Thread Theory

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The ‘Truth’ Revealed about the Vintage Dior Suit


Thread Theory Dior Suit (5 of 15)

Now that Matt’s parents are back from their vacation, I’ve had a chance to ask for details about the vintage Dior suit that I shared on the blog two weeks ago.  It turns out there are two variations to the tale, you can decide which version you think has the ring of truth to it and which may just be made colorful by the passing of time and the flexibility of the memory!

Matt’s dad told me that he went into a little consignment shop in Vancouver in the early 1980s around the time when he and Sue purchased their first home.  They are currently a very stylish couple with an eye for unique clothing and I imagine Rick’s sense of style was at it’s peak while living in the big city!  Upon entering the consignment shop he found a huge load of fresh clothing that had been delivered that very morning.  The fresh pile was in the process of being sorted onto racks by the shopkeeper who told Rick that it was the entire contents of a judge’s wardrobe.  The wardrobe consisted of many beautifully tailored suits hailing from the long decades of this man’s distinguished career.

Thread Theory Dior Suit (7 of 15)

This is where the story breaks into alternate realities…just think of it as one of those “choose your own adventure” stories!

Reality 1: The retired judge had recently been discovered as having cheated on his wife of many decades.  She was a private and proud woman who chose to express her anger by getting rid of her husband’s most prized possessions – his designer suits.  Rather than throwing these suits out onto the lawn in that classic and very public gesture of disgust, she carefully drove down to the local consignment shop early the next morning and discreetly donated the wardrobe so that it might be enjoyed by future generations of suit enthusiasts.

Reality 2: The retired judge had enjoyed many happy years of golfing, dining and going to the opera with his wife after he ended his successful career.  He passed away peacefully at home and his wife promptly and tidily sorted through his will and arranged his funeral.  He had requested that his wife donate his designer suits rather than gift them to family because all of his sons were either larger than his narrow frame or did not have occasion in their lives to wear such formal attire.  He hoped that by donating the suits to a consignment shop, the suits might be picked up by someone who would care for them correctly and appreciate them for many decades to come.

Thread Theory Dior Suit (12 of 15)

As you can see, the story does not help us date the Dior suit very precisely (other than informing us that it was certainly created prior to 1983) but my father-in-law’s best guess is that it was likely from the 1960s or early 1970s just as the comment by ciclismodesign suggested in response to my previous blog post.

I also posted a photo of the suit on Instagram where sewklahoma_savvy commented:

I would say early 70s because this is when Hart, Schaffner joined with Dior to make tailored suits. I guess without the central heating we have today, men needed warmer suits. Beautiful!

Thread Theory Dior Suit (10 of 15)

Thanks for your thoughts on this vintage piece!  I hope that Matt will find occasion to wear it this winter.  And thanks, Rick, for gifting the suit to Matt, for finding such a great piece, for saving it for decades, and for telling us the suit’s story!

3 thoughts on “The ‘Truth’ Revealed about the Vintage Dior Suit

  1. This is so interesting! I spent a summer in New York doing an intensive fashion-design course at Parsons. Did I tell you that? Anyway one of the classes was studying the history of couture. One day the instructor brought out a vintage Dior suit – well, a dress and jacket. She turned it inside out and went through all the details showing us why this was couture and all the fine-sewing techniques involved. Of course I didn’t appreciate the details then as much as I would now, because I didn’t yet know how to sew. But it was fascinating! I love looking at vintage pieces and this suit you have is absolutely fascinating!
    Which reminds me, did I show you the vintage leather coat I have that was my grandmother’s? Remind me next time we visit, it has lots of cool details and I’d love to share them with someone who is interested in those things. 🙂

    • Wow, I had forgotten that you went to Parsons! You had mentioned it when we first met I believe. I would love to see your vintage leather coat next time I am over :). Stay tuned for an email about screen printing early next week! My friend from Nanaimo is coming up and she has designed some screens for us!

  2. Lucky Matt! Thanks for sharing the story with us!

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