As a child, I’ve definitely experienced wearing in my older cousins hand-me-downs, and I still have a really elegant dress that’s originally belong to one of my cousin’s. I didn’t ‘need’ it nor I will, it was always there along the past 15 years because I think it is timeless and precious and most importantly it was always ‘my’ choice either to accept taking it in the first place or not.

One day I was looking over my mother’s in-law engagement photos & I came across this one, where she wore a long-sleeved lightly-golden maxi dress, she looked like a classical movie star, and honestly I couldn’t help it. Knowing that I am an expressive person in nature, I praised how gorgeous she looked wearing that dress and having her hair done in a very simple yet elegant up-do. A red flower on her golden-brown hair complemented the way she looked. “Simply stunning!” I said.

She then, insisted that “I have to have it!” she said. and I would never turn such an offer down. “She had it sewed for her own engagement, she looked striking, and she’s enjoying a pretty long marriage life” I thought to myself. I’ve always believed that happiness can be ‘inherited’ just by wearing/having what once marked a happy event – like this one.

Her dress, my way..!

Her dress, my way..!

What helped resonating this kind of belief in me was once a middle-aged lady, who looked simple, elegant and just charming by offering me and my-back then- fiance (and now is my husband) her, and her husbands’ wedding rings, to wear them for the period of our engagement party till we get our own done and re-sized. She justified her offer saying “We had a quite successful and happy 30 years of marriage life” and calmly smiled.

The rings in Arabic calligraphy reads "Love bring us together, who dares to get us apart"

The rings in Arabic calligraphy reads “Love bring us together, who dares to get us apart”

Aromatic recipes, great cooking books, some hard-to-buy kitchen machines a gold-ruby jewelry set, and a passionate loving heart are only a few things my mom handed-me-down (If I can put it this way!)

But what really kept me thinking for the past couple of years was; how does it feel -not having the choice- but to dress in someone else’s hand-me-downs?!!

An insistent question that popped to my mind, the day I came across one of Cairo’s largest second-hand clothes market. It gave me my first short story idea (that was never finished) “The leather Jacket that changed his Life”!


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