By Tammy Seibert
My retail dreams all started when I took a Fashion Merchandising class in high school through DECA. It required that I work in fashion so I started working at a local upscale department store called Streets in Oklahoma City. I worked in the children’s department, and they even let me dress the mannequins in the windows. My two favorite managers were Betty and Donna, who encouraged this young girl to believe in herself and her ideas. Twenty years later both of these women supported my new business, a tearoom, in different ways. Donna brought armfuls of hats, china, and children’s clothing to me for the dress-up tea parties, and Betty was interviewed during a local television feature enjoying a tea party with her daughter and granddaughters. My love of fashion was ignited with that first true job and these wonderful mentors I met.
In college I worked at a regional department store called John A. Browns in the accessory department inside an exciting new mall, selling belts, scarves, hats and sunglasses. The most wonderful perk… my 20 percent discount off on clothes. When they would have their big sales, I would get half of half plus my 20 percent off. Now that made shopping even more fun and budget-friendly for a poor college kid!
I fell in love with the designer Liz Claiborne during this time. Her clothes just seemed to fit the curvy girl better. I bought this cotton, pink Liz Claiborne dress sometime while I worked there in the early 80s.
This shirt dress has been on a journey ever since. After I had my three boys and it no longer fit, it made it to my mom’s closet for a few years. I couldn’t stand to say goodbye to the pink shirt dress.
A couple of years ago, my sister-in-law gave me this pink alligator Prada purse – someone was recycling and no one wanted it …oh my goodness….me, me, me…I’ll take it. I’ve never met a Prada purse I didn’t like.
Then serendipity. I’m in a second-hand store and I find this perfect Nine West pink alligator slingback kitten heel – looking like new – is it possible will they fit? Eureka….I felt like Cinderella and the glass slipper.
The shoe fits and matches the Pink Prada purse to boot. So I call my mom…hey remember that pink Liz Claiborne dress…do you still have it? Of course she did…tucked away in the back of her closet in a dry-cleaning bag. My dress was not lost but found, and pressed and ready for its second round of adventures with me. I’m sure that’s what the dress would say if it could talk. Clothes evoke memories in us of certain events and good times.
I am a lover of slow fashion which means I adore vintage and originality and not always looking like everyone else. The fun and creativity of the hunt and also finding that timeless piece that is not made out of synthetic materials is always a bonus for me. But for this dress, I only had to make a phone call to my mom. I love it when a plan comes together.
I did give it a style update with this floral belted kimono from Target this past year. Floral is so fresh and breezy.
So I have something old and something borrowed, something recycled and something floral and something new.
I still have a love for fashion and am so thankful I took that class in high school.
The Real-Real Behind the Scenes
Kathy: The more I look at this, it is Doris Day! This is so perfect!… Doris Day is my all-time fave.
Marcie: Oh, dear. We are certainly including this photo somewhere in the post.
A Little Background Music
If this dress could talk, it would definitely be singing “Que sera sera.”
*Photos of Tammy by Marcie Everhart