my red self

When I was in middle school, and when new clothes occurred once or twice per year ("school clothes" and the occasional "your winter sweaters shrunk in the dryer, oops" clothing purchase) instead of the current schedule of "it's a pretty thing and I will buy it!", I had my very first real lesson in when things are seasonally appropriate/inappropriate.

That fall (1994? 1995?), I'd gone on my first solo shopping trip. I was tasked with buying some new "church dresses", and given the budget for this endeavor in cash. Anything above that dollar amount was my responsibility to pay for. I went into Herberger's with a friend (because Herberger's was where you went if you had a little money. Or actually, even if you had all the money, because Herberger's was as fancy as it got in that town.) and had the thrill of picking out and purchasing my own clothes with no parental input.

It being 1994-ish, what I chose as my main purchase was a bright red corduroy dress. But it was not only bright red and corduroy. It was ankle-length and also featured an overall front, so it was sort of like a skirterall to be worn over a top of some kind. I loved it and could not wait to wear it.

This ensemble was probably purchased in about September or October, which I felt was completely seasonally appropriate. Let's wear that over my white fluffy angora sweater and let's wear it RIGHT NOW! My mother, who to her credit, did not insist that I return said dress immediately, struck a deal. Once it had snowed, I was allowed to wear the red dress to church, but not before then. All November, I waited for snow. And when it finally did snow, I could not be pried out of that dress on Sunday morning, even though the snow on the ground probably dissolved by 11:00 a.m. that day.

I think of that every time I wear a red dress.

Dress: Banana Republic; pin, vintage; cuff, Until There's A Cure; heels, Etienne Aigner.

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