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Buying a New Dress


Florence has a wedding to attend, but isn’t interested in buying a new dress like her daughter suggests. Mary explains why she sides with Florence’s daughter, and offers some suggestions on what to do with the old dress.

Download a transcript of this Mary Maxwell video (PDF)

Clothing for seniors should be stylish and accessible. If your loved one has always loved clothing and takes pride in dressing well, you should encourage them to do so again.

Buying a New Dress

-Mary Maxwell, Posted February 6, 2012

Here's an interesting letter from Florence who lives in Minneapolis: "Dear Mary, my granddaughter is to be married in a few months. I had figured I would wear the dress I wear to all nice events. It's served me well for the last 10 years and is a very tasteful navy blue. My daughter is insisting that I buy a new dress. She doesn't want photos of me in the same dress I wore to my grandson's wedding a few years ago. I think it's ridiculous to spend money when I have a perfectly fine dress here at home. My daughter has offered to pay for the dress but I'm just not interested. So, do I stand firm and wear my navy blue dress or give in and get a new one?"

Florence, dear. Would this be the navy blue dress that has been dry-cleaned so often it can stand alone in the corner of your closet with no visible means of support? And might you have bought this dress 10 years and 17 pounds ago? And when you say the dress is a 'tasteful' navy blue, I am wondering if tasteful is a euphemism for shapeless, as in something my grandmother wouldn't even have
worn and she was the queen of shabby chic. Frugality is a virtue, certainly, but even in 3rd world countries you are not only allowed but you are encouraged to buy a new dress every 10 years. Your daughter is being as tactful as she can Florence but don't push it. I think you should let her buy you that new dress and maybe to avoid future temptation, you ought to shred the navy blue...or maybe burn it.

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Thoughts and stories from others
  1. February 16, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Posted by Jeanne Nott

    I am a senior comedienne. I was always a joke-teller, but now that I'm approaching 65, I am officially a Senior Comedienne. I am teaching an acting class at our local senior center, attempting to start a Senior Reader's Theatre and entertain at Senior centers and residences. Thanks for all your help.


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