Our Favorite Things #5 – Clothes

Find past “favorite things” in Andi’s Attic >>

When Melinda and I talked about our favorite clothes, she made me promise that I wouldn’t mention overalls. “Everybody in three counties knows you like overalls best, and now that you’re grown up, married, and have a baby, choosing overalls as your favorite clothes doesn’t count.” Since Melinda smiled when she said that, I didn’t take it too personally.
      As an afterthought, Melinda added,  “You can’t choose a split skirt, either. That’s too much like britches.”
    “But I wear my split skirt riding all of the time,” I countered. “What possibly is left?”
     I think Melinda wanted me to choose one of those real pretty dresses I sometimes wear to church. But they are so scratchy! (A scratchy petticoat or dress has annoyed me ever since I was six years old, and Aunt Rebecca brought me a scratchy red Christmas dress.) You can read other favorites in the Archives >>

5. Our Favorite Clothes (Dresses)

So, number 5 might as well read “Favorite DRESS” and not favorite clothes, after all. Not wanting to be a spoilsport, I agreed to come up with something different besides overalls or a split skirt. I guess my favorite clothes are a denim skirt (cheers to Mr. Levi Strauss for inventing denim trousers way back during the gold rush) and a comfy shirt. I counted a skit and shirt as my school clothes whenever I could. Unfortunately, I often had to wear a more traditional dress, like the time I was in deep trouble for knocking Virginia Foster to the ground and Mother made me wear a Sunday dress to school for the rest of the week.

In the picture above, I’m holding Hannah, and Betsy is wearing a dress Melinda bought for her. I’m twelve-and-a-half in that picture, but you can still find me wearing a plaid shirt and denim skirt (or split skirt if I’m out helping Riley round up stragglers). For me, comfort is the most important quality, and the ability to ride in it in a pinch. It took some thought to come up with my favorite clothes. Melinda rolled her eyes when I settled on it. “My button-down skirt and blue-plaid shirt,” I told her.
     “That’s not your shirt,” she protested. “It doesn’t count.”
     “Does too!” I dug in my heels and refused to be baited. She’d already robbed me of my overalls and split skirt answer.
      “That’s Mitch’s old blue-plaid shirt and you know it.”
      “Can I help it I found it in a trunk one winter and grew into it? It’s well-worn, soft, and not scratchy. My best shirt ever.” I smirked. “And I still have it. Riley likes it too.”
      “It figures.” Melinda huffed. Then she smiled. “I reckon if you wait long enough, Jared will grow into it and then it will be back where it belongs, on a boy.” She burst into laughter.
      Very funny, Melinda.

Melinda’s favorite dress

Melinda loves party dresses of all kinds and colors. Nothing pleases her more than a pretty gown. She had a closet full of them, every color of the rainbow. Most of her dresses require that she wear a corset >> Once she married Peter, her wardrobe grew smaller, but since she is now a town lady, I doubt I’ll ever see her in anything but a pretty dress. (And hang on, our favorite hats are coming in a later post.)

The picture above shows Melinda the Christmas of 1880 with yet another pretty dress. I rolled my eyes and was so happy that big brother didn’t buy me a dress like that. Melinda was giddy with excitement (Justin does know how to pick out nice clothes), and of course it fit her perfectly. The dressmaker in town already had Melinda’s measurements. No surprise there. I can’t even remember what I received from Justin that Christmas. I just know it was not a pretty dress. (Might have been new boots. I wear mine out mighty fast, not to mention grow out of them. After all, Christmas of 1880 I was only twelve. Kate, Levi, Betsy, and Hannah had just left to spend Christmas with Aunt Rebecca in San Francisco, and I’d been pretty sick, so it’s all a blur.)

Melinda had more instructions for me. “And since this is not a “least favorite” journal entry, you can’t talk about the gown you wore all those Christmases ago at Governor Irwin’s Christmas Ball in Sacramento.” (Stay tuned in December for a “favorite dancing” post.)

Published by Andi Carter

I'm the main character in the Circle C Adventures series. I live on a huge cattle ranch in 1880s California. These are my adventures.

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