Rainbow Tee // Childhood Nostalgia.

jacket // tee // jeans // heels // necklace

Growing up, my sisters and I played a lot of dress up. We (except for my youngest sister Meredith who was randomly very athletic) were mostly indoor kids. We had forts in the woods behind our house which we LOVED, but were happiest painting, making polymer clay beads, playing dress-up, or launching various business ideas we had. I’m not kidding. One summer we picked all the berries in the garden and attempted to “sell” them to my parents. We learned the hard way that’s not how things work. Another year, we made polymer clay wizards and tried to get the local shops in town to sell them (one boutique bit – out of pity, on “consignment.”) I could wax on and on about our various business schemes but I’ll spare you and say that it’s no wonder that we’re all they way we are today. Tiny entrepreneurs.

Out of all our games, the thing we loved most was dress up (I’m getting to a point here, I swear.)  Dress up was the best because we had all my mom’s old clothes from the sixties and seventies. A leather vest. A yellow leotard with a sequined bodice + layers of tulle. The most amazing pair of chunky heeled black suede pumps (I think about those pumps often as my mom and I are the same size in shoes and I would really like to have them in my closet now as an adult.) But the thing we fought over most was this rainbow t-shirt my mom had graciously donated to the pile. It was made from a stretchy jersey fabric and had a v-neck and we LOVED it. It truly was the cornerstone of our best dress-up outfits. When were were small, the t-shirt was belted as a dress, and as we grew older, it got tucked into skirts and tutus and was sometimes stuffed with a pretend (and very ample) bosom. I wish we were more responsible with those dress-up clothes (I think most of them ended up eventually being cut up and turned into crafts projects and science experiments) because my mom had some killer stuff and I’m pretty sure that those games we played instilled a life long love of fashion in all three of us. (Meredith, the PhD and scientist would probably disagree but she’s still the most fashionable scientist I’ve ever met.)

So during the Shopbop sale I wasn’t going to buy anything but then I saw this tee and stopped in my tracks immediately as it reminded me so much of the t-shirt we loved as kids. And here it is. Totally different but still makes me nostalgic!

I’m so curious, though…  what piece of clothing makes you nostalgic? Did you play dress up as a kid? It’s funny how something so simple as a t-shirt can bring back SO many memories!

Outfit Details: Mackage Leather Jacket (old but similar here, here, and here)  // Pam & Gela Rainbow Stripe Tee (also here + here) //Re/Done Jeans // Manolo Blahnik Pumps // Celine Sunglasses // Chanel Purse // Holst + Lee Necklace (c/o)

My friend Natalie made me this bandana necklace and I’m obsessed with it. Every time I wear it I feel a little bit cooler than I actually am. It’s perfect this time of year with easy tees and cute dresses… I’ve been wearing it nonstop! I love the white one too but it comes in so many colors.

photography by Trent Bailey.


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Leave a Comment


  1. Loved the story behind why you bought your rainbow tee! It’s a good way to relive your childhood for sure. 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    4.24.18 Reply
  2. sharon:

    Was very close to my grandfather growing up. When he passed away when I was 21, I asked my grand mother if I could have one of his cardigans… it was my favourite one. 24 years later I still have that cardigan in my closet. Every time I see it, I think of him and all the fun times we had. I picture watching hockey with him, doing my math homework, going for ice cream etc.

    4.24.18 Reply
    • I love that! My grandfather had some epic cardigans as well and I really wish I had asked for one!

      4.24.18 Reply
  3. Betsie:

    How sweet! This takes me back to my childhood. My sisters and I played dress up all the time. I especially loved sitting at my moms vanity table and swiping on her blue frosted eye shadow and spritzing her perfume.

    4.24.18 Reply
    • Aw I love that Betsie!! Oh man – blue eyeshadow. That’s one trend I hope doesn’t resurface! x

      4.24.18 Reply
  4. Nostalgic clothing is truly the best. I had a yellow dress in my dress up box growing up and I still think about it all the time.

    4.24.18 Reply
  5. Jessica Camerata:

    I actually bought a dress recently that reminded me of a plum bridesmaid dress my mom had in her closet that I would try on ALL the time. Unfortunately the new dress just wasn’t the same (as in it was kind of hideous, but it brought back nice memories) so it went back. So crazy how even clothing can do this like music or smells!

    xo Jessica
    My Style Vita

    4.24.18 Reply
  6. Cy:

    Great story! My mom had some really cool clothes too. She sewed quite a bit also and often made us clothes and Halloween costumes. She made me a beautiful dress one time. It had a black background with pink roses and she trimmed it with pink trim. Black was not a common color at the time, it was unusual to see a little girl in it, but the roses made it sweet. When I grew too tall for the dress, she made it into a sleeveless crop top. So cute! I still love florals with a dark background. Love your t! Happy memories

    4.24.18 Reply
  7. Brianna:

    Grace, I love this post and the personal story! One time, my best friend and I tried to turn my parent’s house into a hotel and rent it out (at 8) so when they came home we made them check in at the front desk and pay for a night. Needless to say, it didn’t go well, nor did turning their kitchen into a restaurant. I am so thankful I have a little niece who I cannot wait to grow up to play these games with since I am not too sure if at 26, my boyfriend would be thrilled if I turned our apartment into a hotel (well…I guess that’s called Air BNB!)

    All of my moms chunky jewelry was what my sister and I wore all the time and loved to play with, and now I am constantly in her closet asking for pieces to borrow for various events. Grown up dress up is just as fun!

    4.24.18 Reply
  8. I was always making things to see too – clay creations, friendship bracelets, earrings. Such fun childhood memories thank you for reminding me! My nostalgic clothing items are sweatshirts since I lived in them all summer as a kid. xAllie

    4.24.18 Reply
  9. Love this top SO much, and love the nostalgia behind it!

    The Champagne Edit

    4.24.18 Reply
  10. Brontë:

    I love this story! My childhood entrepreneurial endeavors included taking rocks from my neighbor’s yard and attempting to sell them back to him and trying to sell stories I wrote to all of my neighbors. Ha ha. Luckily I had neighbors who were very kind and actually bought them! Dress up was also a major staple for my sisters and I and we always fought over this purple tulle skirt that was in our dress up box.

    4.24.18 Reply
    • Oh my gosh I love this – so glad I am not the only one who tried to sell things back to my parents/a neighbor!! HAHA.

      4.25.18 Reply