Monday, February 21, 2011

Slip Details

Eight rows tucked close 
decorating an invisible 
 basic undergarment - 
a slip - artfully trimmed.
Hand embroidered eyelet
by the yard around the bottom
part which drug hard in 
the mud and dirt? 
A skirt held up timely
gave a tantalizing glimpse
of shapely ankles - dangerous
to behold - feminine unmentionables.
A bustle in back gave her rump
                                                          a large lump.  
Deformed by tight corsets
her waist measured 
 slightly bigger than a 
How could she breath 
or dance or run?
Hence vile smelling salts. 

Recently, I found this slip from the turn of the century at a thrift store for $2.50. It should be in a museum, but seemed unwanted. An orphan, waiting to be adopted. I obliged - gladly. The details always take my breath away. Every time.  They made their usable things beautiful and used their beautiful things until they wore completely out. Then they altered them. Repurposed them. iLike that. 


M.L. Gallagher said...

That is one tiny waist!

And a great story in poetry and photos -- thanks Kathleen -- really beautiful work -- and a window into your beauty too!

Maureen said...

When my parents were in an antique car club, dressing up in old clothes when going to "meets" was part of the weekend fun. We looked hard to find period clothes and were out of them before day's end. The oldest car my father had was an open touring car, a 1916 Overland; he also had a Model A with a rumble seat, which, of course, we all fought over to ride in. Funny, how your post struck this memory. I hadn't thought about those cars and the meets in many years.

A Simple Country Girl said...

I reckon I would have burst the seams clean apart with one fit of hysteria. ;-)


Kathleen Overby said...

We would have rebelled against the confines. Chafed. Itched. Clawed to be free. :) Maureen, peeks into your childhood are great fun.

Anonymous said...

i do like to look at all the lovely stitches.
wonderful shots, kathleen

btw...i have a natural bustle.

L.L. Barkat said...

Completely deserving of poetic honor! :) And you gave your time for that. And we are blessed with the words.

(Speaking of being blessed with words, yours at Seedlings blessed me :)

S. Etole said...

Hidden beauty ... a remarkable work.

Lyla Lindquist said...

So the waist, about as big (or should I say small?) as one's neck? As good a reason as any not to have a pencil neck.

And I love the lump
of a rump
making a
in your poem.

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness. I don't think that waist would fit around my thigh.

I love old things like that too. My mom has my grandma's wedding dress from the 1940's and it makes me happy just to look at it.

Kathleen Overby said...

Nance, I have seen your backside and it is cute. I wasn't checking you out, but I do notice behinds. They are fascinating-the variety of shapes and sized. Hahahahahaha. You don't bustle, nor do you have one. :)