I’ve actually never seen The Sound of Music, but the first thing my favorite librarian asked me when I walked into the Business and Science Reading Room at the Library of Congress today was if I was channeling Julie Andrews with today’s outfit. Actually, I bought this full, white skirt with detachable suspenders back in the early 1970s, when Avon sold fashion in their catalogs along with cosmetics. Back then, I had a pale pink and white striped, short-sleeved cotton blouse that went with the skirt, but the blouse got worn a lot more often than the skirt, and it eventually wore out and was discarded.
Today I decided to reprise the outfit for old time’s sake. It was a mid-summer day, after all, and the crisp cotton of the flowing skirt would surely help keep me cool in the mid-day heat. I cast around for a pastel blouse in any color, but all I could find was a sheer pink bed jacket from the 1950s that belonged to my grandmother. With a prim bow-tie collar, tiny pearl buttons and fluttery pleats on the front placket, I figured it would make a good substitute for a summery blouse. And it did.
I added old-fashioned pink-beaded earrings that were also my grandmother’s, a bracelet of pink beads that was a recent Christmas gift from my best friend’s mother, Joyce, in Spokane, strappy high-heeled sandals by City Streets for JCPenney, and set out on my commute to the Library of Congress for a day of research.
While admittedly retro, this über feminine style must still be winning fashion points, because I received several compliments on my outfit today. When I praised a woman about the adorable black lace sheath she was wearing on the subway, she immediately replied that she had likewise been admiring my attire. And when I stopped by the supermarket on my way home from work, my butcher told me I looked absolutely lovely. Julie Andrews, eat your heart out!