The Girls in the Red Dress


Me in the dress!

Do you have a legacy piece of clothing in your family? The little red dress came into our family around 64 years. Twelve presidents, The Beatles, a man on the moon, the internet, and thousands of other events all showed up during its lifetime too.

I first slipped into it at two and a half years old, a gift from my beloved grandmother for Christmas time. She purchased it from the nicest shop in town, the “Jean and John” shop, long gone from the Quincy landscape. I can’t say for sure if I remember wearing it or  the photo triggered my memory. You know how that is.

I likely only wore it a few times, my mom had clear lines drawn between everyday clothes and “Sunday clothes.” The dress was definitely a “Sunday” and kids grow fast.

For thirty years, the little red dress languished in the back of some closet while I was busy growing up, I had no idea it was still around. You might call my mother a “saver.”

Then I had a girl of my own after a couple of boy children. My mom surprised me with the red dress when my daughter was about the right size and in spite of that crazy season of life, I managed to get her photo taken while it still fit. Back to the closet it went.

Selah in red dress

Four years later, her little sister was “red-dress-sized” and despite her protests and tears, we got the photo done. I remember getting ice cream after the event 🙂

No more daughters for me and the dress got banished to some box or another almost forgotten until nearly twenty years passed. In what must have been a God-moment, I remembered the red dress just in time for my first-granddaughter to pose in it, I got in the picture too!

Mimi & Aaliyah

By the time our second granddaughter was born, I put myself on red-dress-alert to make sure I wouldn’t miss the moment, I didn’t. The tradition continued.

A couple of Saturdays ago, I sat with our youngest granddaughter for her red dress portrait. It will soon slip into the frame on the wall where all the others are proudly displayed.


Living room wall.

Funny the things that survive across generations. I’m hoping a few of my words and a lot of my prayers carry over into future generations but am glad the little red dress is still showing up too!

PS I saved a few of their dresses too! What do you save?

Hope for the best,



4 Responses to “The Girls in the Red Dress”

  1. 1 Barbara Boyle July 14, 2016 at 9:29 PM

    Hey Tish this was great! And I relate. I have my tan dress from 1955, which my saver mother gave to me. Although I don’t have any female lineage to pass it to, I will frame it in a shadow box as a memory of Sunday company and holidays. Sad that we don’t dress up anymore.I have saved my sons favorite plaid reversible flannel pants from when he was 5 and a navy wool pea coat both sons wore. And by the way , Tish, you wore it best!🙃

  2. 3 skstewart July 15, 2016 at 4:43 AM

    I have a sunsuit that was mine at about the of age. I have a picture of my daughter in it. But, alas, I forgot about it for my granddaughters. Maybe my great-granddaughters.

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