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The Fabric of Our Lives

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Just as a song or scent can evoke powerful memories, so can clothes. Our favorite outfits can hold powerful memories. Think about the happy feelings of nostalgia that can sometimes radiate from clothing. We all have those pieces in our closet that can almost speak to us about their own wonderful vignettes. When we put them on we somehow feel safe; wrapped up in good memories and we know it's going to be a great day!

Photo: If I could own any dress, this would be the one! It's a ballerina's fantasy! From Sex and the City , Carrie's Chanel gown she wore in Paris

The best thing I ever wore (and ever will wear) is my wedding dress. Whenever I go to the Dallas Arboretum, I seriously consider wearing it there because you always see brides in their dresses taking pictures so maybe it wouldn't be too weird for me to wear my wedding dress again!

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When I was little, I used to lay out my clothes like a paper doll. I'd even put the shoes on top of the socks. My daughter does this now but she puts her clothes on top of her Raggedy Ann doll! I like the fact that she is developing an appreciation for her things and enjoying them.

There are special outfits I love to see in my closet that remind me of a happy time...what I wore the first night I met my husband, my first day of work, my favorite rainbow cashmere sweater that I wear just about everywhere. These are pieces in my closet that I make emotional connections with. Clothes really can be like a time capsule full of memories.

Zooey's Christening Gown
It's not just about my clothes. I definitely have my favorite baby clothes too. My daughter's christening gown is top on the list. She looked like a little angel princess. I have the sweetest little blue sweater my friend's mom knitted for my son. Another favorite is a little yellow footed romper both my children wore from my room mom Kim who went to Paris and visited the Petit Bateau on the Champs-Elysées just for me!! These pieces are little treasures and seeing my children wearing them is forever stamped into my mind. They are materials of fond memories.

You've seen that commercial, the touch, the feel of cotton, the fabric of our lives! Clothes are the fabric of our lives, full of stories.

I have bathtub books that I keep near because I like to come back to them. One of them is Love, Loss, and What I Wore by Ilene Beckerman who writes how our memories have great affiliation with an outfit. We all have those special events that are remembered fondly by what we were wearing. Another book I recently picked up that reminds me of Love, Loss, and What I Wore is My Mother's Clothes by Jeannette Montgomery Barron. When Barron's mother started losing her memory due to Alzheimer's she discovered her clothes were key to her memory. She could remember where she wore and outfit and what she did that day. Both of these books are charming and relatable for any woman who loves clothes and the memories made with them.

With clothes I find the older, the better! When I was dancing in college I traveled to Arkansas to do a show. During some down time we went shopping at a vintage store and I bought my most favorite piece of clothing. A fur jacket from the fifties that screams Ashley! It is glamorous, chic, and I love it. Every time I wear it, I feel happy.

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Memories can live on through our clothes. Clothing can remind us of our memories.
I had the pleasure of Interviewing Erna Leon (NYC fashion designer and artist)

1. Do you think clothing reveals a lot about someone's identity and personality?
Yes, absolutely. Beautiful clothing can make you feel beautiful, secure and on top of the world, it can definitely play a major role in your mood. Also, personal style defines how other people see us esthetically.

2. Do you have a favorite piece of clothing? If so what memories do you carry with it?
I have many and they are mostly dresses! Every woman must have a great collection of dresses in her closet, it's easy and you don't have to think twice about what to wear it with (unlike separates).

3. What piece or pieces could you not live without?
Any dress in my closet

4. What's the oldest piece of clothing you have? How do you preserve it?
Elsa Schiaparelli vintage coat with mink fur from the 1950's

5. What about your children? Do they wear things that have been passed down from your family?
My niece got this shirling coat that's been worn by my brother and me when we were around her age. The coat is about thirty four years old and still in perfect condition. Regarding my favorite children's clothing... I gotta say that for little girls, I'm a sucker for pretty pink tutus and princess dresses!

A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous ~Coco Chanel

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