Thursday, September 13, 2012

Dashing Dots

Let me go on record as saying that I have never been a fan of polka dots. When I left the eighth grade, my parents bestowed upon me my first "grown-up" nightgown as a graduation gift. The knee-length gown had a matching sheer robe with netting gathered into a ruffle around the hemline and on the short sleeves. The entire ensemble, gown, robe and ruffled hem, was bright orange with white polka-dots all over. It was hideous. I don’t recall what the other kids at my school received for their junior-high graduation gifts but I was confident that no one else was the recipient of a bright orange, polka-dot nightgown with an itchy hem.  Thus my aversion to dots.

So how I ended up with this sheer blouse by Eber featuring a placket of teal dots on a black ground over a lower half of plain sheer black fabric is beyond me. I know I bought the blouse in the early 1970s, probably at "Frederick’s of Hollywood", a California chain featuring slightly risqué fashions over which I often drooled as an impressionable teen. It must have been the allure of such scintillating peekaboo fabric, starting just beneath the bra-line, which appealed to my budding adolescent brain and caused me to ignore the presence of dots on the blouse. In any event, I can recall my elation when, several years later, I found tapered slacks by Inclinations, whose teal coloring happened to match the polka-dots perfectly, on a rack of new arrivals at the JCPenney store where I worked for many years in northern California.

Today, I paired these vintage pieces once again, this time cinching my waist with a wide, triple-buckled belt from Target and donning new, strappy black platform heels by City Streets to highlight the narrowing of the pant legs. I chose a bracelet-watch of in-laid abalone to set off the teal, a malachite necklace, earrings and bracelet that my father gave to my mother back in the 1970s, and tucked a new mint-hued Dea Dread by Thea Osato of Baltimore ( into my pony tail.
While I know exactly where my aversion to polka dots originated, I must admit that I was won over by the many positive comments I received on today’s dots as I made my way to the Library of Congress for a day of research. When one young lady said she loved my outfit and asked eagerly where I bought my blouse and slacks, I had to smile when I told her: "In California, long before you were born".

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