Susie Clare's Vintage Dress Collection

Susie Clare, a local artist and art therapy major, fell in love with vintage clothes early in life. Going thrift store shopping as a kid opened her eyes to the creative possibilities in collecting vintage.

"Vintage is great because most of the time when you find a vintage item, no on else has it,"says Susie. "You can be completely unique."

Like most longtime collectors, Susie has found her "niche within a niche" and now focuses her acquisitions on "union-made" items, clothes made by The International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union, what once was one of the most important unions in the United States and the first major union to have mostly women members.

"Union-made dresses are higher quality and because many are handmade they have a greater attention to detail," says Susie.

Dresses from a time when things were made to last and made for ladies who were built to last is definitely part of the appeal. The extinction of the clothes made for a curvy female has not been overlooked by Susie.

"Most of us are not anorexic models. In the 50s, hour glass figures were the norm and it feels good to put on a dress that is meant for a real woman's body."

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