Life
Family’s special tradition involving a 1950s dress is warming hearts everywhere
The family's unique tradition has been going on for decades.
Patricia Lynn
05.25.22

Most families have special traditions that they happily share together. Whether they revolve around food, dance, or the holidays – one thing’s for certain – it’s all about keeping memories alive.

One family has a unique tradition that’s captured the internet’s attention. It involves an adorable yellow dress.

YouTube - Tamron Hall Show
Source:
YouTube - Tamron Hall Show

Styles may change over time, but some clothes remain timeless through the years, worn by generation after generation.


YouTube - Tamron Hall Show
Source:
YouTube - Tamron Hall Show

In Saline, Michigan, 1950, Martha Esch wore a yellow and purple dress handmade by her mother and grandmother to kindergarten.

Little did the young Martha know, it would kickstart a tradition spanning 70 years, and that dress is still going strong in that same family. And it’s aged surprisingly well.

YouTube - Tamron Hall Show
Source:
YouTube - Tamron Hall Show

The family has a decades-long tradition of the dress being worn on the first day of kindergarten. All the girls have taken part in it too!


YouTube - Tamron Hall Show
Source:
YouTube - Tamron Hall Show

Across seven different states, from Colorado to the Carolinas, spanning three generations, the dress has managed to look stylish even in the 21st century. However, it is still in one piece and of perfect quality as if made yesterday.

So far, 22 girls in the same family have worn the dress as a rite of passage – and the tradition will continue.

YouTube - Tamron Hall Show
Source:
YouTube - Tamron Hall Show

4-year-old Caroline Hirt was one of the more recent girls to wear the dress for kindergarten in 2017.


YouTube - Tamron Hall Show
Source:
YouTube - Tamron Hall Show

Caroline’s mother, Jenny Hirt, also wore the dress on the first day of school, although she wasn’t aware of the significance until then.

“At the time, it wasn’t that big of a deal,” Jenny said in an interview with TODAY. “I was like, ‘Oh yeah, whatever, it’s a dress of my mom’s.'”

Jenny was the fifth person in the family to wear the dress back in 1981.

YouTube - Tamron Hall Show
Source:
YouTube - Tamron Hall Show

Jenny’s mother, Katy Pearce, understood the significance of the dress.

“It’s a big big deal to my mom as it was her mom who helped make the dress,” Hirt said.

Caroline was eager to wear the dress, which needed a few stitches and was good as new. Whatever that dress is made of, it’s clearly long-lasting, constant maintenance and sewing notwithstanding.

YouTube - Tamron Hall Show
Source:
YouTube - Tamron Hall Show

Caroline, however, didn’t want to wear pigtails like so many of her kin.

Although styles don’t typically carry over to the next decade, this family’s “kindergarten dress” looks just as adorable year after year. It makes you wonder how many family members will get the chance to wear it!


YouTube - Tamron Hall Show
Source:
YouTube - Tamron Hall Show

Even though people might cringe, wince, or groan from family traditions, they keep them together in spirit, if not physical. Traditions preserve memories and the emotions we feel whenever the family is together. The past should not be repeated, but it should be remembered and honored appropriately, whether through music, cuisine, or clothing.

Watch the video below to hear more about the kindergarten dress and to see more photos! Does your family have a unique tradition?

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

Article Sources:
To learn more read our Editorial Standards.
By Patricia Lynn
hi@sbly.com
Patricia Lynn is a senior writer at Shareably. Patricia is based out of San Francisco and can be reached at hi@shareably.net.
Advertisement
Advertisement