Fashion with History: A clutch on history

It is scientifically proven that a particular scent can take you back to a time and place or remind you of someone you fondly remember. I believe the same can be said when one looks at a wardrobe full of clothing and accessories from the past.

Photo from 1964: Jimmy Sue (left) and David (right) lived all over the U.S., while David, my grandfather, served in the USAF.

My grandpa, who I will lovingly refer to as Poppy from now on, served in the United States Air Force dismantling bombs as part of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (E.O.D.) and fought in many wars including the Vietnam War and the Gulf War. Poppy was stationed in Seoul, South Korea, for a period of time, and while there he bought many things to send or bring home to my grandmother, who I call Mimi, as gifts or items for their home.

My Poppy loved showering her with trinkets and presents like this clutch. She had quite a few, but this was one of my favorites.

It's simple in design, but crafted very well, every bead stitched into the silk lining. I don’t know the origin of this clutch other than the tag saying “Made in Hong Kong.” I can only imagine that my Poppy either took a trip there or a shopkeeper in South Korea received goods from Hong Kong.

I think about all of memories in which this little purse got be a part. We often look back at photos and share those memories, but our clothing and accessories hold tangible memories, too. I can look at a skirt and recall wearing it to the opening night of a musical, or the time I wore a colorful, new pair of heels for a night on the town and later regretting that decision. But I had a wonderful time, and when I look at those shoes now, I smile.

I know it might seem materialistic, but items like this clutch are all that remains of her. She passed away in 1997 at the age of 60. I never really got the chance to really know who she was, but I have always felt a connection to her in some way.

I knew she was a loving and caring woman with a lot of class and sophistication and it shows in her wardrobe. And having something as simple as a purse, ring or necklace is a physical remembrance of her life. It is the fascination and wonder of a piece (or clutch) of history, whatever it may be, that is truly timeless.

Shelby is a twenty-something, residing along the Emerald Coast, enjoying the sugar white sands with an umbrella drink in-hand. She takes the time to enjoy film and music, as well as fashion and beauty trends when her wallet isn't empty.