Andrea Lee has a section of closet dedicated to clothes strewn with tiny flowers, however she rarely if ever wears any of them, the renowned author wrote in an essay for Vogue.
The significance of her many impulse purchases goes back to her days at Baldwin School in Bryn Mawr. This affluent girls’ preparatory establishment was where the author gained mild notoriety as one of the school’s first two Black students.
In seventh grade, just before Thanksgiving break, the students were allowed to forgo their uniforms for street clothes.
“The classroom was awash with jeunes filles suddenly en fleur—dressed in A-line skirts and pin-tucked blouses in an effulgent mass of pastel shades, with designs of tiny blossoms covering everything that wasn’t Shetland wool,” wrote Lee.
Wearing an unmemorable skirt, Lee was riveted by the sight. The flowery garments—designed by Philadelphia’s Max Raab—stayed with her for years, but by the time she was allowed to choose her own clothes, the craze was gone and out of fashion.
Still, decades later, that first impression lingers and to this day still manages to sneak its way into a special part of the author’s closet.
Read the entire essay at Vogue by clicking here.