My hair was kept braided all the time, in two pigtails tied with ribbons to match my outfit of the day. Mom sewed almost all my clothing until I was about 10, after which I decided "store-bought" was much preferable to "mommy-made". How wrong I was! She made pretty cotton dresses, with puffy sleeves and rick rack or lace trim, and organdy pinafores to match. A pinafore was a sort of decorative apron, used to catch whatever soil I came in contact with during the day, and thus save the dress from getting dirty. In her theory, I could wear the dress with the pinafore and then another day without it, and have 2 different looks. In practice, I hardly ever got dirty. I could have worn the same dress 5 days in a row and it would still look as fresh as it did the first day. I finally learned to get a little dirty, so that I wouldn't have to wear the same dress 2-3 days in a row!
My school shoes were black patent Mary Janes, polished to a high gloss with petroleum jelly; I wore them with white socks, sometimes trimmed in lace. Can you imagine the girls of today going to school dressed like that? I enjoyed looking like a princess, but of course it had its bad points. If we girls got on a swing, the boys were always watching to see if the skirts would fly up over our faces so they could yell...."I see England, I see France, I see Judy's underpants". I learned quickly to tuck my skirt under my legs so it wouldn't fly up. Forget trying to climb on a jungle-gym in a dress without showing everything - but we did it anyway - mostly when the boys were off playing ball or marbles or jacks. Somewhere I have a photo of some classmates perched on the jungle-gym at school when we were in the fifth grade. Good times......warm memories......and what I am learning through these reveries is that it was a very good childhood.