Stories and dresses

For as long as I can remember, my mother has danced through life wearing beautiful dresses. During the Soviet era, it was very common for women to have their own personal tailor, who sewed and mended all their dresses, blouses, suits and coats. For this reason, the women in our family often went to see Aunt Linda. Linda worked in a large tailoring studio in the Town Hall. The studio had clothing booths draped with thick dark red woolen curtains, the smell of chalk, and loud sewing machines working vigorously in the background. Aunt Linda always greeted us with a warm welcoming smile, a measuring tape hanging around her neck, pins in the corners of her mouth with tailor chalk sticking out of her pocket. She always wore a dress while working. To get a dress you had to go to the studio a few times – first to take measurements and make a design, later to try on the dress to make sure it fits perfectly. This ensured that once when the new dress was ready, it always fit like a glove.

My mother wears dresses every single day.. She has so many of them. She calls some of the dresses Kittles. Kittles typically have a lot of buttons decorating the front of the dress with spacious pockets on each side. The pockets were often used to conveniently stash candy. You could also stash chewing gum in your pockets, but mother was definitely not a fan of that… She used to say the only place for used chewing gum is in the trash bin. I have always thought that dresses don´ t really suit me and honestly, I would much rather wear a comfy Harry Potter sweater. But I really like that yellow kittle dress hanging in my mother’s closet. It looks like a delicious waffle. And I thought to myself, that I would love to wear a dress like that.

We were born and raised during the times when dresses were considered not so cool anymore.The natural cotton fabric had been replaced by synthetics, and instead of Aunt Linda, little girls in China or Indonesia sewed dresses . For the first seven years of my life, I would have been over the moon to only wear only baby pink or lilac princess dresses sewn in China if only my mother had allowed it! Later, princess dresses were replaced with a school uniform, instead of a home dress we wore a loose sweater or a large T-shirt. Even When the second hand era arrived, no dresses with pockets had made it to our closets.

In my childhood, the dress was the most used everyday item of clothing. I was made to wear a dress to kindergarten, at home, going out, running outdoors in the summer, and playing on the beach. But for every occasion, a separate dress serving a different purpose hung in the closet waiting to be worn. The traditional party dress was made of fine checkered fabric with ruffles or a modest floral pattern, lace sleeves with an elegantly long fit. Home dresses, on the other hand, were shorter and had a more practical, with loose beach dresses often faded from the sun, sleeveless or with shoulder straps. It was nice to pick up colored stones, seashells or coins found on the ground to fill the pockets of the dress. The dress belts were worn as hair extensions, tied around the neck as an accessory, or even used as a dog leash.

Dresses that make you feel beautiful!