Last night, I attended a performance of “Love, Loss, and What I Wore” – a play about the associations between women’s clothing and emotions. It reminded me of how my childhood friend and I rocked the first day of kindergarten.
When I was young, my grandfather owned a western goods store in southwestern Minnesota. He sold saddles, boots, and clothing. When we visited, I loved the smell of leather in his store, and riding the ponies, mules, and horses he kept on his land.
For my fifth birthday, he sent me and my neighborhood best friend, Jody, cowgirl outfits – shirts, short skirts lined with white fringes, cowgirl boots and western hats. Mine was blue and Jody’s was red. We were both horse crazy and loved those outfits — so much so that we decided to wear them the first day of kindergarten together. We wanted to be stylish, yes, but we also wanted to catch the attention of the boys by twirling our short skirts so they could see our underwear. We must have been pretty provocative five-year-olds!
Our first day of kindergarten went as planned, including the twirling. I don’t recall if it garnered any male attention, but for me, the cowgirl outfit was the first of many favorite clothes yet to come. And it made what could have been an intimidating experience into one of confidence and fun. Do you have any favorite clothing memories?