Last weekend, the choir that I sing in gave a concert. Instructions were given to dress in 'evening dress' - with plenty of glitz! Like 90% of the other choir ladies, it was a very long time since I dressed in a formal evening dress. However, I rummaged in my cupboards and pulled out a favourite gown that I've had for many years. Thirty nine years, in fact!
I bought the dress when I was studying at university. I needed a special dress, as I was elected President of the Physics Society, (not because of any academic prowess, I suspect, but because I was the only woman on my course) and I had to give a speech at the society dinner. I found a beautiful dress that I loved, and which fitted me (at the time I was a rather waife-like creature, and in those days, when sizes only went down to size 10, I always had difficulty finding clothes to fit.) It was expensive at the time, but I reasoned that it was a classic style that would not date, so it would last me well. Little did I think that I would still be wearing it in 39 years!
Being made of quite a stretchy material, I managed to squeeze into it. It is a Frank Usher dress, and as you see, very classic in styling. I recently discovered that Frank Usher is not the name of a designer, but rather a company that has been producing couture dresses for 65 years.
With the dress, I wore a shawl, which originally belonged to my mother, and was made for her by one of her clients (she was a professional dressmaker). It is hand crocheted in a silver and white yarn. It has tassles around the bottom, and every strand of every tassle has a knot in it to stop it from fraying. I'm not sure who tied all those knots, but it was a labour of love! The shawl is probably older than the dress, but matches it very well. (Apologies for the poor colour in this picture - taken in artificial light.)
It felt good to wear this dress again - it has such a gentle swishing movement, and was surprisingly comfortable. I wonder when I'll get to wear it next?
I also wonder how many of the girls who've been parading in their 'Prom' dresses recently will still be wearing them in 39 years' time?