While having a growing family calls for reusing outfits and hand-me-downs now and again, this family took it to a whole other level.


Jenny Hirt’s daughter Caroline recently started school wearing a dress that’s not only been worn by big sister Ally but also mum Jenny and many other family members.


Four-year-old Caroline started kindergarten in an adorable yellow and purple frock which has been worn by a total of 19 family members before her and has travelled to an incredible seven states.


According to Huffpost, the dress dates back to 1950 and was originally sewn by Jenny’s great-grandmother Maude Hatton Bryant and her grandmother Helen Esch Stewart did the embroidery.


Jenny, from Colorado, wore the dress on her first day at school in 1981 and it’s been to seven states, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Arizona, Oregon, Colorado and Ohio, where various family members live.


While making minor repairs to the dress, Jenny noticed the buttons had been moved several times to accommodate previous wearers.



While her oldest daughter Ally, aged six, was delighted to wear the vintage dress her mum and grandmother once wore, little Caroline needed to be persuaded to recreate the historic look.


“She had to wear her favourite boots,” Jenny said. “And she also refused to put her hair in pigtail braids as was part of the tradition. As a mom, you know, we pick our battles, and all I was really focused on was Caroline having a positive first day of kindergarten”.


The dress was then passed on to Jenny’s little niece Sylvie Johnson for her first day at school. Apparently, the little one had to be persuaded with ice-cream to wear the dress!


In an era of disposable clothing, Jenny’s family’s value passing on possessions such as clothing and toys to the next generation.




This tradition has given Jenny’s eldest daughter, Ally, a love of vintage style. “A sweater I had since 1979 is one of her favourite sweaters,” Jenny said.


“She even wore an outfit to school one day last year where she wore my Aunt Martha’s skirt from the 50s and my sweater from the 70s.”


Explaining why this dress tradition was so important to her family, Jenny said: “It is a way to carry on the memories of family members, try to instil pride of tradition in our kids and bind us together as a family. It’s a big deal to us.”