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title: 'The Day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, May 29, 1914, NOON EDITION, Image 7',
meta: 'News about Chronicling America - RSS Feed',
Image provided by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL
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WHAT ROMANTIC STORIES "WEDDING DRESSES FOR RENT"
MIGHT TELL OF GIRLS WHO WEAR THEM A FEW HOURS
BY JANE WHITAKER"
They hung limply from hooks in the window; one nearly white and
two of jp-eam. They were made in a style of some seasons back and were
over trimmed with much cheap lace. Hanging over one of them was a
wreath of the cheapest artificial orange blossoms, and beneath them was
suspended a sign "Wedding Dresses to Rent" 5
Had they been fresh and new and for sale, I should just have looked
casually and passed on, but the very way in which they hung seemed to in
dicate that a girl had but recently stepped out of each, and more, that soon
another girl would step into each.
I entered the dingy store, and a tired looking woman came from the
"What can I do for you," she said in a hopeless voice as drab as her
I had intended to be real business-like and ask the price of the dresses
for a few hours. But something about the eyes of the woman, some dead
ness that only comes when one has dreamed and the dreams have gone out
in the night, led me to be candid.
"The dresses in the window brought me in," I said, simply. "It seems
such an odd thing to rent wedding dresses. To know that each little bride
has had ier hour of supremity in the
dress that you pass on to sojne other
girl who is dreaming of her hour,
and I thought you might tell me just
a little about it, for my business is
She hesitated, and then she snug
ged her shoulders.
"Oh, I do not know what to tell.
Those girls that rent dresses, they
cannot buy.. Sometimes we make so
little because I am of the tender
heart, though I guess I don't "
I knew what she was going to say,
and I interrupted.
"Yes, you do look tender-hearted
and that is why I want you to tell
me about it"
"There is not much. That cream
one there, it is spotted in front and
vwill have to go to the cleaners the
next time, and that is where the girl
said her mother cried, and the girl
wanted to pay to have it cleaned,
but I cried when my own left me, and
so I sewed a little of the lace so it
falls over it, and it won't show, and
the next time it must be cleaned.
"Most of them like- that white one,
though the dead white is trying-to all
but the very young. The last giri.
She was beautiful but willfuL She
looked like a young princess when
she tried it on, but the flash in her
eyes was too haughty for a girl who
marries a poor man and if he doesn't
tame her she will bring him sorrow
"And the time before the white one,
was rented by a girl. Stop! I should
say a woman. She wasn't pretty,
and she was very thin and she looked
faded, very faded. She wore glasses,
""Not for you the white dress,' I,
said, because her skin was too yellow
and white shows the yellow. 'For you,
the ivory that will make the skin look,
fairer.' But she wanted the white.
"She paid for it and she took it
away. The next day she brought it
back and her eyes were red and ugly,
I didn't ask any questions, but I knew
she hadn't worn the aress, for there
was no ring on her finger.
"Maybe if I had thought, I would
have give her back her money, poor
thing, but she was gone too quick.
"How many times do you think
each dress has been worn by some
bride?" I asked her. ,
"It would be bad business to tell.",
"Not to me, because I shall not telLj
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