Why I Do This

I wore this IMG_5135adress yesterday.

It’s a 1954 yellow and white print circle skirt dress. It’s reminiscent of one of my favorite characters on Mad Men – Peggy. She originally was never going to be my favorite – a bit dowdy, but has blossomed into an independent, girl-before-her-time, business chick. She’s complex and dark and light and innocent all at the same time. That said, I adore the clothes she wears and scour EBay in hopes of finding a gem – this I picked up for around 20 dollars. It’s like a lemon chiffon cake set to fabric and spins like a good record on a jukebox.

I have my favorite belt and my Mary Janes on with it. I feel like I should be walking into the office of Don Draper any moment.

But yesterday, I happened to be walking down the produce aisles and paying for groceries instead. I sat in line and there was an older gentleman behind me. Well into his 70s, carrying a small basket of goods – the kind that say he’s a bachelor – and he leaned over in line and said “That’s such a beautiful dress”…

It made my day. Instantly.

I replied thank you, and that it was from the 1950s. We struck up a small conversation about how everyone used to dress up then, and how it’s changed. He remembered dresses like mine. As I was finishing up, he said goodbye, but before doing so said very sentimentally, “My wife is gone now. Thanks for letting me remember her, she looked like you in that dress.”

That’s why I do this.

Some man, wherever he is, got a glimpse of his wife. He smiled. All because of a dress. Perhaps someone who loves me will one day remember me for something I wore, and one day when they too are taking a trip down memory lane – or the express lane for that matter – they will look up, and for a moment, see me, and smile.


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