There’s something magical about shopping for second hand clothes; it’s a treasure hunt for a hidden gem and when you find something, you cherish it forever.

Once Upon a Frock – Ana’s Story

There’s something magical about shopping for second hand clothes; it’s a treasure hunt for a hidden gem and when you find something, you cherish it forever.

All words and images are by Ana Bogusky. See more from Ana here.

I did not find my frock, I inherited it. But it is the story of garments that lived a long and rich life, as well-made clothing should. It turns out that my father bought this little dress and shrug set in NYC for my grandmother for Mother’s Day in 1951 when he was a young boy. He bought it with his allowance and money he had saved up, at a second hand store, for three dollars! How sweet is that? 

So first, the outfit was someone else’s, then my grandmother owned it. She is pictured at the airport in Cuba, around 1957, always well-dressed and looking very excited to travel somewhere far and exotic.

Ana’s Grandmother, in Cuba.

She wore the dress many times before she gave it to her daughter-in-law, my mom, for a special occasion in Miami. My mother made me a blue dress for that day to coordinate with hers, with sleeves and collar of a fabric very similar to that of the dress, as seen in the family photo.

Ana, and family.

Then came my turn to own the outfit, and I inherited it when I was fifteen and could finally fit into it. (I tried it on many times before, just hoping and waiting.) But, finally, one day it fit! I first wore it to a party in 1979, right after my braces came off. What a happy day. And I continued to wear the dress and the jacket in various combinations over the years, until one day I decided to dye it a different color. Sadly, the dress did not survive my experiment, but at least these lovely photos and memories did!

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