Thursday, November 15, 2012

Little White Dress

This week's prompt on Mama's Losin' It was to write about something you once wore.

The first thing that popped into my head was the high school graduation dress I almost wore.

It was 1963. All the girls in my senior class had to wear white dresses, because colors would show through the cheap, thin material of our graduation gowns.

My mother and I started looking for a dress months ahead of time. I liked clean, simple lines and we found the perfect white dress ---and it was on sale.  It was a sleeveless, double-breasted, A-line dress, with a collar in a white-on-white waffle texture.  Although I'm not positive, it may have had fake pockets. The style at that time was for dresses to just about touch the top of the knees. It fit well. I looked good in it. And the price was right.

I loved that dress. (My illustration doesn't do it justice.  It was actually the white version of a little black dress ---and rather elegant.)

The sales clerk placed it in a plastic bag like the ones used at dry cleaners and I stuck it in my closet when I got home.

A week before graduation, I removed it from its bag and tried it on again, so I could decide what shoes and jewelry I would wear with it.  However, I noticed it had an odd odor, sort of like rotten fish.  It was probably from the sizing in the fabric, intensified by being in a plastic bag for several months.  So my mother hung it on the porch to air out. But after a week, it smelled just as bad.  She was afraid to wash it, because if the odor didn't go away, we would not be able to return it.

So, the day before graduation, we headed to the mall to return the dress and find another. The stores had almost nothing suitable ---probably because almost every female graduate in the tri-state area needed a white dress ---and I had to settle for something I didn't like.  In fact, I wore it to the ceremony and the party afterward, but never wore it again.

I must have really loved the dress we had to return, because even though I had it on only twice for a few minutes each time, I still remember it fondly. Next year will be my 50th high school reunion.


5 comments:

The Informal Matriarch said...

That's the strangest thing I've ever heard!! Fishy dress!

kelley jensen said...

how odd, I wonder what the odor was? I'm sorry you didn't get to wear it. kelley—the road goes ever ever on

Wombat Central said...

I think you need to have someone make you that dress so you can finally live the dream! ;)

CJ said...

Wombat Central: As I was writing my post, I thought I should make that dress for my reunion next year. But then I remembered that my upper arms look so terrible so I no longer wear sleeveless and my ankles swell up, so I don't wear dresses either. And my reunion will be in the fall, so white might not be the best color. I could make a short-sleeved tunic, perhaps in beige, to wear with slacks. But then I remembered I hate to sew. So, I think I'll just buy something to wear. I have several memories of dresses or coats that I loved and wore for years, so I'm not sure why I longed for that white dress so much. I guess because it was the one that got away.

Jerralea said...

Oh, too bad! I loved double-breasted a-line dresses. I had a navy blue one that I wore for years.

Sometimes I wish those tailored type of pieces would come back into style.