Monday, April 07, 2008
A Blast From the Past
Lately, every vintage pattern on Summerset's blog brings back some memory for me, but this one is special. The sleeveless, long version of this dress was what my college choir wore to perform. We all professed to hate these dresses with a passion, but they were actually amazingly well chosen for their ability to look fairly decent on everyone, no matter what size or shape. The skirt was very graceful, and the style was very forgiving. We didn't know enough to realize it at the time. I think I still have my dress, although it's unhemmed now, since after graduation I loaned it to a new choir member even taller than I am, and when I got it back, the hem had been carefully taken out and pressed flat. They used these dresses for at least 15 years.
The other real beauty of the dresses was the fabric. It was just a medium blue polyester crepe, but it was indestructable. I still remember being in Hawaii on tour. We sang in a bandshell right across the street from Waikiki Beach, and we wore our gowns and the guys wore their tuxes. We were staying at a local college (it was Christmas break) and we didn't want to have to go all the way back to change, so we girls all wore our bathing suits under our dresses and when we were done singing, we took off the dresses, popped them and our shoes into a tote bag, and sauntered over to the beach. Meanwhile, there were about 40 guys with tuxedos in garment bags looking disgusted. Once in a while, we get the better deal.
Anyway, you could leave your dress crumpled in a bag all day and when you took it out, it looked just as good as before. Hooray for polyester! It certainly has its uses.