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This Dress Has a Story: Tell It, Pink Poly/Metal

Updated on January 27, 2015

Sheena was a punk rocker...but so was Sally

Sally grew up in Marin County across the bay from San Francisco with her parents, the maid, and her perfect older sister Charlotte. Charlotte was the most gorgeous and popular girl in school, captain of the cheerleading squad, and had straight A’s. Sally on the other hand lived in the shadow of her sister. She didn’t care about school, sports, or looking good and her parents resented her for that. Sally never had a close relationship with her parents because they were always gone at work and same for her sister because they had nothing in common. The closest relationship she had was her wacky aunt Gwen.

Gwen is Sally’s mother’s sister and they never really got along because they were so different. Gwen lived in Oakland and owned a thrift store. Sally’s parents didn’t ever go there because they thought it was too dangerous but Sally would find ways to sneak over on the train to visit her after school. They would joke about how uptight their family was and Gwen would let her help out in the store.

During this time in the late 80’s, a lot of punk bands were emerging in the Oakland and East Bay area. Sally was captivated by the rebel style, “I’m going to do what I want and wear what I want” attitude. She begged Gwen to take her to a punk show one weekend and she agreed that she would.

Sally’s dreadful mother demanded that she go to the school dance with her boss’s son. This was because she wanted to get ahead at work. Sally protested at the thought of going to the dance but her mother forced her. The next day she went to Gwen’s shop and told her all about it, they came up with a plan for her to wear the ugliest dress in the store to make the boy uninterested. Gwen also agreed to pick her up during the middle of the dance to go to a punk rock show.

The dress was pink polyester and metallic thread with thin ratty straps. There was a safety pin holding up a huge ugly ruffle on the top left and lots of ruffles flowing from the bottom up to the right top side. There was a little hole in it and a rip in one of the seams. It was the perfect dress to make a boy shriek and run away.

The night of the dance, the boy picked her up at her house. He was surprisingly nice and said the dress was kind of cool. He confessed that he was in the same boat as her that he did not want to go to the dance but his dad forced him to. She told him that her aunt was coming to pick her up during the dance to go to a punk rock show. Turns out his favorite bands are the Misfits and the Ramones so he begged for her to bring him along. Gwen showed up and they both jumped in the car.

Before the show they stopped by Gwen’s shop and asked if Sally wanted to change and she said no, she didn’t really care about her appearance she just cared about having fun. The boy admired that.


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