Monday night, before the week went pear-shaped into 9 hour days, no breaks, and the occasional evening seminar to follow, I spent cleaning my oven and trying on my mother's old dresses, two activities that don't often go together. My mother's dresses are in the wicker hamper in the front room. I'd forgotten they were there the last time I thought about them, which was before paleaswater's wedding two years ago. I found them Monday while looking for something else entirely. (Doujinshi, FWIW.)
I was shocked. There's a long brown evening dress with heavily beaded sleeves and floating chiffon, that I wanted to wear in New York two years ago-- after having it taken in and shortened, maybe, because I used to swim in its acres of material whenever I tried it on twenty-five years/ pounds ago. It turns out to be far too tight through the bust. I can wear it but only with corset-like constriction. This is a dress my mother had when she was about my age, when she was probably at her heaviest. Still a size or three smaller than I am now.
Which makes it totally puzzling that her dress from, at a guess, the late 40's or early 50's fits just fine. That was when she was having her children. Her photos show her as fairly thin even then, but there it is- her dress gives me no prob with bust or belly or hips. Alas that it's really not me; nor do my bulges do it justice. Was made to be worn over a silk slip and probably a reinforced girdle as well, as things were in those days.
The third dress is pure slink, and women my age can't wear things like that unless they're bird-like Frenchwomen. I'm more the baker's wife kind of Frenchwoman. Therefore I shall be wearing pants to the wedding; discovered those too while rooting through my closets. Proof once again that You never know when it will come in handy.