I have many memories of garments from my childhood because my mother loved to sew and was always making something. She was very creative. She told me that when I was really young she would always make an “entire outfit,” which I can see from photos consisted of dresses, bonnets, and knitted sweaters. The old photo albums are full of her talents showcasing her fashion sense and ability to create.
But those are “photo memories” and admittedly I tend to draw a blank about the details for clothing, much less cloth from my past. I do, however, have a very clear memory of one outfit in particular that became a favorite and has stuck with me in great detail over the years. I’m unclear as to why this particular outfit stands out—be it the clothing itself, the fabric, or because I thought it to be so trendy—regardless, it was a high point.
I was in high school and she made me a very “cool” everyday jumper style outfit (bodice and straight skirt) of hunter green, wide-wale corduroy with a red print blouse to go with it. I’m pretty sure it had a Peter Pan collar. It also had a belt that matched the blouse. And to top off the outfit, I was allowed to purchase a pair of gorgeous brown Italian-made, sleek styled loafers. To die for.
Green and red is not my favorite combination so I’m not sure why this particular outfit sticks in my mind and perhaps it was because it was different than what she normally made for me. Perhaps it had to do with some landmark moment in my mind. But to this day, I do love texture and the look and feel of decorator fabrics—including corduroy.