My aunt got this bathing suit in the 1960s. It was one of the first garments that made her feel feminine—and it was maybe here that her life-love for feminine garments started. Most people would be depressed when diagnosed with breast cancer, but my aunt chose a different direction. Instead, she was just thankful for having showed off her beautiful bosom most of her life. I admire her for her attitude and it taught me that you should love what you have got, because you never know when you’ll lose it. This t-shirt is a Finnish classic and my sister had two of these, one with pink and one with blue stripes. She wore them during the year she lived in America. When she came back, a dress size bigger, she handed them over to me.
Extract from The Memory of My Wardrobe by Ida Taavitsainen www.idataavitsainen.com
When I moved to England I took the shirts with me — it’s funny how patriotic you become when you move abroad.
My grandmother bought the fabric in Scotland; my grandmother designed the suit and her loyal seamstress made it for her. It was one of my grandmother’s favourite suits. She wore it for many years at lunches and receptions when she had to look presentable.
Looking at all the shoes, hats, dresses and handbags she left behind, she must have been such a glamourous woman.
I decided to continue the tradition and am loyal to my grandmother in that I’ve also worn the suit or jacket at occasions when I’ve needed to look presentable.
There aren’t many people like her anymore. No matter how hard I try I know I’d never be half as glamorous.