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My friend and sometime boss, but mostly my friend now after all these years, Kathy Becker, editor of Naples Illustrated magazine, put me to an interesting test of my second hand, vintage clothes finding skills. She wants vintage Oscar de la Renta for a garden party, size 8 on top, size 14 on the bottom. I'm thinking I might just go for the full monty and find the hat and gloves.

I have often said, give me the Yellow Pages and some mild curiosity and I could find Osama bin Laden. AND he'd be wearing vintage de la Renta and LIKING it.

The easiest route would be vintage clothing dealers. It's funny, though about those because they tend to get all precious about them. But they're still just, you know, used clothes. I suppose there's someone out there who can really do crafty-decorate-y things with an old prom dress and a hot glue gun. I ain't that kind of girl. If the sweat stains and dry rotted seams won't let me wear it to the annual polo fundraiser, I don't know what else to do with it.

I do buy cashmere sweaters whenever I find them at thrift stores and cut them up. I have half of one of those recycled sweater quilts and just huge fluffy piles of boiled cashmere (it doesn't really boil well--it stays soft and fluffy no matter how long you boil it--that was interesting to find out). sorted into color groups, but that's as far as I'll go.

Next would be ebay. I'm off!

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