The dress hung in my mother’s attic for over 20 years and in my basement for nearly a decade. The heavy plastic which protected the gown after its one and only wearing had collected dust and grime from years of neglect. But the contents of the plastic bag, sealed tight by a local dry cleaner, retained the winsome appeal that had attracted me in the first place. It was still a pretty dress, simple but elegant, with a single row of flowers down the front and along the bottom edge. The dry cleaner, who may have been a curator in a previous life, had even taken the trouble to shape the dress in a female form and fluffed it throughout with pink tissue paper visible at the neck.