August 20, 2015

Crazy about Clothes - A Walk Down Memory Lane

Well, half the month of August is gone and I, for one, am anxious for fall and all the lovely things it brings....especially cooler temps! Here in Alabama we won't really get that until mid-October!

Today I'm going back in time and talk to ya'll a little bit about my obsession with clothes. Yes, I LOVE all things decorating but I have a love for clothes too! I think I can attribute it to the fact that my mama made most of our clothing growing up. She was an expert seamstress and we always had lots of pretty things. HOWEVER, when you are "coming of age" in the 60's (just dated myself there) and you see all the latest styles from London, you don't want your mama making your clothes!

When my daddy was in the military and we lived on base my mama and her best friend took up sewing for their girls. Mama and Mrs. "D" wanted the best sewing machine available at the time....which for them was a Pfaff. Even back then they cost quite a bit but somehow mama convinced my daddy it was worth it and so he broke down and bought her served her through 3 girls and 2 granddaughters and others she sewed for until it finally quit.....all in all she had that sewing machine about 40 years! I'd say she got her money's worth, wouldn't you?

Okay, back the the clothes story. I don't think the "homemade" clothes bothered me much until my junior and senior years in high school. I had a good friend (in fact the one that I worked with on our recent class reunion) that NEVER wore the same outfit twice all during high school! Now that's a feat! I also remember going to another friend's house just before school started for our senior year to see her new back-to-school outfits. One that I remember was a gorgeous plaid skirt with matching sweater. Back then we'd wear that kind of outfit with knee socks and loafers. Another friend, who's mother sewed professionaly, had traveled to Mexico during that summer and I remember she told me she lost 13 dresses coming back to the United States! 13! Wow...her mom had really been busy sewing!

Then during my senior year I met some girls from another school that I became friendly with. There was one girl who's daddy was a big time lawyer in her town. I used to go to her house to get ready for our Friday night dates and her closet was full of new things with tags still on them! That really impressed my little 17 year old self and I wanted to fill my closet with the same thing! (Shallow I know but at 17 I didn't think anything was wrong with that).

So, the summer before I was a senior, I "worked" for my daddy. That is to say, he basically paid me to show up a few hours each day to answer the phone. I saved a good bit of my paychecks that summer in anticipation of buying myself a new wardrobe for my senior year. My mom's best friend was a Jackie Kennedy type....she dressed very well and had great taste.

 Back in those days, when you shopped at certain stores, there were chairs and/or sofas for others to sit on while you tried on clothes and the clerks brought things to you in the dressing room. You could even take things home "on approval" and bring back anything you didn't keep. Anyway, I asked my mom's friend to go shopping with me for my back to school clothes. 

Let me stop here and say during that time we dressed quite a bit more "formally" if you will than today's students. In fact, it wasn't until the year after I graduated that students were allowed to wear pants (not jeans) to school. So what you bought was a lot different from today's attire.

So Mrs. "M" and I took off on a shopping spree that netted me what I thought was the "coolest" wardrobe.   Oh my, what an experience that was.....I was in heaven!    I can't remember all I bought but one thing was a "coat dress"....who remembers those?   It was an A line dress (almost identical to the creme one above) with a matching coat.    Another one was a cute little burgundy "swing" dress with large white collar and cuffs....I was stylin' ya'll!    

 Oh, and short, yes, they were short!    I bet I got 5-6 outfits that day.    Then, to top it off, my daddy gave me my very own credit card to my favorite store!  


Of course, all the charges were reviewed when the bill came in and I got put on "credit card restriction" more than once.    I didn't go hog-wild but I did use it from time to time.

But the best part came during homecoming and prom season.   Every year my mama had made my homecoming "formal" and prom dresses.    That year I talked my daddy into buying me my first "store bought" formals.    The homecoming dress was a gorgeous white lace number that I loved.   

We wore long white gloves and matching heels.    Man, I thought I was "the bomb" back then.

For prom I wore a knee length dress in a pretty soft aqua shade that had "streamers" (instead of the fringe like below).   I wore it to my prom and again at another school with the boy I was dating then, who was crowned prom King!     

Oh, a funny story about prom night.    Sometimes we would wear hairpieces or "falls" to enhance your hairstyle.   The night of my prom I had my hair pulled back on the sides and added a little piece to the crown that was curls....cute.    A bunch of us were in someone's parents' stationwagon (classy I know) and one of the guys thought it would be cute to pull off my hairpiece!    Luckily he gave it right back and I just put it back on my head!    Good times I tell ya!

To this day I love to see clothes hanging up in my closet with tags.   Guess I never got over that obsession.    Right now if I go to my closet I have a few things with tags still on them (sorry not sorry)!

I bet some of you have a few "tagged" items in your closets too!

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