Her blue dress is a silk train is a river

I love that hat, too.

I love that hat, too.

The title of this post is taken from an extravagantly beautiful poem – The Blue Dress in Mother’s Closet – by Saeed Jones. (I hope that’s OK.) The official pictures finally came back from the vintage fashion show on the island, and I had to put this one up. This is the dress I love so much. It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever worn. And here’s a picture of my daughter in the audience; I think the fashion show and trapping that rat last week are the only times I’ve ever impressed her. Thank you again to Linda for letting me play dress-up. And Rebecca for getting me dressed.

I want those heels...

I want those heels…

Top photo by Louise Kolstad, bottom photo by Randy Smith



Anna was not in lilac, as Kitty had absolutely wanted, but in a low-cut black velvet dress, which revealed her full shoulders and bosom, as if shaped from old ivory, and her rounded arms with their very small slender hands….Kitty had seen Anna every day, was in love with her, and had imagined her inevitably in lilac. But now, seeing her in black, she felt that she had never understood all her loveliness….She was enchanting in her simple black dress, enchanting were her full arms with the bracelets on them, enchanting her firm neck with its string of pearls, enchanting her curly hair in disarray, enchanting the graceful, light movements of her small feet and hands, enchanting that beautiful face in its animation; but there was something terrible and cruel in her enchantment.

Lilac? Oh, Kitty, I don’t think so.

From the Pevear/Volokhonsky translation of Anna Karenina.


I am so happy when Paige comes into the library, because I want to see what she’s wearing. She’s like Anne of Green Gables crossed with a Neil Gaiman adventuress, and there’s a touch of Russian peasant + east coast boarding school, too. That may sound incoherent, but it works.

The words I think of when I see her are intrepid, funny and sweet.

I asked her to write something about the way she dresses. She did, and told me to use any bit of it I liked. I found it so interesting I didn’t want to edit it; here’s Paige, in her own words:

For me, it wasn’t until 8th grade that I started to make choices about how I wanted to look, which was, mostly, different from what I saw at the mall and at school. Before that I was stymied by the urge to conform to the preppy ideal which dominated in my New England hometown, which was at variance with my family’s budget. Once I discovered the punk scene, with its DIY attitude, glorification of vintage garments, and imperative to subvert the dominant paradigm, I realized that finances need never set me apart from my own style again. Punk culture…(MORE)