The Second Shelf, a bookstore specializing in rare editions, is selling a kilt that belonged to Sylvia Plath for £12,500 (approximately $17,250).
According to a description of the tartan skirt, Plath was photographed wearing the garment outside of the Notre Dame in Paris.
Inherited by Plath’s daughter, Frieda Hughes, the skirt features name tape at the inner waistband bearing the famed poet’s name.
“The skirt represents Plath and her personality in every way — the conflict inside, her inner art monster, cloaked by the most precise, nearly persnickety, clothes,” The Second Shelf wrote on Instagram.
“She wore things that don’t go out of style and selected them with meticulous attention to quality and durability.”
A.N. Devers, the bookstore’s owner, purchased the kilt for $3,012 in 2018, when Hughes auctioned off a selection of Plath’s belongings including clothing, jewelry, and miscellaneous ephemera.
Among the Devers’s other rarities for sale are a a life-sized Joan of Arc cut-out from 1909 (£1,250), Elsa Schiaparelli’s hat box (£1,200), and an original publicity photograph of Carson McCullers (£400).
It’s a collection of items that represent the humanity of iconic women who, over time, have become defined by their demise. (In fact, Plath’s suicide has become a sort of punchline, one that often overshadows the richness of her work).
For Devers, the kilt represents the oppression of women at a specific moment in history. “My mom had that skirt. It was worn by an entire generation of women who had to present as perfect all the time,” she told The New York Times.
“Plath was miserable, but she created art, and the skirt is a representation of that struggle.”