My mum used to love dressing me up in super-girly clothes when I was small- and given that there was only one of me, and lots of time on her hands (she didn't start working till I was four years old), a lack of choices in the stores didn't bother her at all- she simply made the lot herself. And the girlier the better. There wasn't a single item of clothing that didn't have a bow or a frill or some funny appliques on it- and if it didn't, that was probably because the material of which it was made was an entity in its own right. What Thirteen wouldn't have been seen dead in, was quite a happy going area for Three. And somehow I've never quite gone back to girliness since- even the only black shift dress I own is inevitably worn with a t-shirt and sneakers.
Which is why seeing the pictures above made me think of Mum's early games of dress-up with me. Granted, they're a whole lot more subdued than my kid clothes (they're black, for heaven's sake!), but there's still the same sense of whimsy- only a lot more grown-up, and it wouldn't put me in danger of looking twee. That jacket in the bottom picture is seriously yummy (no other words for it)- the puff sleeves have just enough puff in them to be fun, and yet cool and historical-looking at the same time. This despite my constant stealing of skinny boys' jackets off my younger cousins (one of the very few benefits of having younger boy cousins who are still nice and narrow in the shoulder). And the image on top? Big whooppeeee is all the reaction I can muster for now. Roksanda Ilincic, I think I love you. Or at least the clothes you make- it's nice to be reminded that girly is fun too.