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Green 320“I am not a prisoner here.” It’s one of the many things I overheard Dad say to the nurses while he was in a rehab hospital last month recovering from surgery. They had alarms on his bed and chair to alert staff when he tried to move without asking for help.

Not a good situation to be in, especially for a person who prefers to do things by himself. Never mind the fact that Dad was a major fall risk. He simply HAD to move.

That’s exactly the story of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pink Sweater: it HAS to move. Since last October, it’s been scooting all over Indy, making a fashion statement every month or so on some sweet girl who climbed aboard our fundraising mission of wearing the sweater to raise money for Pink Ribbon Connection.

Okay, I know this is a long post, but I have some things to tell you.

Originally, my buddy Jody DeFord and I had planned a celebratory homecoming for this month. But when I retrieved the sweater on the last Friday in September, the sweater had a memo for us: “I’m not ready to come home.” We compared notes and realized that we both had a lengthy list of people who wanted to participate. Unfortunately, we couldn’t arrange for them to take possession because the sweater was set up to move organically from one person to the next, much like a chain letter.

After very little deliberation, we decided to let the sweater hit the road for another year. Every woman who wears it will not only have the thrill of a great fashion moment; she’ll also be asking friends in social networks (in “An Ice Bucket Challenge” sort of way) to donate money in support of Pink Ribbon Connection, which helps women in central Indiana who are dealing with a breast cancer diagnosis.

The 2015 Journey
We gave the sweater a bath in October to get it ready for another exciting year of travel. Our friends at Classic Cleaners are specialists in caring for vintage garments.

This year’s journey shares last year’s mission, but the sweater will have a slightly different mode of travel. Starting in November, Jody and I will move it through a list of fashionistas who specifically ASK one of us to join the Sisterhood. We’ll make individual arrangements to exchange the sweater with women who want to participate. Whether you can help us raise money or not, wearing the sweater is a statement of solidarity in support of anyone anywhere who faces breast cancer.

The backstory on The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pink Sweater
Originally, I owned the sweater and Jody owned the vintage suitcase. (That’s how it rides when it’s not participating in a selfie somewhere.) Together, they seemed a perfect little marriage for our joint venture in support of a women’s cause. (Revisit why we chose the Pink Ribbon Connection here and and here.) 

More about a little pink suitcase
I’ve never mentioned this to Jody, but when I was 9 or so, I had a little pink cosmetics case that was the exact companion to her vintage luggage, right down to the blue lining inside. Of course, I had no cosmetics then. The suitcase was aspirational–a bribe from my Dad, who promised to buy me anything I wanted if I would play a piano solo at a family reunion.

Shy little girl that I was, I think I played “Three Blind Mice” or something similarly short and simple to get it over with, but that was good enough. There weren’t many places in southern Illinois where you could buy a little girl anything she wanted. Dad took me to Town & Country, which was really just a glorified hardware store that also sold toys, small appliances and, obviously, luggage. I like to think that the bolder side of my 9-year-old self picked the luggage because I knew I was going places, but it may have been one of the few pink things in the store. I dunno.

Mom frowned on the whole adventure. She didn’t believe in bribing kids to do things they didn’t want to do. That’s why having two parents is a wonderful thing. Today, I give myself a bribe practically every time I have to do something I don’t want to do. The hat in today’s post is the bribe for my annual flu shot. (Have you had yours yet?)

vintage handbag and gloves copyThe bottom half of the outfit in this post is the skirt that belongs with the traveling pink sweater. It’s too slim for my hips, but it was the perfect companion for this equestrian-inspired Ralph Lauren waistcoat, which covered my curvy parts––cause dontcha know pear-shaped girls are all about concealment? Personally, my favorite parts are the houndstooth checked gloves (not vintage) and the very well-preserved vintage satchel.

How to participate in the 2015 journey
Interested in joining The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pink Sweater in 2015? All you have to do is contact Jody or me and we’ll add your name to the list. When your name comes up, we’ll make arrangements to ferry it back and forth.

By the way, what did your parents bribe you to do? And how do you reward yourself for life’s most unpleasant tasks?

Life is short. Wear the good stuff.

P.S. Many thanks to ALL the women who participated in the 2014 journey! (Please check out their blogs and social networks!) We look forward to celebrating with the entire sisterhood NEXT OCTOBER, so please keep in touch!