River Ministry

Fine Clothing


I grew up in an era of fine clothing. I grew up in a retail family. My father was an appliance salesman at Sears for over 35 years. My mom began work at the fine clothier, The Dixie Shop when she was 14. It was at an early age that I began to notice the difference in the fabrics; the weights, the textures, the smells, and the care needed for each one. In those days, we did not have the clothing options we have today. Our choices were between fine clothing stores like the Dixie Shop, Kristi's, Bentleys, Marse & Son, Dargan's, Gabriel's, Nan's or Sear's, J.C. Penny's and Montgomery Ward. Everything was made pretty well. Back in the day, all garments were processed before going onto the sales floor. All seams inside and out were checked for loose strings and trimmed. The garment was checked for flaws and steamed. Things were not shoved on a rack. There was always to be 1/4 inch between hangers. Salespeople worked on commission. It was a shark tank. Customer service and perfectly tailored altered garments were the norms at the type of shop where my mother worked. She worked to create the perfect outfit for her customers. The fabric, the style, the fit, they all mattered.

It was many years before I grew big enough to wear the size two that the Dixie Shop started with. On occasion, they would get a size zero, but only a couple a season.

I am eleven years old in this picture. What I'm wearing wasn't from the Dixie Shop because I had not grown big enough at eleven. It was from Kristi's or Marse and Sons. I remember putting this dress on, and the feel of the fabric, the weight of this jumper and the coolness found in the fabric of the blouse was amazing. The style was classic but trendy. The colors were subtle with a pop. The fit was great for me because it wasn't binding or tight. 

The knee socks? I'm not sure where I went wrong. Why would my mother let me destroy this fashion moment? Those socks would have made me look shorter than I already was. I'm sure it wasn't me being stubborn. All of this to say, it's in the glasses...or the hair. My, oh, my! 


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