Rockin’ the First Day of Kindergarten

Five-year-old me wearing my cowgirl outfit from my Grandpa. I suspect the card is from him, too.

Five-year-old me wearing my cowgirl outfit from my Grandpa. I suspect the card is from him, too.

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?

6 thoughts on “Rockin’ the First Day of Kindergarten

  1. I had a deerskin fringe jacket that my father had made from deer hides that from hunting. I got that jacket when I was 5 or 6. It was a little too big for me and I wore it for the next few years. My cousins were envious of my jacket. When I grew out of it my younger brother wore it. It was so cool that had no stigma of being a “girl’s” jacket, he wore it until one day it just disintegrated.

  2. This is awesome! I would have loved that outfit (despite having no exposure to horses, ranches, etc except for what I saw on TV and dolls I had ).

    About the undies business… in kindergarten, my mother would only let me play on the indoor climbing gym at the school the days I wore what amounted to a top and tights combo, so I loved that outfit. (I didn’t understand why I couldn’t climb in little dresses; just knew it was a rule!)

    • I’m not sure how my girlfriend and I knew that undies were “racy” at that age. Probably from the neighborhood kids we hung around with or our older brothers/sisters. We were both the babies in the family. It’s good you had an outfit you could be active in!

  3. Lovely…I had a red gown that I wore when I played the role of a princess in a Grade 1 play that I refused to take off….my mom had a tough time from what she tells me.

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