I remember as a kid really liking to play dress up. I don’t know exactly when I first played with my mom’s shoes or clothes but as long as I can remember I’ve liked putting on different clothes or shoes or jewelry and pretending to be someone else, or at least a different me. My mom had some excellent silver pumps that I remember clomping around in. She had a dress I really liked – it was a deep brown and dark green print, maybe leaves or flowers. As I recall, it was a shirtdress with the most amazing brown pearlescent snaps.
It’s interesting to think back about the women (and men) who influenced my love of dressing up. My great Aunt Lucille gave me one of those little pretend makeup kits when I was about six or so, and I was so excited! My Aunt Linda took me shopping when I was about 10 and bought me a purple jumper and sheer lavender blouse, and a slip to go with it. I felt so grown up and sophisticated. My mother’s friend Denise gave me a pair of jade pierced earrings that I treasured. My dad gave my some pretty sterling silver dangly earrings when I was in high school – they were made by an artist friend. He’s the one who started my collection of silver jewelry. My grandmother Kinney sent us girls new dresses for spring, and took us shopping whenever we went to visit her and my grandfather.
It’s no wonder, then, that I’ve always liked clothing and accessories, and dressing up. I’ve always liked trying on clothes to see how they fit, both literally and figuratively. I have been wearing a lot of black in recent years because it’s easy and slimming but I turned 50 earlier this year and decided it was time to bring more color and sparkle to my life. I’ve also starting shopping more at vintage shops because I like wearing unusual clothes with a history.
My most recent purchase, from Xtabay Vintage, is a lovely 1950s dress in an atomic print of reds and browns. It has the the most amazing rhinestones sprinkled on the collar and the matching belt. I tried it on and felt very dressed up, and the other women in the shop were oohing and aahing – I think this is the adult version of playing dress up.