Posted by: patwogan | October 16, 2008

Dress-Up

I loved to play dress-up and I had a fabulous dress-up wardrobe. My mother had an aunt who lived in New York City. She had grown up in a little community in southeast Kansas but left to seek fame and fortune in the city. She had honed her secretarial skills and became a private secretary in New York. She had also married her boss which elevated her income and prestige with the folks back home. She divorced him and was provided alimony as long as she didn’t remarry. It was from my wealthy Great-Aunt that I got my dress-up clothes.

She would send my mother her slightly used clothes. They were not clothes one would wear in southeast Kansas and definitely not to the church suppers and movies that constituted my mother’s social life….so I got them for my dress-up box. I remember lace and satin “teddies” and dresses of chiffon and rhinestones. In fact, my very favorite dress-up dress was blue chiffon with rhinestones scattered over the bodice of the dress and strips of blue chiffon from about the hips down which were rhinestone covered. This was during the thirties and the “flapper era” was just ending. There was also a dark green velvet dress that I wore when I was feeling rather queenly. It had come with a matching hat. Can you imagine how wonderful I felt I looked when I was all dressed up like a movie star! There were many more costumes, but these were two of my favorites.

The folks also had a couple of friends who gave me stuff for dress-up. One was a lady who was very petite and wore sample size shoes. Petite I never was and her shoes fit me. So there I was dressed from New York and wearing high heel shoes that fit me. Grandma warned me that those kind of shoes would ruin my feet and when I was her age, I woudn’t be able to wear fancy shoes. I made up for wearing high heels when I played dress-up by going barefoot when I wasn’t. By the way, I have always loved shoes…the fancier the better.

My friends and my cousin always liked to come to my house and play dress-up. We would have tea parties and play pretend. Our imaginations were actively engaged and we became Princesses, movie stars, and glamourous ladies. In our dress-up world, the clothes made the lady!

I will write more about the New York City Great-Aunt in a later post. It is quite a story.

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Responses

  1. I would have loved to meet this Aunt!
    I just gave Kelly my white lace dress that you bought me for my Kindergarten or 1st grade Christmas program at school. It was the only thing I remember ever getting to buy at that Yellow Brick Road store on the plaza in Parsons. I felt so pretty in it and remember that Christmas program vividly. It is still a little big on Kelly, but she says it is her marrying dress and then pretends to marry Ella 🙂


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