Dressing Up – My Favourite Thing!

Dressing up has always been something I’ve enjoyed.  My grandfather used to take cine film of us as kids, and in one scene you can see me as a three-year old in my sticky-out dress,  clopping about in my mother’s high heels.  I called them her ‘shopping shoes’ because she always wore them, a nice coat, hat, and gloves when we went into town. Such was the way of things in those ancient times.

I had a string of fake pearls around my neck too and I obviously thought I was ‘with it’.  The fact that I could barely walk in my mum’s shoes was beside the point.  In fact, I couldn’t walk at all.  But it was the start of things to come, no doubt.

I remember when I was six (and forgetting everything about tonsils), I was a bridesmaid in my uncle and auntie’s wedding.  Mum made me a long, pale blue dress which I wore with matching pale, blue shoes.  Oh I loved those shoes, my ‘party’ shoes as I liked to call them, because they were sparkly.

After the wedding my mother, ever the skilled seamstress and very resourceful (it was the mid 60s and the waste-not-want-not culture left over from the war was still very much in play), turned my long dress into a shorter party dress.

Wearing it with great pride to my cousin’s birthday party, with my party shoes of course, I discovered how much I enjoyed dressing up for special occasions, and still do. Shame that I was always the kid with chocolate around my face (still am, ha!).

Me, with my brother and cousins (and uncle and auntie in the background) enjoying the party in my party dress and sparkly shoes.  And yes, I do have chocolate on my face!   Mid 1960's (c) Sherri Matthews 2014

Me (right) with my brother (left) and cousins (and uncle and auntie in the background) enjoying the party Note my sparkly shoes. And yes, I do have chocolate on my face which I’m obviously trying to hide!            Mid 1960’s
(c) Sherri Matthews 2014

I’ve shared stories here about the fun I had with my children when living in California and all the Halloween outfits we conjured up from next to nothing.

When we returned to the UK, I was delighted that I finally got a chance to dress up  in costumes (or fancy dress, as we call it), for my first ever Murder Mystery Party held at my brother’s house.  We’ve done a few over the years and my characters have been everything from a conniving Italian ex-model down on her luck, a cowgirl, rock-chick and a swinging 60’s ‘yeah baby’ chick.

Yeah Baby!  Ooops...is that a glass of bubbly in my hand?  I think I might be getting a bit of a reputation around here but to be fair, it was my birthday...! (c) Sherri Matthews 2014

Yeah Baby! Ooops…is that a glass of bubbly in my hand? I think I might be getting a bit of a reputation around here but to be fair, it was my birthday…!  And you can see, I still love those sunglasses!
(c) Sherri Matthews 2014

Me with Hubby - Yes, you get to see him at last.  In disguise, haha!  This is a wig in case you were wondering. Now who do you think he looks like?  BTW, he is wearing one of Nicky's t-shirts and I'm wearing my daughter's Goth skirt.   (c) Sherri Matthews 2014

Me with Hubby – Yes, you get to see him at last. In disguise, haha! This is a wig in case you were wondering. Now who do you think he looks like? BTW, he is wearing one of Nicky’s t-shirts and I’m wearing my daughter’s Goth skirt.   I don’t normally dress like this…but we are Old Rockers!!  (c) Sherri Matthews 2014

Any excuse to come up with some wild and wacky disguises.

So you can see my dilemma for Lisa’s Bite Size Memoir Number 8 this week, the theme of which (in case you didn’t know it already by the huge hints above) is ‘Dressing Up’.  I could really go to town with this one!

Thanks Lisa for a fabulous prompt! Just what we all need, some light-heated fun to lift the spirits a little. I’m beaming from ear to ear just thinking about all the laughter and silliness.  Life has to be full of these kind of moments doesn’t it?  Goodness knows, it can be heavy enough in the every day.

I hope this brings a few smiles, here is my entry, 150 words, no more no less:

A Strange Town

A couple of years ago, hubby and I were invited to a costume party so I turned to the family expert for suggestions: My Aspie daughter.

Her forte is dressing up. As a female Aspie, role-playing and disguise comes naturally as it helps her seek out her identity, her ‘fit’ in the world. As such, she has an array of outfits. And wigs.

I settled on a long, flaming-red wig coupled with an old, black dress slashed at the hem and  my sparkly wedding tiara. Hubby wore an Arabian Thawb, something he had brought back from a business trip to Saudi Arabia.

On the way to the party, we realised we had forgotten to bring some wine, so we stopped off at our local supermarket. It wasn’t until we got back into the car that we remembered how we were dressed.

The strange thing was, nobody had batted an eyelid.

Apologies for the blurring...still, you get the gist... (c) Sherri Matthews 2014

Apologies for the blurring…still, you get the gist…
(c) Sherri Matthews 2014

About Sherri Matthews

Sherri has been writing full time since 2011. Currently working on her memoir, 'Stranger in a White Dress', she has been published in a variety of national magazines, websites and three anthologies. Sherri raised her three, now adult children, in California for twenty years and today, lives in England’s West Country with her hubby, Aspie youngest, two cats, a grumpy bunny and a family of Chinese Button Quails. She keeps out of mischief blogging, gardening, walking by the sea and snapping endless photographs. Her garden robin muse vists regularly.
This entry was posted in Asperger's Syndrome, Bite Size Memoir, Family Life and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

81 Responses to Dressing Up – My Favourite Thing!

  1. Lisa Reiter says:

    Some fabulous photos Sherri! I am envious – as I hunt for records of party events we’ve been to it’s clear we’re rather rubbish at recording much at all – new leaf- turning over!

    It’s interesting how you suggest Aspie D’s love of dressing up is about establishing identity – I wonder if that’s the great attraction for children? Perhaps we use it to test the world.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed this post Lisa, thanks so much! I haven’t been quite as good at taking photos lately so I need to remember to keep it up! You never know when evidence will be called for , haha 😉

      I’ve been learning more and more about how role-playing for females especially with Asperger’s is something that helps provide a barrier to the unhappy world on the outside. That is a very interesting point about children in general. Perhaps in dressing up as children we can insulate ourselves sufficiently so that we can indeed test the world in ways we wouldn’t normally do. Maybe it gives us more confidence in general. All my kids enjoyed dressing up, capes were a big hit. Flying high into our created world and feeling free…oh to be a kid again 🙂

      Like

  2. TanGental says:

    Re hubby, somewhere between Jeff ‘skunk’ Baxter and Robert Plant. Either way, a god.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Haha! Love it…so will hubby 😉 Robert Plant wasn’t too far from us here in Somerset while he ‘did’ Glastonbury…

      Like

      • Heyjude says:

        Robert Plant was my favourite – even had his poster on my bedroom wall! Your hubby hasn’t enough wrinkles though. Old Planty has had a very rough paper-round 😉

        Like

      • Sherri says:

        Haha….yes Jude, you are right about that! Eldest Son saw him at Glasto (he is a huge fan of Led Zeppelin) and said he still sounds really good. He was thrilled to finally meet his rock god hero, rough wrinkles and all 😛

        Like

  3. You rocked those costume parties Sherri!

    Like

  4. What FUN dressing up can be. You look smashing as a blond and amazing as a redhead. Whoo hoo. You two make a fab couple.
    It’s been a looooong time since I’ve gone the route. Maybe I’ll dream something up for an excuse to have a dress-up party. Thanks for the idea. 😀

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      It’s so much fun Tess but been a little while for us too (well, since last Halloween, haha!) Well I thank you very much…nothing like trying out a different look now and then 😉 When you do have your dress-up party, don’t forget to invite us…. 😀

      Like

      • I’ll be MORE than happy to invite you. Must think of a good theme party. It occurred to me today to have one for sure for my daughter’s and son-in-law’s 40th. That’s four years away but today’s post had me thinking already. My daughter and her husband would LOVE it as they like dress-up parties. Four years to too long to wait though. Hmm.

        Like

      • Sherri says:

        Well Tess, at least you have plenty of time to really plan! The planning is half the fun. You know where to come if you need any ideas, and it gives me plenty of time to save up for my flight to the party, haha! Have a great weekend my friend 😀 😎 ❤

        Like

  5. Heyjude says:

    Oh, you are so much more adventurous than I am. Didn’t do dressing up as a child – probably scarred me for life! Never been to a fancy-dress party either 😦

    Your hubby looks familiar… but no, can’t think who he reminds me of.

    Like

  6. Yeah baby – rock on! You both look great in all those photies Sherri. I used to love the fancy dress parties too – it’s fantastic to be able to wear way out costumes and not get arrested. Groovy! 😀 XXXX

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thanks lovely Jo!!! Yeah baby, yeah!! Haha…what fun aren’t they? So great to walk around looking crazy and not caring what anyone thinks. Rock on…Groovy Baby 😀 😎 😉 xxxxxxxx

      Like

  7. You’re a wild woman, Sherri! Thanks for sharing these fun pictures. I can’t wait to show them to DFD. 🙂
    By the way, your brother has the sweetest smile in that picture. xoxoxo

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Haha! Oh Jill, can’t wait to hear DFD’s thoughts! You can tell him that Glastonbury (over now) isn’t far from us and that maybe Hubby secretly performed there… 😉
      Ahhh…thank you, I thought the same about my brother, he does look really sweet in this photo doesn’t he? Butter wouldn’t melt! xoxoxoxo

      Like

  8. Great disguises, Sherri. Your hubby looks great, like a cross between Jon Bon Jovi, Kenny G and Russell Brand. 🙂 Love your red hair, and i think you should wear the tiara all the time. 😆

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Oh Sylvia, I just told hubby, sitting right by me, what you said and he thought it was hilarious, haha 😀 Who knew I had a real-live rocker for a husband!!!!
      Maybe I should change my hair colour and as for the tiara, you know me, I wouldn’t mind wearing it all the time but I think people will definitely start batting their eyelids then… 😀

      Like

  9. bulldog says:

    Wow…. I see now a different side of Sherri and hubby…. and I like them!!!!!!!!!!!!!….

    Like

  10. sknicholls says:

    Fun stuff! I love your pics. (even the blurry one). The resort my family owns has theme parties and we always dress up for those, even though it’s a nudist resort. HA! Still lots of fun.

    Like

  11. Ste J says:

    I wondered where you were going with this one from the title, haha! I used to have housemates that did Larping…which I believe stands for Live Action Role Play and they had to spend all weekend in character and fight each other and stuff. I have often thought of dressing up but somehow I imagine the PVC would stick to me, ha!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Yes, thinking about it I can see why, haha 😉 I’ve not heard of Larping. My daughter used to go to cosplays in London when she and her friends would spend the entire weekend in their costumes, completely disguised as their favourite characters (back then, hers were Japanese characters from anime and manga, not sure if that means anything to you or not, it didn’t to me until she started doing it). Maybe that’s similar, but without the fighting. It’s another world out there isn’t it? !!
      As for PVC sticking to you…well, let’s not even go there, haha!!!

      Like

      • Ste J says:

        Cosplay and larping sound similar, i don’t know much about manga or anime, it is something that I will probably get into at some point, although I do enjoy the films of Hayao Miyazaki. People do get interested in some interesting stuff, I wonder what other eccentric stuff is out there just waiting for us to discover.

        Like

      • Sherri says:

        The mind boggles most certainly! My daughter loves Hayao Miyazaki’s films… Spirited Away? I’ve had to watch them all with her 😉

        Like

  12. Pingback: Dressing Up – Bite Size Compilation | Lisa Reiter - Sharing the Story

  13. jenniferkmarsh says:

    This certainly made me smile, Sherri P! Love it! What fabulous photos! 😛 Your hubby’s wig in that picture looks like my dads hair in the 80s! Ha. He was a bit of rocker, me old dad.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Oh Jenny Jen Jen, I bet your dad had really cool hair! That wig was actually an old one Nicky had from way back but now he has his own long, black hair for real (wears it in a pony tail for work) but think he had it for a fancy dress party when he was at school and still had short hair! The friends we went out with that night also dressed up, the other guy had the wig and glasses to look the spitting image of Ozzy Osbourne, it was hilarious!! Us old rockers need to stick together 😀 😛

      Like

      • jenniferkmarsh says:

        Haha, well my dad’s hair is naturally curly, soo! Where do I get it from, I wonder? 😉 Undoubtedly, he looked uber cool. Haha, dressing up can be such a good laugh 🙂 I can’t remember the last time I wore fancy dress, though….. It’s not really my thing 😛
        But indeed, rockers must unite 😉

        Like

      • Sherri says:

        Well where indeed did your beautiful curls come from? Thanks Dad…and uber cool too 😉 Nicky has wavy hair but wants actual curls. He is 25 but lives in the 80s,haha! 😛

        Like

  14. restlessjo says:

    You make a great 60’s chick. Jean Shrimpton eat your heart out 🙂

    Like

  15. Steven says:

    GSY. Real wild child! This is fantastic, and, well, my ‘ultimate diva’ comment continues to be relevant, Sherri P. Look at you, rocking just about every possible look! 😛 Those 60s sunglasses are hilarious, and yes, good of you to note the excuse for the bubbly 😉

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      GSY…Suffering Snakes, Good Golly Miss Molly…oh dear, what is going on here then JG? Haha…well, I did warn you!! You let the diva out of the bag and look what happened…it’s going from bad to worse! The sunglasses, the bubbly…it started very young and I fully intend to carry on as I started…and why not… 😉 😎 😛

      Like

    • Sherri says:

      Well, I fully intend to set a good example…as young as I am 😉

      Like

  16. suej says:

    Oh, what larks! I used to hate dressing up when I was young, love it now! A while since I’ve been to a good fancy dress party….

    Like

  17. jennypellett says:

    Dressed up as a child – Peter Pan, Tufty the road safety squirrel – that was embarrassing. Not a fan of fancy dress as an adult, I think being encased in the rodent costume at the local carnival did it for me for life. You two look great though, real old rockers 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Oh Jenny, that is hilarious!! Tufty the road safety squirrel? I’m seriously laughing out loud at the thought of it, hope you don’t mind?!! I don’t blame you, I think that would have put me off for life too…did someone have to make that outfit or buy it? You must have hated every moment of that. We have a car wash place in town and whenever we drive by, someone is dressed up as a fox waving a sponge in the air to get people to come in. I feel sorry for him every time….
      Thanks Jenny, that’s us…old rockers and proud of it 😛 😎

      Like

      • jennypellett says:

        We borrowed the outfit from someone my Mum had met during my swimming lessons. I carried a Belisha beacon made from cardboard tubing covered in black and white crepe paper with an orange balloon threaded through. It sadly is a very vivid memory.

        Like

      • Sherri says:

        Ahh…I see. A very vivid memory…so moving on swiftly from that then… !

        Like

  18. Come on, dear Sherri, you can tell us: if you and hubby can go in to buy drinks and nobody notices how you’re dressed, then you two are well known in the area… 🙂
    I see a whole new delightful side of you. Sparkly blue shoes, not just the signature sunglasses and champagne but also the huge button on your sleeve, and then you and hubby holding up two fingers–in Colorado those two fingers (held palm out) are the “lock’em horns”…the first two fingers only, again palm out, are the peace sign…and the thumb and those two fingers (palm out) mean I love you in American Sign Language.
    A picture full of possibilities!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Yikes…I should have known better thinking I could get past you Marylin!! Haha…I think you have us pegged! 😉
      I just love how you pick out so much detail from everything. No wonder you are such a great writer…amazing powers of observation you have my friend! I had no idea that’s what those hand signs meant but knew they had something to do with rock music…and yes, what possibilities indeed 😛 😎
      Sign language always fascinated me. I remember coming across it for the first time in the States when my eldest son’s Kindergarten teacher taught his class how to sing songs and tell stories by signing. I was mesmerised. Do you use sign language Marylin?

      Like

  19. Charli Mills says:

    No matter the identity you take on your joyful spirit shines through! Like Lisa, I’m taking in that idea of identity as you have been exploring with your daughter. That makes sense. Dress up seems to be such an integral part of childhood, even “borrowing” our mother’s identity as we slip into her shoes. As adults we dress up for occasions, not necessarily parties, but our Sunday best or professional suits. This makes me ponder my “true” identity as I write on my little ranch in Elmira, Idaho wearing the Hub’s flannel shirt and my comfiest pajama pants! Great to see your Hubby, too! Wonderful recollections, photos and bite.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Well, I do love a good party Charli as you can tell and thank you for that. Glad you enjoyed this bite!
      Yes, it is a very interesting line of thought, the way we dress up in all walks of life and for all kinds of reasons. Learning how to present ourselves in certain situations, what is and what is not appropriate, the kind of message we want to send, or even send subconsciously.
      As my daughter entered her early teens, the battles started over the style of clothes she wanted to wear (alternative goth/punk), dying her hair, and piercings. Still, at least she wasn’t dressing suggestively like a lot of her peers at that time. She wanted to hide behind her identity yet it made her a target for bullying and that in turn made her angrier because she was learning that she couldn’t truly express herself.
      Even now (she is almost 22) her style is ‘different’ but very stylish. I love it! She is finding her way and I see her coming more to terms with her identity, slowly…
      I also love your ‘true identity’… sounds heavenly to me 😀

      Like

  20. Amy says:

    Beautiful your dress-up photos! Thank you for sharing your joyful moments, love your beautiful smiles, Sherri!

    Like

  21. cardamone5 says:

    Love seeing beautiful you and your handsome hubby 🙂

    Fondly,
    Elizabeth

    Like

  22. OMG I LOVE you with the shades and the red hair. MORE! I want MORE of these! LOL

    Like

  23. You are so much fun, Sherri! I want to hang out with you and dress up and drink a lot of champagne. 🙂 That’s what life is all about,right?

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      C’mn over my friend, I have a feeling we would have a fab time together…and yes, that is indeed what life’s all about. Cheers to us, bring it on LOL 😀

      Like

  24. thirdhandart says:

    Rock on Sherri! You and hubby look marvelous.
    Love the mid 1960′s photo of you wearing your pale, blue party shoes. My granddaughter, June, is only 18 months old, and she’s in her play pen right now trying on shoes. It keeps her busy for at least an hour!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Hahah…rock on is right!!! Thanks Theresa, glad you liked the pics. So much fun isn’t it? Ahh..how cute, your granddaughter sounds adorable. Those shoes are great aren’t they? What a lovely image…. 😉 ❤

      Like

  25. Love your many selves Sherri and I’m glad the diva came of age 🙂 Your posts always spark so many memories – walking down the street with my best friend in my mam’s shoes (a lovely pair of wedge sandals!) pushing our prams like proper grown ups; my favourite fancy dress of a clown suit my mam made from a pair of bright yellow satin Chinese pyjamas….Oh and I think your hubby looks like Sean Bean 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Haha…my ‘many selves’, love that! Think I’m getting a bit of a reputation here, one way or another, lol!! I always love to know that these memoir posts bring back so many happy memories for you Andrea and I had to smile at the thought of you with your best friend pushing those prams in your mother’s shoes!! Wonderful! I remember those Chinese pyjamas – I had a white pair and loved them! As for Sean Bean, well…I will start looking at Hubby with different eyes from now on, LOL LOL 😉

      Like

  26. This is such a fun post, Sherri. I love to see your different personalities through the different period of times and costumes. The wigs are great too!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      So glad you enjoyed it, thank you Evelyne! I do love to get into character as you can tell, haha! I have thoroughly enjoyed sharing some of them here, it’s been so much fun 😀

      Like

  27. tieshka says:

    Hello Sherri! This is a fun post & dressing up is always fun. Been super busy lately- but at least it’s summer now. I hope that you’re having some nice summer weather too!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Hi Tieshka! Hope you had a super July 4th! I’m just catching up now. Glad you came over to join in with the fun. I can imagine you are having a busy summer and enjoying every minute of it. We have been having some lovely summer weather thank you, so nice to get out and about, but it interferes with my writing, lol 😉
      Just finished watching a nail-biting Wimbledon men’s final! In the end, with Rafa gone and then Murray you will be pleased to know that we were rooting for Federer – so of course,he lost! Still, it was a super final, best yet. I admire both players immensely. Have a great summer my friend and see you soon 😀 😎

      Like

  28. Great fun Sherri. You look so great in those glasses and I’m impressed at the colour co-ordination with the button. These would have been a lot of fun recalling and certainly it was fun to read. Cheers Irene 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Haha! Thanks Irene, I got those glasses and the dress with the red button at a joke shop!! I’m glad you enjoyed reading it, it was great fun to dress up. You know how I love a good party. Oh…and I’m STILL giggling about your dog-hair beard every time I think of it…hilarious.. 😀

      Like

  29. These are great, Sherri! I am so the opposite! I hated dressing up when I was a kid, especially, because my mom always wanted to curl my hair with those sponge rollers! YUCK!! Anyway, hope you take this okay, but that last pic of you in the really red wig reminds me of Cindy Lauper! 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Oh no, those sponge rollers! They are horrible aren’t they? Haha, I’m really laughing now Patsy! I look crazy in that photo don’t I? It’s really blurred for one, my skin colour looks really odd and well, it could be worse I suppose!!! I don’t mind at all…to think I walked around our local supermarket looking just like that, LOL 😉

      Like

      • Hey, you were a little girl! I think you look cute! I was glad my mom let me be the tomboy I wanted to be most of the time! I still hate my first year’s cheerleading pictures, because she put the top of my hair up in a little bun, and I had a pixie haircut. How did she do that? LOTS of teasing! 🙂

        Like

        • Sherri says:

          Oh no! We all had crazy haircuts back then I think!!! I was actually a real tomboy too, but I did like wearing my dresses too. I didn’t like dolls, preferred to climb trees, ride my bike and climb haystacks any day 😀

          Like

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