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No photos of the velvet dresses but this is my dad and me one Christmas in Tahoe. The jacket I’m wearing was new and purchased at The Little Shop. It was powder blue. The photo was taken with my vintage (even back then) Brownie Holiday camera.

Here’s a fashionable holiday tale about my dad.

Sometime after my parents got divorced when I was around six, my father took over buying my clothes. A few times a year he and I would walk over to the children’s clothing store, The Little Shop on Chestnut Street in the Marina neighborhood of San Francisco. The young salesladies would help me choose outfits to try on and I’d do a little fashion turn for my dad. I shyly walked around the store perhaps in a wool jumper, or plaid pants with a thick turtleneck sweater, or a simple cotton check dress. He would nod his approval, usually agreeing to whatever I liked best.

Among these shopping ventures was the important visit to pick out a nice dress for the holidays. My dad insisted on dressing appropriately and he usually had big plans for the season, which included dinners out and The Nutcracker ballet. An appropriate dress was essential and of course I had grown out of last year’s special dress.

Off we’d go to The Little Shop just before Thanksgiving to select a new dressy dress. I had a thing for velvet and there are two velvet dresses I remember clearly – one a very dark green with long sleeves and white smocking at the chest and my favorite was red and also had long sleeves with white cotton lace on the cuffs, the hem, and the collar.

I have no pictures except in my mind – my tall father in a blue suit and little me dressed up in velvet and patent leather Mary Janes, probably with a bow clipped to my long red hair. How charming we must have looked.

 

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