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jducoeur
Mistress Caitlin's Closets Unlocked was this weekend, and my thanks to everyone who came -- it was, frankly, an astounding success. As far as I can tell, everyone wound up taking *something*, even the ladies who came in pretty skeptical, and a number of friends were able to get a bunch of really useful items. I wish everyone well with it: you honor Jane with this, and she'd be very happy to know that she's still helping out her friends.

Being a fly on the wall was really quite a bit of fun for me. Saturday especially, as I was sitting upstairs and getting to hear the repeated chorus of, "Oh my *god*" as ladies entered the garage and finally understood the sheer scope of the thing. (It's an exaggeration to say that we had as much as a department store -- but we had more than many consignment shops and boutiques.) And it was delightful getting to say hi to a lot of friends, and see them having fun with the toys. I only wish I could have been a fly on the wall downstairs, which I gather was delightful chaos. (Stories and thoughts are more than welcome.)

The timing worked out well. Most of the closest friends came earlier on Saturday, and many took a *lot* of stuff, which is great. Sunday was mostly OES folks, who took most of the gowns and other fancies. In the end, we wound up with only two gowns left, and very little of the rest of the clothing -- better than Susan and I could have hoped, much less expect. On the order of 95% of the clothing was gone by the end of the weekend. The remaining couple of gowns will go to Eastern Star Grand Chapter this weekend (SCAdians should think of a cross between Coronation and Birka), and the rest of the leftover clothing will go to appropriate charities.

This leaves us with the racks and hangers. There are still around 10 leftover clothing racks, and a big pile of pretty nice hangers, left in Susan's garage. She'd really like them to go away, so she and Mark can put their cars back in the garage. She and I are each keeping one or two, but the rest really need to go away. So please write to me if you'd like to claim one or two, and make arrangements with her to pick them up. It's pretty much first-come-first-serve at this point -- we just want them to go away. (And anyone who wants hangers, just talk to her and come by: I gather that there are lots.)
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I would like one or two of the racks; I'll know better how many I want once I see them. I don't know Susan, so if you could broker an introduction I'd be grateful.

I'm glad this worked out so well for you. I ended up donating most of Wolfie's pants and kept the t-shirts, as they fit me (we gave up segregating the t-shirts long ago). I don't know what I would have done if I'd had a challenge like yours to overcome.

Yeah, I kept a non-trivial chunk of the t-shirts -- probably around 30-40 of them, I'd guess. But that was just the geek shirts that both fit and suited me, so it was still a tiny fraction. (Plus a very small number of t's and polos that were in some fashion specifically *hers*, mostly custom pieces. No idea what I'm going to do with those in the long run, but for now I'm just holding on to them.)

And yes, I'll put you in touch with Susan.

I'd like to claim a rack or two.

Okay, cool -- you definitely get dibs.

I would like one rack, and some hangars, if I may.

It ended up being really fun. I came for work clothes, as I've had very little time to shop for myself, post-Little-Dude. I remembered really liking Caitlin's work style, when I ran into her in her grown-up clothes. :) I felt kind of weird about the whole thing, to begin with, as I think did many. It ended up having a festival-like atmosphere, though, in the garage especially. The lot of us running around in our underwear, switching clothes, and critiquing choices.

It felt a little bit like the "Filene's running of the brides" to me - which I realize many people might take negatively, but that isn't what I mean. We got Tanya's wedding dress at the running of the brides. While the size 4 girls will cut you, all the plus-size girls banded together and were really helpful and had great camaraderie. That's what this reminded me of... a lot of "my shoulders are too broad for this, but I think you should try it." or "hmmm, not my color - anyone with a cool complexion in a size 12 want to try?"

I'm wearing a pair of Caitlin's heels right now, actually.

I still needed work blouses after picking up several lovely blazers of hers, so I went to a store on Sunday. Boy, shopping is a lot harder when the target pool hasn't already been pre-sorted for all the tasteful things.

Heh -- yeah, the most gratifying part of the day was the constant refrain of, "Wow -- she had *really* good taste".

And yes, that's kind of the impression I was getting from downstairs. I'm really glad: it's exactly the kind of celebration of her life and works that I've been trying to foster. Shopping is an insufficiently appreciated art, but she was a true master of it...

I'd like a rack, please. And maybe some hangars.

I'm so glad most of the stuff went to people this weekend. My first entry to the garage wasn't "Oh my GOD", it was "Oh, Jane!" with a wry sigh and damp eyes. I think part of the collection building was purely her EPS (excessive planning syndrome), a trait we joked about for years. She loved shopping, and wanted to make sure she had everything she could possibly need on-hand. Who knows when she might need to pull something out of the closet on no notice! She would nab things she liked when she spotted them, whether or not she had an immediate need for them, hence the number of things with tags still attached.

Yep, certainly so. And you're in for a rack.

If there are any left, I think me and Jesse could use a rack.

I don't think I have your email address. Can you drop me an email -- this handle at gmail -- and we'll set it up...

I can't remember what the taller racks that held the long gowns were like, but if there is one left I'd like one. Otherwise, we already got all the racks we thought we'd need.

Sorry -- the long gowns were on improvised racks, not the ones we're giving away...

Oh, I forgot in my last comment, I wore one of the dresses I got to our Sushiversary dinner. I got lots of compliments, and it went well with the shawl I knitted for the wedding.

I wore one of the shirts today to work. It was very comfy, and I thought of you both often.

I wore one of the jackets to a birthday party yesterday. In addition to being dry (after I got soaked shooting archery in the rain) it garnered the first comment out of the hostess that wasn't a welcome: "My, what a GOREGOUS jacket!"

Somewhere, a lady with excellent taste smiled...

Edited at 2011-05-17 12:18 am (UTC)

I wore one pretty dress today and got two compliments on it-- around here, even one compliment on a normal outfit is unusual; they tend to save their compliments for costumery. Compliments from more than one person in the same day is almost unheard of.

And it's made even more special by Susan having told me when I picked out the dress that it was the bridesmaid dress in your wedding which Jane liked so much she got one for herself too.

The best moment for me was when Susan opened the door to the garage - it was like any and every magic door in any fantasy book. I can still feel the sense of wonder. Not that there was anything fantastical, but it was entirely unexpected, and entirely removed from what reality should have been, and it was filled with friends and friendly folk, and it felt stepping from a kind stranger's house into a place of belonging.

Jane was really good at creating that feeling of belonging :) Thanks to you both.

(Susan here) Thank you for this! I'm so glad you got that moment.

I admit, that is *exactly* the effect I was trying to foster. I really enjoyed introducing everyone into "the garage", because I *did* feel like it was kind of magic - I was letting everyone into The Best Store In The World, because all your friends were there, all the clothing was beautiful, and everything was free.

I almost wanted a Disneyesque swell of music when I opened the door, or like when Willy Wonka opens the door to The Chocolate Room . . . but that might have been overdoing it . . .

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