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Playing Dress-Up


As an introduction to the blog, I'd like to talk about memories.

Do you remember when you fell in love with fashion? It can be difficult for some of us to think back so far. It seems as if one day your parents were dressing you, and the next - poof! - you're picking out your own clothes.

When was that moment that you first learned to put an outfit together? And did your parents' fashion sense influence yours? Inevitably, the clothes in which we dress say something about us - they define personality and express creativity. So surely, like our parents had an influence on our life, they also had an influence on our clothes (whether you agree with mom's high-waisted jeans or not).

So for this little introduction, I tried to think back and remember the first outfit I chose for myself.

It turns out that one of my earliest memories is playing dress-up in my mother's closet. It was a magical place: scarves, dresses, high heels, glittering evening gowns and sophisticated daytime suits a la Grace Kelly.

I would waddle out of her bedroom in heels that swallowed my petite feet, draped in a dress that dragged along the floor, collecting dust several feet behind me. I frosted myself with jewels pilfered from the hand-carved box on her vanity.

To that little girl, her mother was a style icon. Everything she had seemed so regal, so valuable.

To that mother, her daughter was a liability. She decided it was time to take me shopping so I could play dress-up with my own clothes.

It was so exciting - I still remember the feeling of walking to the store, hand-in-hand with my mother, blabbering non-stop about the clothes I was going to pick our for myself. I made myself quite the whimsical little list. Specifically, I wanted a ball gown, stiletto heels, and a riding outfit (I did not have a horse, nor did I know how to ride one).

It was silly, but surely every little girl remembers that first time that they got to pick out their own clothes. Finally, I could express myself; my body was my canvas and the fabric, art.

I did not get that ball gown but I did come home from my first shopping trip incredibly exhilarated. And here, I'll let you in on a little truth: In reality, I don't remember what I picked out for myself.

What I do recall is that fanciful feeling I had when I strutted out of the dressing room like I was on a catwalk. I did my best runway sashay to the sound of my mother's applause.

I remember trying on hair accessories and my mother helping me perfect hairstyles in the mirror.

And I remember my mom handing me her credit card when it came time to pay so I could hand it to the cashier myself and feel like a grown up.

Isn't it funny? I don't remember the summer dress I tried on that day or the pants that my mom purchased for me, but I know how they made me feel. I can envision the wonderful, lovely time I had with my mom. I remember feeling confident and creative. I remember feeling so proud when she said to me that I was turning into a lovely young lady. And I remember that, that day, we were just two girls, playing dress-up in a big closet.

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