Dresses I only wore once? Sounds odd, especially for my time period, the 1880s, when clothes were expensive. Well, it's not odd for me. I seem to have a penchant for being hard on clothes. I'm finally "back in the saddle" with some lovely photos of dresses I've worn only one time. Yes, that's right. ONE TIME. Take a look, starting in childhood.
My Red Christmas Dress:
This first dress is the scratchiest dress I have ever worn. Aunt Rebecca brought me this red Christmas dress when I was six years old. That was back in 1874. I actually wore this dress a total of two times (the day after she brought it, she insisted I try it on.) I got mud on it that day.
I wore it once more on Christmas. Justin helped lift me high so I could put the angel on the top of the tree. When Aunt Rebecca went home, I took that dress off and never wore it again. *shudder* Too scratchy!
My Birthday Dress (Ten Years Old):
I was sent to the city (San Francisco) just before I turned ten in 1875. There was an epidemic of scarlet fever going around, and when Mitch came down with it, off I went to be "safe" at Aunt Rebecca's. It was bad enough staying there for a month (the longest month of my life), but to top it off, she sent home this fancy dress and made Mother promise that I would wear it on my birthday. Well, that was embarrassing! I wore it on my birthday (hat, shoes, and all) but then it hung in my wardrobe until I outgrew it. Gee. Too bad. "Children grow so fast, Rebecca," is all Mother said when Auntie asked about it a year later.
My Sapphire Blue Party Dress:
At almost seventeen, Mother insisted that a fancy engagement party must have a fancy dress, so I bowed to the inevitable and let her and Melinda help me pick out this dress for Chad and Ellie's engagement party. It really was pretty and matched my eyes exactly (so Ellie told me). I believe that dress lasted exactly three hours. First off, that beast, Johnny Wilson, knocked my elbow. Hot coffee splashed down the bodice and onto the skirt like muddy water. Worse, I was watching baby Samuel when the plate glass window at the Fresno House (where Chad's party was being held) shattered. Tiny glass slivers cut through the sleeves of my dress. It was truly ruined for good. At least I didn't have to worry about the coffee stains anymore.
My Wedding Dress:
I suppose it stands to reason that a girl only wears her wedding dress one time. Seems like plenty of fuss for wearing the gown for maybe two or three hours. Then it's packed up and kept nice so maybe my own daughter (oh, I hope I have a daughter!) might wear it one day. I really did end up loving this gown. No fancy frills. Thank goodness ribbons and lace were not in style that year. But it had puffed sleeves that narrowed a bit by the time they got to my wrists. And a heavy and very full skirt. All of silk and satin. It felt luscious. And . . . not scratchy at all. The only thing I could have done without was the high, choking collar. Perhaps you're wondering why I did not wear my mother's dress. Well, Melinda got that honor. She's taller than I am, more like Mother. It fit her beautifully. I am perfectly content with my own wedding gown.