  Just ask Lauryn, she gets stopped nearly every day when in public.  Third, good work ethic!  While we do have a bunch of fun, taking this job serious is for real.

Here are the deets about the open call:

Where – Concetta’s Closet, 7 Commercial Alley, Portsmouth.

When – Tuesday, July 1st.  9am-12pm and again at 6pm-8pm.

What should you bring? – A pair of heels and your pretty self!

Is this position paid? – Yep!  And quite handsomely!

When do you have photo shoots? – Usually Tuesdays, but depending on the models schedule, other times will be considered.

Is there food? – Sometimes!  We often order lunch or have muffins/coffee during the shoots.

Do I have to be a size 0? – Nope, but being able to fit a wide range of sizes is preferable.  (we pin a lot of clothing when its too big)

I cant make the open call, can I come another time? – Sure!  Just email Dana at concettascloset@gmail.com for details.

I think that covers it.  Please feel free to email Dana if you have further questions or concerns.  We hope to see you!!

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Enchanted Days and Nights

Once in a while I get totally uninspired by our weekly photo shoots.  It gets a little boring shooting on the same old grey background.  I had an idea.  I thought, why not shoot the prettiest pieces of lingerie I had, in one of the prettiest locations I could find, on one of the prettiest girls I could find.  Sounds pretty awesome, right?  Well, it was.  We were able to take so many photos of our new model Mia, wearing lingerie from spanning from the 1920’s to the 1960s.  Where did all of this take place?  We came across a quaint little Bed and Breakfast called Enchanted Nights, located in Kittery Maine, right over the bridge from Portsmouth.  I met with the owners Peter and Nancy and they were elated to have us use the rooms to photograph our vintage collection of lingerie.  If you’re ever in Portsmouth or the NH or Maine Seacoast area, I highly recommend staying at Enchanted Nights Bed & Breakfast.  The decor and the hospitality are unsurpassed!

Here are just a few photos from the shoot – we will be sharing more, but for now, just a tease!

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Model Search!

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Once in a while, we look to add another fresh face to the shop, usually just for swimwear and lingerie.  So let it be known!  Concetta’s Closet is looking for a swimwear and lingerie model!  Your face will be seen everywhere, you’ll be noticed everywhere, you’ll be famous!  (Kind of, ha!)  Do you have a bit of a vintage look?  Ever dreamed of wearing gorgeous 1930s lingerie or 1950s swimsuits?

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If you’d like to be considered for the job, please fall within the below specifics and reply with the below requirements in an email to the provided email address below:

Height: 5’5″ to 5’10”

Waist 26″ and smaller

Bust 34″ and smaller

Hips 36″ and smaller

Location:  Please be within 30min of Portsmouth NH

Availability:  Typically, we would prefer that you would be able to have Tuesday’s for photo shoots, but we understand that this is not possible for everyone.  In your reply, please let me know your weekly availability.

Modeling Experience:  While I understand that not everyone has tons of modeling experience, this job is not for someone who has never been in front of a camera before.  This job is a lot like acting, it IS a lot of work.  Please do not approach this in an unserious way.

Head shots/Photos:  Please send at least three photos/head shots with your email, professional photos are best.

This position is paid.

Send all inquiries to Dana – concettascloset@gmail.com

deadline is 2/16/14

Your Body, Her Body, Our Bodies.

Ive battled back and forth about blogging about this subject for months.  And I think Ive come to a point where it needs to be talked about.  Females and body image.

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As most of you know, I own a vintage clothing boutique in Portsmouth New Hampshire.  I see between 30 and 100 women a day come in and out of my shop – I hear their conversations, answer their questions and talk to them about sizing.  I also have a social media presence on Facebook and other SM outlets, so I read the comments and answer the same sizing questions there too.

I guess what I want to say without beating around the bush is:  Can we stop talking about other womens body sizes?  No matter how big or small, no matter if she has a 23″ waist or a 32″ waist, regardless if she has boobs or not.  Can we, please – stop?

A day doesnt go by when I dont hear, “Oh my goodness!  A 24″ waist!!  That girl is so tiny!” – when referring to Lauryn, the lovely (and quite healthy) young woman who models for the shop.  And it bothers me to no end when I hear it.  Why?  What’s wrong with having a 24″ waist?  or a 42″ waist?  Who cares what her waist size is.  Who cares what your waist size is, now or 15 years ago.  I often wonder if those same women would say the same thing about that woman with the 42″ waist, out loud and in a public forum.  I would imagine not.  So why the double standard? Why is it OK to openly remark about the smaller girls size/measurements?  Is it because the smaller waist is ideal based on what the media portrays as “ideal”?

Sometimes when women pass through the racks, they say something out loud like, “A 26″ waist!?  Who wears that size?!” – I answer with, “Lots of girls.” – once In a while I get a response of, “well those girls arent normal.”  And even though I wear a size 12, those comments bother ME because I have friends and customers of all shapes and sizes, even some with 26″ waists.

Im sorry if this is coming off a little venty – but it has really bothered me for quite some time now.  And I really want us women to stop fussing over our bodies.  Be happy with your body, and if youre not, thats fine – but dont talk about other womens bodies.

So lets just stop it, OK?

The Misconception about Flappers

As a vintage shop owner, I get lots of requests for “flapper” dresses.  And when I show customers the flapper style dresses I have for sale, most customers are disappointed.  Why?  Because they dont fit into the stereotypical envision of what a flapper dress is.  Society has gotten one image into peoples head about what a flapper looks like, and that example is this:

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The problem is, the chances of all flapper dresses looking like this, are few and far between.  As a vintage shop owner for the past four years, Ive come into one dress that incorporated fringe, and it was beaded fringe.  Not to mention, Ive never seen in books or any online references – a flapper dress that looked anything remotely close to this costume above.

Lets talk about what a flapper dress truly looks like, shall we?

The definition of a flapper: a (1920s) fashionable young woman intent on enjoying herself and flouting conventional standards of behavior.

{The style of the flapper started around WWI when corsets and longer ankle length dresses were considered conventional and the norm – women having the right to vote was a new wind of independence for most women, these were the flappers}

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And how they looked:  Flappers cut their hair into bobs, they wore high heels and makeup was worn regularly.  They wore dresses and skirts that were at or just above the knee.  They partied hard, smoked, drank, drove cars (whoa!) and experimented sexually without fear of judgement.  And not all flappers wore fringe, rhinestones and feathers either.  Here are a few photos of actual flappers – and even a few dresses from the shops collection of “Flapper” style dresses.

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I hope this gives you a greater appreciation for the clothing of the 1920s – as well as a broader expectation of what flappers wore and looked like.

And here is a great read from the Smithsonian Museum, about flappers:

http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/threaded/2013/02/the-history-of-the-flapper-part-1-a-call-for-freedom/

Hello, Portsmouth!

In case you haven’t been made aware – the Newmarket shop is moving!  As of October 1st, we will be operating in Portsmouth!  Now, it may take me a few weeks to get set up and up and running…and I will have an exact date for the grand opening in the upcoming weeks.  (so stay tuned!).

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The last day of operating in the Newmarket shop will be September 14th (but Etsy will be fully operational!).  I’ll even have a few sales going on during those two weeks!.

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So – come see us at 7 Commercial Alley in Portsmouth in Mid-October…just in time for that perfect New England Fall weather!  Im EXTREMELY excited about the move…the shop will have an ALL new look with TONS of new clothing!

That being said – please plan for sporadic hours for the next two weeks in Newmarket as I get things situated.  Moving is not easy and moving a business sure is not easy at ALL.  Thank you for your understanding!

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(this is Commercial Alley!)

Set Your Eyes On These

The other day I went to the eye doctor to get my yearly check up.  Im practically blind, for those of you who dont know.  Over the years, with so much abuse of looking at a computer screen for about 3/4 of the day – my eyes have begun to fail significantly.  The worst about wearing glasses is finding a pair of frames that work well on my face.  Ive literally been wearing the same pair of Ellen Tracey metal copper colored frames for the last five years.

I found out that one of my favorite eyewear designers, Warby Parker, is coming out with a new line, specifically designed from a vintage style, named the “1922 Collection“.

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Unique and different, but absolutely vintage – I cant wait to give them a try!  Ive never seen anything like them, anywhere!  (except the real authentic thing, of course!).  The best thing. they also come in sunglasses!  You can see the new 1922 Collection here!  And with the new Great Gatsby film coming out next month, you know these are going to be all the rage with the vintage crowd.

A bit on Warby Parker – here! (and a bit about their “Buy a Pair/Give a Pair” program)

Here is a peek!

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I dont know which Im going to choose, the choice are so amazing!  Im so excited!

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