We’ve recently started to carry more dress-up clothing at Poppy under the banner of “Poppy Party” and as a consequence it’s gotten me thinking about what it means to dress up and why we do it.

This past holiday season my daughter and I watched a movie from the 40’s late one night while we were wrapping gifts by the fire. I love old movies for many reasons but I particularly love them for the glimpse they give us of how people dressed and lived during a different time. While watching the movie I was struck by the fact that by today’s standards people back then were always dressed up! There were ladylike dresses or chic trousers and sweaters by day, and beautiful evening clothes for dinners both at home and for dining out.

Dressing up has always been a cherished rite as far as I’m concerned. I have far too many pretty dressy outfits and not enough occasions to wear them. My friends and I joke that we have wardrobes for a life we do not lead! But I’m ready just in case… It’s lovely to wear something special, whether it’s splashy and sparkly, or elegant and breathtaking. But for me the best part about dressing up is the occasion itself.

Wearing something special means you are marking a special moment. Whether it’s a fundraiser for a cause that is dear to you, a prom or homecoming dance, a shower or wedding, or a milestone celebration, it’s a time that you will remember. And a part of that moment will be thinking back on what you wore and how you felt.

I can remember decades back to some special moments in my own life and recall exactly what I was wearing. I vividly remember a rich cut velvet jumper in burgundy, cream and olive green that my mother made and that I wore one Christmas. I have saved all the dresses I’ve worn for milestone parties, like the dress I wore for my 20th wedding anniversary/50th birthday party. When I think of that evening I see the gold thread in that dress shimmering in the candle light of the party. But much more than that I see a room filled with beautifully dressed family and friends, laughing and eating and drinking and dancing—and my heart is full.

My wish for you is a life filled with many special occasions, where special outfits are worn and where cherished memories are created. Because that’s what dressing up is really all about.

Xo Janice

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