Anne J.

A Garment from Childhood

A pair of orange dungarees, not just one pair but two identical pairs. One for me and one for my sister, a year and three months younger than me.

The dungarees were different because we normally wore dresses that were similar in style but different colours (if I wore a yellow dress she would have worn a blue one.) This was the first time that I can remember that we had identical garments.

I was between four and five at the time and the year was 1960/61, we were living in Vietnam at the time because of my father’s work. He was working for FAO (food and agricultural something for the UN)

What I remember of that time is the light- bright sunny days- swimming daily in a pool- mosquito nets over the bed- no glass in the windows (maybe I just imagined that but I do remember the was mesh and shutters a concrete yard at the back and a garage where the grey car was parked. I can remember sitting on the wall at the front of the house with my doll watching people go up and down the street. 

The house itself was a long narrow two story building where the rooms ran into each other, no corridors or landings. Downstairs there were two rooms, one dining/ living room and a kitchen to the back were the staircase led to the bedrooms. 

I can’t visualise myself or my sister actually wearing the dungarees and I probably only remember the detail of the garment because I had other siblings who wore them after we did so they were still in use ten years on in the early seventies. My mother gave them to me when I expressed an interest in Fashion and sewing (perhaps because they were in need of repair)

I kept them for years and when I had my first daughter she wore them for a time, by that time they were on their last legs and I can’t remember what happened to them after that neither of my other two daughters ever wore them.