Wednesday, August 12, 2020

The story of a Lilly Pulitzer mask that used to be my dress

Years ago, before I had kids, I got a Lilly Pulitzer dress. My style is more city casual than Palm Beach chic, but I was in a boutique with a friend who loved fancy clothes (hi, Lisa!) and I paid big bucks for a floral print in juicy shades. Wearing it always made me feel fancy, like a lady who lunches, especially when I was on a summer weekend getaway with Dave. More recently, it's sat in my closet and mocked me for not fitting or having the carefree sort of lifestyle a dress like that promises. 

I occasionally give away or sell clothes on a local Facebook swap group. During one pandemic purge, I decided to offer up my dress to some lucky taker for a mere $20. For a couple of months, nobody responded, which seemed nuts—I mean, it was a classic Lilly Pulitzer dress! It was lined! I marked it down to $15. Crickets.

A few weeks ago, a woman in my town messaged me. Could she have the dress for $10? I agreed, if a little glumly. It wasn't the money; it was a part of my old life I was giving away for all of ten bucks. I wondered if I should have held onto the dress instead of going Marie Kondo on it. 

I left the Lilly in a bag by our home's walkway, half-hoping the woman wouldn't pick it up. A little while later, I looked out the front door and the bag was gone. I messaged her to say I hoped she'd enjoy the dress. She wrote back: "Thanks! I'm using the fabric for masks!"


That would be the end of my Lilly Pulitzer dress, cut up into pieces?

It took me a minute for my mind to come around: What better ending for my Lilly dress. Actually put to use—important use!—instead of hanging in my closet and doing me no good.

I had to have one.

"I have fond memories of that dress and would like to buy a mask from you once you make them, please," I wrote.  

And the woman responded: "I would be happy to send you one!" 

I pretty much forgot about it until Monday, when she messaged to say that she'd finished the mask and would drop if off on my porch. Double the niceness! I was at work and later came down to find a bag. I opened it, saw the familiar pattern and felt so glad.

I washed it that night, let it air dry and slipped it on, wondrous that a mask could give me all the feels and grateful for a good deed at a time when life seems kind of cruel. 


  1. Ellen....
    I love this story!! You look beautiful while wearing your face mask!! :)
    Peace and Love, Mary Lou

  2. What a great story! It looks great and I love that it's made of repurposed material and sustainable. Enjoy!


Thanks for sharing!

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