Thursday, June 13, 2013

Little Black Dress

I've got a thing with clothes.  I'm not in any way a fashionista, but I gain comfort and confidence from certain outfits or items.

My day-to-day mom outfit usually consists of sweats or shorts and a variety of nike or addidas, dryfit, short sleeve or long sleeve tees.  Despite my rare ability to exercise or play soccer, my inner athlete is reflected in my wardrobe.  That, and the fact that my husband pretty much gets me the same thing every holiday.

Today I had a meeting with a new client for a kick-off meeting for my new project.  13 years of Catholic school and daily uniforms has resulted in my need to put on my professional clothes if I'm going to an important work related event.  I haven't really had to interact with a client in the past few years, so I was a bit out of sorts late last night trying to figure out what I was going to wear.  The pickings were certainly limited by what was clean and what needed ironing.  I found a suit jacket that I've always liked, but the accompanying pants were wrinkled and I was too tired to make the effort.

A little black dress hangs in the back of my closet.  It's a simple, Ann Taylor number with cap sleeves.  It's hung there on its hanger for over three and a half years.  It often catches my eye and propels me back to that first and last time I wore that dress.  Jeanne and Mike's funeral.  For some reason I've never been able to  wear it again, despite multiple opportunities.  It's always seemed like an untouchable object or a portkey from Harry Potter that would magically transport me back to that day.

I made a quick decision last night in my exhaustion that this dress would be perfect with the suit jacket.  Clean lines and professional, it would be perfect.  With slight hesitation,  I pulled off my tee shirt and pulled the dress over my head.  It still fit even though I've lost a lot of weight in the last few years. I put on that jacket and, as suspected, the combo worked great.

When we were little, my favorite game to play with my sisters was what we called "big business."  Jeanne would set up a desk in the basement and from what I remember the game centered around taking notes, answering pretend phones and filling out "business" forms that we created.  As adults, my sisters and I have joked when one of us was in our "big business" mode.

I decided that rather than look at that dress and think that it was going to sink me in my grief for my sister, this little black dress was going to carry her with me today.  I don't know why today was the day.  Maybe it was because I was just too tired and being practical outweighed the feelings associated with the dress.  Maybe the rawness of my grief is softening.  Maybe I just needed my big sister today and that dress was the closest thing I could get.

Whatever the reason, I'm glad I wore it.  It gave me comfort and confidence in the stress of the day.  I think I'll wear it again.


  1. Beautiful post Peg. I'm glad the dress gave you comfort

  2. Good for you! I was just writing about the gray dress that hangs in my closet for the same reason.

  3. I think your sister would be glad you wore the dress and thought of her.

  4. I'm so glad the dress made you feel better - and I bet you looked amazing!

  5. Totally off topic, so I apologize for writing this here, but thank you for the nice comments about my book. It's nice to have someone other than my mom read it! If you have time, would you consider putting up a review on Amazon? And if you do use Almost There for your book club I really would be happy to answer questions via Skype or email.

  6. What a milestone! Those sharp edges are a bit smoother now and I'm so happy you found comfort in having her there with you. :o)

  7. I understand completely how you feel. It is such an uplifting feeling thou, isnt it? When you finally gain the strength (or peace?) to be able to wear/remember/make something that was special to a loved one and instead of crying, you smile.