Victoria woman wears vintage clothing every Tuesday for more than a year
VICTORIA -- Mollie is sitting poised on a coffee shop patio, dressed-up — from head-to-toe — in vintage 1950’s clothing.
On days like this she’s often asked if she is heading to a wedding, to which she replies: “It’s Tuesday.”
“What’s so special about Tuesday?” I ask.
“Nothing is special about Tuesday,” Mollie smiles. “Unless you make them special!”
To understand why she’s picked today’s dynamic outfit, we need to go back to when Mollie’s wardrobe was primarily black.
“I kind of climbed down a hole to raise kids, to put the focus on them,” she explains. “I think many of us do that.”
For years Mollie wore dark, multi-functional clothes that catered to her children’s activities, until the day she helped a friend promote an event by wearing a vintage outfit. Mollie was so overwhelmed by the positive response, she suddenly made a declaration to the stranger standing next to her.
“I said, ‘Right now I commit to you as my witness (that) one day a week for a year I will dress like this!”
So, Mollie visited thrift stores and vintage fairs before launching the social media page, Turned-out Tuesdays.
“I go about my day, running errands, doing business,” Mollie says, all while wearing different vintage outfits.
Although turning a few key pieces into countless outfit combinations is a pleasure, the self-described introvert says donning them publicly is daunting — especially now.
“The mean voice in my head says, ‘This is frivolous, this is vain. George Floyd was murdered! We have a pandemic!’” Mollie frowns. “‘Who cares about you and your outfits?!’”
Yet, she’s persevered — for more than 56 Tuesdays and counting — because the weekly tradition is about more than just wearing vintage clothes, it’s about making real connections.
“It calls out a more generous and gracious aspect of my spirit,” Mollie says of her focus on engaging with strangers in her unique outfits. “We wave. We smile. They say, ‘Wow! Look at you!’ I say, ‘Wow! Look at you!’”
Suddenly, as Mollie and I are speaking, something happens that’s never happened to Mollie before, a stranger in a reflective vest jumps off his sanitation truck and runs up to her with a handful of flowers. He says something to her before running back to work.
Mollie tells me she had just waved at his passing truck a few minutes earlier.
“He said, ‘I just wanted to thank you for waving to the garbage man. Not everybody acknowledges us,’” Mollie recounts while holding back tears, before expressing her disbelief that they haven’t been acknowledged before. “They’re essential workers in our community.”
Nobody knows if a moment like that would have happened on another day of the week. But, Mollie is certain that she didn’t feel so grateful or so connected with the people and places around her when she was back wearing all black.
“I was trying to fit in (back then). I cannot tell you how much better it is to fit out!” she laughs. “Rock your style! Inspire a smile!”