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19 September 2017 / leggypeggy

That dress—revealed but not all that revealing


Followers of this blog might remember my references to a low-cut dress that I wore to a formal dance about 50 years ago. I’ve often promised to tell the story of that night and another relevant night about a year later.

Earlier today I found that black velvet dress folded up and stuffed into the back of an upper cupboard. I tried it on and it only-just doesn’t zip up in the back. So middle-age spread isn’t too drastic. But the attempted try-on confirmed that the bras of today are up to the challenge of this low-cut dress. I have a whole drawer full of bras that could do the job now.

So on to the story of 1967
In the late 1960s, I was in university and a member of a sorority (those women’s organisations that are very popular in the USA). I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the sorority, but the annual formal did nothing for my confidence.

Luckily, I have no memory of my first Cotillion (the name of the annual dance), but sadly my memories of the second dance will never be obliterated.

So let me set the scene
On the first year, I noticed that many of my sorority sisters wore formal dresses with plunging necklines. I hope no one takes offence, but most of them were rather flat-chested and hardly did their dresses justice.

So enter Peggy the next year. I’m rather busty and thought I might be able to do a low-cut dress some justice. So I made one.

Cripes, dress patterns never really quite show you how the end result will look. This turned out more plunging than I expected, but totally fine by today’s standards. Back then, I was faced with the challenge of holding up my boobs with a ‘strapless’ and ‘industrial-strength’ padded white bra.

I now know that black duct tape can work miracles in these situations, but that was not a known option back in 1967.

So picture this
I have a white padded strapless bra. It’s showing above the top of the dress, so I chop off the exposed white bits before I head to the dance. But over time, the bra creeps up. I look down and see white fluff inching its way to visibility.

Not to worry. I run down to reception to borrow a pair of scissors to trim off more of the bra. And push the fluff back into place. You can see how black duct tape would have saved me a lot of grief.

Then back up to dinner (and later the dance). Can you guess what they served for dinner?

I sure didn’t see spaghetti and crusty rolls coming! But there they were. I couldn’t afford to lean forward and expose the white bra and fluff, so I sat bolt upright as I twirled my spaghetti on my fork.

About 10 minutes in to this fiasco, my date (yeah, we had to invite a date) said Look down. My velvet chest was blanketed in bread crumbs. I nearly choked. Okay, Peggy, be nonchalant. Don’t raise your hands to brush off the crumbs. Just tilt your head a bit forward and blow them off. Of course, that manoeuvre sent them airborne across the table.

Time for another quick trip to reception to trim off yet more of the padded bra.

No wonder the hotel reception people kept asking if I was OK. Perhaps they thought every time I asked to borrow scissors might be my last request. 

Of course reception was on ground floor and the dance was on the mezzanine. The hotel didn’t have a lift between those floors. So every time I started up the stairs there would be a couple of guys at the top calling out She’s coming up the stairs again! Followed by a stampede to the top of the stairs.

Still I’ve forgotten a lot about that night. I can’t remember the name of my date; couldn’t even pick him out of a police line-up. I don’t remember what band played or what we had for dessert.

A year later
But I will never forget what happened about a year later. That’s when
I stopped in Lincoln, Nebraska, to visit my friend, Linda. I was wearing a ratty old track suit. Linda introduced me to her new boyfriend, Bill. He jumped up to shake hands and say hello. Then he said, ‘Oh hey, I know you. Didn’t you wear a low-cut black dress at the Chi Omega Cotillion?’

I almost fainted. All I could say was, wow you recognise my face!

P.S. Maybe someday I’ll tell the story of wearing a slightly low-cut t-shirt to the local pizza place when I was asking for prize donations for the school trivia night.


Leave a Comment
  1. blondieaka / Sep 19 2017 11:59 pm

    Ha Ha..memories where would we be without them Peggy and at least one young man was looking at your face…lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Sep 20 2017 12:11 am

      Glad you enjoyed the memory. I was so shocked (and very impressed)) that Bill recognised me from that event alone.

      Liked by 2 people

      • blondieaka / Sep 20 2017 12:16 am

        You must have made one hell of an impression on that young man 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      • leggypeggy / Sep 20 2017 12:18 am

        I never thought of that!


  2. IreneDesign2011 / Sep 19 2017 11:59 pm

    Thank you for sharing these memories Peggy and thank you for the laughs 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Carol / Sep 20 2017 12:12 am

    Oh Peggy, sounds just like you sweetie! So much fun and so many laughs. Love u

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Sep 20 2017 12:15 am

      Love you too, Carol. In retrospect that was such a funny and weird night.


  4. pvcann / Sep 20 2017 12:26 am

    What fun, at least laughable now. Took me back to high school. what a great story, you tell it so well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Sep 20 2017 6:49 am

      Thanks so much. Ah, high school. At the senior formal, an ice cube went down the front of my dress

      Liked by 1 person

      • pvcann / Sep 20 2017 9:00 am

        Lol, the social inadeptness of us all. But when you get to our respective ages, you realise it doesn’t matter, but back then, well, it mattered.

        Liked by 1 person

      • leggypeggy / Sep 20 2017 6:14 pm

        Luckily those sorts of things never really bothered me. I had the sense to let the biggies get to me.


  5. Paula / Sep 20 2017 12:35 am

    Lol, what a fun story! I can just imagine how you felt that night. I remember having to wear a strapless bra back in the day. It was horrid, and I threw it AND the dress out because I was so uncomfortable. 😃

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Sep 20 2017 6:50 am

      Good thinking. That night I promised myself to never again wear a dress (or outfit) that I had to fight with.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. beetleypete / Sep 20 2017 1:48 am

    Great story, Peggy. 🙂 Speaking as a man, I would have been unlikely to remember your face! 🙂
    Now I want to heat about the T-shirt at the pizza place…
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Embeecee / Sep 20 2017 2:10 am

    In the day I’d have forsaken the bra altogether and let the girls go au naturale, but then we’d maybe be hearing a great story about how one or both of them escaped the neckline of the dress… Thanks for sharing what might be a most embarrassing moment. Still the next year moment was probably more embarrassing. You are lovely. Sharing and laughing that with us, now tell us about the t-shirt.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Sep 20 2017 6:53 am

      Oh goodness, I might have had the inaugural wardrobe malfunction. As for the t-shirt—that story will come around one day.


  8. theunassuminghiker / Sep 20 2017 2:18 am

    Awkward!! What a fun story!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Curt Mekemson / Sep 20 2017 2:31 am

    I had no idea that you were so talented with scissors, Peggy! 🙂 –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

  10. thegreyeye / Sep 20 2017 2:50 am

    😂… ❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  11. koolkosherkitchen / Sep 20 2017 3:04 am

    Peggy Scissorhands!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 / Sep 20 2017 3:55 am

    Too funny Peggy. Reminds me of the time I wore a blow-up bra to a party. Midway through the evening, a gentleman called my attention to the fact that the air had gone out of one side of the bra. Why is it that the men are the first to notice those things?

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Sep 20 2017 7:08 am

      Oh my, that’s hilarious. Hope you don’t mind that I am laughing at your expense. Funny how observant most men are when it comes to female chests, but how domestic blindness kicks in at home. 🙂


  13. toutparmoi / Sep 20 2017 6:30 am

    Ah, the bras of yesteryear. Even a 36C was built to look like something your grandmother would wear.

    And those teenage wardrobe fails! But I bet there’s a lot of men around today who still treasure the memory of you coming up the stairs. You probably made a few melancholy youths feel that life was worth living after all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Sep 20 2017 7:18 am

      You’ve summed that up perfectly—’the bras of yesteryear’ They were built to hold an elephant together. As for the memories, I just realised that long night was 50 years ago.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. kmuccigrosso / Sep 20 2017 9:01 am

    So cute!!! I hope you always remember it❤️ Keeps us young!!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Chris Riley / Sep 20 2017 9:02 am

    Can’t believe you’ve still get the dress, and congratulations that it almost fits you still. It’d be worth keeping a dress for 50 years if I could still fit into it. A humorous walk back into your youth, that helped me reminisce into humorous memorable dates of my own, with equally unmemorable young men.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. gerard oosterman / Sep 20 2017 9:29 am

    It almost beats the story of my daughter at a ‘formal’ leaving a long trail of paper after exiting the ladies.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Sep 20 2017 12:03 pm

      Gerard, your daughter’s mishap is probably too common.


  17. Lynz Real Cooking / Sep 20 2017 9:56 am

    Hahaha I wish there was a picture Peggy! Love the story and the story of the next year!

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Sep 20 2017 12:04 pm

      If I ever lose the five kilos it would take to get back into that dress, I’ll post a pic. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lynz Real Cooking / Sep 20 2017 11:31 pm

        Haha well 5 kilos isnt much in those years! I am sure you would still look lovely! When I read this I could see myself in that predicament especially with the bra sticking out!

        Liked by 1 person

  18. Vicki / Sep 20 2017 10:55 am

    Thanks for the laugh, Peggy.

    I daresay you would have been remembered for some years after that disastrous ‘exposure’.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Sep 20 2017 12:05 pm

      Ah yes, such a vision—white fluff on black velvet! 🙂


  19. Wanda Causby Rabb / Sep 20 2017 11:05 am

    Thanks for the best laugh I have had in a long time! Only you!!! hahaha

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Sep 20 2017 12:06 pm

      You are most welcome Wanda. The story had to be committed to print at some stage.


  20. eths / Sep 20 2017 1:01 pm

    What a great story! I’m still laughing and looking forward to the t-shirt episode.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Anthony / Sep 20 2017 1:53 pm

    Awesome story. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Sep 20 2017 5:54 pm

      You’re welcome. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Anthony / Sep 20 2017 7:54 pm

        I only wish that my comments were more astute and witty.

        Liked by 1 person

      • leggypeggy / Sep 20 2017 8:02 pm

        Well that one is astute and witty. 🙂


  22. Alison and Don / Sep 20 2017 3:26 pm

    OMG what a night. Too bad the bra/dress disaster stopped you from having a good time. I know I’d have been dying in such a situation. I have a couple of my own stories to tell. I think we probably all do. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Sep 20 2017 5:56 pm

      Oh, I think I probably did have a good time. I have a warped sense of humour, so thought it was funny even at the time. Perhaps I saved the dress so I could share the tale. But as I said in an earlier comment, I promised myself that night to never again fight with my clothing. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  23. derrickjknight / Sep 20 2017 8:09 pm

    Hilariously mesmerising

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Brian Lageose / Sep 21 2017 8:16 am

    I would have paid good money to watch this all play out. Said in a loving way, of course… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Catnip Blog / Sep 21 2017 12:39 pm

    The part that really made me laugh was the worried hotel reception – can’t imagine what they were thinking!
    I was one of the girls who hardly did my dresses justice so all my bras were padded. I lived in fear that a boy would get to close while we were dancing and notice . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Sep 21 2017 7:39 pm

      I think if a boy got close he’d just think you were soft! 🙂


  26. adventuredawgs / Sep 21 2017 1:34 pm

    Duct tape may have needed less maintenance but then there’s always the un-taping. Just the thought makes me cringe. And I hope you share the T-shirt story too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Sep 21 2017 7:41 pm

      I wouldn’t have put the tape on me. I’d have taped the top of the bra to contain the fluff! The t-shirt story will appear one of these days.

      Liked by 1 person

      • adventuredawgs / Sep 24 2017 10:23 am

        Ohhhhhhh that sounds so much less painful. Maybe that’s what I’ve been doing wrong 🤦‍♀️

        Liked by 1 person

  27. Midlife Dramas in Pyjamas / Sep 21 2017 7:24 pm

    This is hilarious! I was right with you in the dance hall. Thanks for the laugh. x

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Sep 21 2017 7:41 pm

      You are most welcome. It’s one of those stories that had to be told.


  28. mistermuse / Sep 22 2017 4:49 am

    It could’ve been worse. If your first name were Betsy, you’d be known as Chesty Betsy instead of Leggy Peggy. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  29. abushiestale / Sep 22 2017 10:31 pm

    Oh Peggy. I hope you don’t mind me doubling up, but you asked for it. When I was about 17 my mother told me never to go out with girls who wore black bras because they were a bit something or other. (I forget). I told her that if I found out they had a black bra it was probably a bit late. that would have been 1960.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Sep 22 2017 10:38 pm

      Geez, I guess we’re lucky. Obviously, I didn’t own a black bra way back when your mum would have been concerned. I do now, but she’d never know. 🙂


      • abushiestale / Sep 22 2017 10:46 pm

        I do believe she was seriously warning me. But I never learned what she was warning me of.

        Liked by 1 person

      • leggypeggy / Sep 23 2017 8:55 am

        Neither do I. I didn’t even know they sold black bras in the 1960s.


  30. chattykerry / Sep 23 2017 6:29 am

    That is so funny, Peggy! I love the idea of the bra fluff creeping out. In my wardrobe is an almost identical dress that I tried on recently to check the passage of time. I could fit into it if I really breathed in… 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Sep 23 2017 8:01 am

      No amount of breathing in was going to let me zip up this dress, but five kilos gone would do the job! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  31. jeanleesworld / Sep 25 2017 12:05 pm

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAA This is awesome! Any time I look at dress patterns, my head swims. This is a story that just makes me cringe and laugh all at once, because I can see myself in this exact same situation.
    Thank God for duct tape!

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Sep 25 2017 12:44 pm

      Oh yes, if only I’d had black duct tape back then. But I guess it means I would never have written this post. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • jeanleesworld / Sep 25 2017 8:42 pm

        Exactly. These are the experiences you share to inspire bravery, wit, and creativity in the next generation. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • leggypeggy / Sep 25 2017 9:53 pm

        I can definitely say the experience hasn’t scarred me for life, but it has boosted my sense of the ridiculous.


  32. mommermom / Oct 6 2017 3:36 am

    What a great share! There is no way I could fit into a formal dress from years past. I came across my senior prom dress and gave it to my granddaughter. It was made with silk that my uncle brought back from Japan so it’s a one-of-a-kind vintage dress. She was so excited! Always good to hang on to these special items.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Oct 6 2017 7:17 am

      Oh wow, that dress would be incredible. I’m pleased to know your granddaughter was excited about receiving it.


  33. thewonderer86 / Oct 6 2017 4:59 pm

    This story bought a smile to my face and started my day off right!

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Sharon Bonin-Pratt / Oct 11 2017 7:50 pm

    Absolutely hilarious – I’m laughing so hard, tears are dripping down my cheeks. I can picture this whole event perfectly as your description is so complete. As for the young man who recognized you a year later – sorry to say, but I’m certain it wasn’t your face he remembered!

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Oct 12 2017 7:44 pm

      I think my ratty track suit pretty well disguised any other bodily bits Bill might have remembered, so I’ll give him credit for face recognition. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  35. Jadi Campbell / Oct 12 2017 10:45 pm

    Did anyone take any photos to remember the night??

    Liked by 1 person

  36. milliethom / Oct 23 2017 4:48 am

    A fun story, Peggy, although undoubtedly not such fun for you at the time. Fashions ave changed so much since the mid-late 60s. I was at uni then, too (in Liverpool). It was my final year and mini skirts were the thing for all girls, at college or otherwise. We still had dresses like yours for formal ‘dos’ but I can honestly say I never had one quite as plunging as yours! Lol. Love the image of you snipping away at that white bra. There are bras to suit all styles of dresses and tops nowadays. A great tale to share with the grandkids! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Oct 23 2017 12:21 pm

      Ah, yes, Millie, if only I could get my kids to go forth and multiply. 🙂


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