Saturday, February 07, 2009

Dress Up

We had a "dress up trunk" in our basement when I was a little girl. It held the keys to imaginative play for most of my childhood, beckoning me with its rusty latch and tattered exterior, for I knew that what it held inside was something more than magical.

Within the trunk lay piles of musty material which, when you unfolded them, opened up into exquisite skirts - skirts my grandmother used to wear in her square dancing days - but were now mine to play with. I would slip them onto my hips, holding them closed with safety pins or rubber bands, and twirl and twirl and twirl.

I could do this for hours.

My favorite item in the dress up trunk was an eyelet one-piece, which was meant to wear underneath the skirts, like a petticoat. The top was a ruffled number intended to be worn off the shoulder. Scandalous! Of course, I had a hard time sharing this coveted piece of dress up when friends were over, but I tried.

There were skirts, dresses, shawls and beaded necklaces. There was a fur shoulder wrap that when paired with a pill hat, made one 7 year old girl feel like Jackie O. There were many things in the trunk, each one a treasure in its own right.

I had just finished some work I was doing in my office last night and I heard giggles on the stairs.

One, two, three little girls - each dressed up in an outfit of her choosing, peered around the corner, ready to show me how they looked.

Each, a treasure in her own right.


It's nice to see that although the clothes are different, more commercial and less "grandmother's square dancing cast-offs," that the basic principal remains the same: kids love to play dress up.

12 comments:

Sunshine said...

My girls have logged hundreds of hours playing dress up. My younger daughter is quite a tomboy but this is one "girly" activity she loves. And the role playing they do when they're dressing up is my favorite part, they're pretty funny!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

My MIL is an amazing seamstress and our dress-up box was the envy of the neighborhood--she made both modern and old-fashioned clothes as well as things for the boys--gorgeous crushed-velvet with feather Prince caps, Star Wars costumes, fantastic capes.

They're all stored for the grandkids--I can't wait.

Ann(ie) said...

I loved playing dress up!! My mom is still keeping her dress up box in case she ever has a granddaughter!

Sheila @ Dr Cason.org said...

My kids love dress up. I can't remember dressing up very much as a kid, so it nice to see they are so creative!

Kyla said...

There are very few days that KayTar keeps her real clothes on. They are almost always discarded in favor of more princessy wear.

Anonymous said...

We still have a lot of those old dress up clothes.. Maybe we need to borrow K. & some of her female pals to check them out! I don't know what we are waiting for.

xxxooomom

califmom said...

Even though my kids are 10 and 12, we still have dress-up treasures that resurface every now and then.

The vintage handbags of my grandmothers' that I used when I played dress-up are now part of my fun collection of handbags I carry when I dress-up 'for real.'

flutter said...

This is so much fun!

Nadine said...

What a cute post! My children are a bit to young for dress up (3 and 1). Monkey occasionally tries. But after a minute in other clothes, he quickly undresses to be "I am just Monkey again mommy".

wyliekat said...

We have a large selection of dress up items, most of which were found items at a second hand store. Some are commercially made - and you're right, it really doesn't matter to the players which are which. They spend hours dressing up, and it warms my heart to see it.

Aimee Greeblemonkey said...

so cute!!!!

alice c said...

Look at those beautiful smiles!