I was a teenager in the sixties and seventies, so I know a thing or two about polyester.

That’s right.  Polyester.  The wonder fabric.

Why would a teen be interested in fabric?  Because this teen’s father taught in the School of Textiles at the local university.  Daddy was quick to examine the fibers in any new article of clothing in order to instruct me on its proper care.  On one shopping trip with my parents, I tripped over my father as I came out of the dressing room.  He was on his knees, examining the fibers in the carpet.

No need to wonder about the source of my OCD.

In 1974, one of Daddy’s students designed a fabric to honor North Carolina State University for being number one in every sport that year.  The fabric was manufactured at a local Burlington factory; my dad, recipient of the only bolt that was produced.  It was made with fibers of red and white, the university colors, in the then-popular polyester double knit.

And on the fabric, repeated over and over, was this phrase:  NCSU #1 ’74.

I made a pantsuit out of that fabric.

Which I actually wore.

And I was so proud of my accomplishment that the pantsuit hangs in my closet to this day.

I showed it to my young friend, Sarah, tonight.  She couldn’t stop laughing.  “Did you actually date Karen when she wore this?” she asked my husband.

“No,” he said.  “We hadn’t met in 1974.  But I never would have, had she been dressed in that.”

Maybe clothes do make the person after all.


  1. Susie
    Jun 4, 2014

    Oh, I can picture Sarah’s face when you whipped that out of the closet! I’d love to see it, too. I could use a good gafaw.

    • Sarah
      Jun 4, 2014

      It will definitely do that! I learn something new about Karen ALL of the time!!

  2. Jeremy Johnson
    Jun 5, 2014

    Hey Karen, maybe you ought to wear your pantsuit to one of our writer’s group meetings. Even better: maybe we could make jackets out of a similar material in order to designate members of our group–kind of like in the movie, The Warriors. Just a thought. I mean, it would really show commitment–well, it would show something. JK

    -Jeremy Johnson from Journey’s Art Collective

    • Karen Curran
      Jun 5, 2014

      Yes, Jeremy, it would definitely show something:)

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