Chick Wit

Moo September 19, 2021

by Lisa Scottoline

I’m not becoming my mother.

I’m becoming my grandmother.

Or at least, I’m dressing like her.

In a housedress.

Please tell me you know what I’m talking about.

For those of you not born in the Jurassic era, I will define my terms:

A housedress was a loose-fitting type of dress, usually with massive pockets and no waistband whatsoever. Not even elastic.

And no belts, either.

Nothing that would suggest a waist or where a waist used to be.

If you, like me, have resorted to housedresses, you don’t miss your waist.

You shrug and say to yourself, I guess this is happening now.

And then you wonder, how can I cover it up?

The answer is: Housedress!

My grandmother wore a housedress and so did every aunt in the Flying Scottoline Family. I used to think housedresses were weird, but now I wish I had eighty.

I’m telling you, the elders of the girl tribe had it going on.

It’s axiomatic that as you get older, you’ll adopt everything you thought was horrifying.

Next up, slippers.

I swear, the day I start going to the grocery store in a housedress and slippers, you’ll know I’m living my best life.

Anyway, I rediscovered the housedress yesterday, because I had to get dressed and realized all my gym shorts were in the laundry. By the way, I own ten pairs of gym shorts, so that gives you an idea of how often I do laundry.

I rooted around in my closet for something to wear and noticed an old dress hanging up in the back. And by old, I mean forty years old.

I even have a picture of myself in this housedress, holding Francesca as a baby.

The pictures are daguerreotypes.

I’m pretty sure the flashbulb exploded.

I still remember buying the dress at the Laura Ashley store that used to be on Walnut Street in Philly.

Do you remember Laura Ashley? She sounds like someone in your high-school Girls’ Service Club, but she was a wonderful British designer who specialized in floral prints.

Housedresses are all about florals.

Most look like couches.

If you wear one, you’ll like a couch, too.

Again, you won’t mind. You’ll say to yourself, This is what’s happening now.

I’m heavy furniture.

My housedress is sleeveless, all cotton, with a white background and big pink flowers.

Housedresses were cotton because back then everything was cotton. We’re talking pre-polyester, which is before pre-cell phone.

Anyway, I popped this housedress on over my head, which is key to housedresses.

You don’t have to do anything.

You don’t even have to button or zip.

These dresses require no workout.

If you wanted to work out, you’d have a waist.

I put the housedress on and I felt great all day.

I didn’t even wear underwear.

Sorry, did you just throw up in your mouth?

I mean, why not?

It’s my house.


I fell in love with my housedress, but it didn’t have pockets, like the ones my aunts used to wear. By the way, their pockets were full of Kleenex. Tons of Kleenex. Used and fresh Kleenex.

So I needed a new housedress and a box of Kleenex.

I went online, Googled housedress, and got a whole lot of entries.

Evidently, I’m not the only house requiring a dress.

There were tons of housedresses, caftans, shifts, muumuus, and various other words that nobody uses anymore.

I mean, I’m not even sure how to spell muumuu.

Is it muumu or moo-moo?

I’m going with the latter.

You’ll feel like a cow in a moo-moo.

But cows are awesome.

One article even talked about the “revival” of the housedress.

I feel you, girl.

But another asked, “What is the most fashionable housedress?”

I answer, Who cares?

The whole point of a housedress is that it’s not fashionable.

It’s classic.


Worn by the person who’s running out of time.

Even a caftan has too much flair.

A housedress shouldn’t be exotic.

It should say, I never leave the kitchen.

And I’m comfy.

Need a Kleenex?

Copyright Lisa Scottoline 2021

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