It’s all workin’ out.

by Erin on October 23, 2006

Chess Dress

Isn't this an interesting image? It's from the National Archives of Canada, and it's "Mrs. Ritchie, who here portrays Chess in a black costume with red and white checkered inserts, and a necklace and coronet made of chess pieces."

This dress comes to you because I was driving home from the airport late last night, and the iPod served up Travis Morrison's "Checkers and Chess", which has the lyrics:

Checkers and chess
I like your dress
Your dress likes me
It's all workin' out

At least, that's what *I* think the lyrics are. I could be mondegreening.

I think a Black Queen Chess Dress costume would be great for Halloween. Long black dress, pointy hat, forbidding expression, rapid yet stealthy movement at all times — you're done! And you can be warm, instead of freezing to death in something like this:

Jungle Queen Costume

I mean, sure, if you want to be the queen of the jungle, hey, knock yourself out — just carry a sweater or something, okay? Do you have money for a cab? You know I worry about you.

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

oracle October 23, 2006 at 10:47 am

Love that chess dress!The Mondegreen page is delicious.


Gidget Bananas October 23, 2006 at 1:11 pm

Oh, how do I love Halloween? :-))


Anonymous October 23, 2006 at 1:51 pm

How about dressing AS a mondegreen for Halloween? There are books for inspiration:


Anonymous October 23, 2006 at 2:07 pm

The second one reminds me of Raquel Welch in that movie about prehistoric times. What was the name? Something like “One Million Years, B.C”


Anonymous October 23, 2006 at 2:16 pm

OK, it’s a dress, but Erin, are you having an off day?


Erin October 23, 2006 at 2:18 pm

Yes, thank you so much for noticing. :-)


vespabelle October 23, 2006 at 3:50 pm

Erin, the New York Times has published two articles/opinion pieces on the skimpy-ness of women’s commercial halloween costumes. (I’m going to be the old skool Miller Beer girl in the moon: she wears warm tights and a jacket!)


Ang October 23, 2006 at 5:34 pm

I pledge a lesion (to the flag)……mmmmmm, lesions. I pledge an oozing headwound too. Ang


Anonymous October 23, 2006 at 9:02 pm

I wondered what Pebbles Flintstone had been up to. Evidently she’s a clothing(?) designer.


Robinson October 23, 2006 at 9:52 pm

The education on “mondegreen” is my favorite. I wonder if one could make a dress as an ode to the mondegreen? I’d also rather dress as a warm, well covered queen than a hooker… er, queen of the jungle anyday.And, I like burpin’ in a glass.


silverlight October 24, 2006 at 2:00 am

Nice dress.


nora October 24, 2006 at 9:46 am

I don’t know how you would dress as mondegreen, but I have a friend who went to a party and saw a bunch of girls drinking 40s and dressed as cholos – baggy khakis, flannel shirts buttoned at the top, that sort of thing – except in all green. What were they supposed to be? “Gangrene,” of course.I’m so glad to have the term mondegreen now; it will surely vie with “earworm” for usefulness.


Carol October 24, 2006 at 10:33 am

That doesn’t look like “Mrs. Ritchie”. That looks like MR. Ritchie.


JuliaR October 24, 2006 at 1:10 pm

I have heard of mis-heard lyrics but I was unaware they had a moniker of their own. I learn something new every day! But I’m surprised the Wikipedia article didn’t mention Manfred Mann’s Blinded by the Light, odd lyrics that no one seems to know.


Robinson October 24, 2006 at 3:17 pm

Julia! I forgot about that one. You made me laugh… that song always made me a little uncomfortable as a child.


Mandy October 24, 2006 at 8:36 pm

Good heavens, what a stunner. (…the black dress, that is, not the cavewoman.)


Mary Martha October 24, 2006 at 9:10 pm

I will admit that my halloween costume this year is partially inspired by this blog. I have decided to dress 50s style. Primarily because in sewing a circle skirt and crinoline I am trying to remember how to sew so I can make a dress (or two). Maybe next year I will be able to make a checkerboard dress!


ambika October 25, 2006 at 1:55 pm

I *hate* how women’s costumes just seem to a be a ‘sexy’ variation on some theme: maid, pirate, whatever. I’m going as Red Riding Hood (making my own cape, but not the dress, alas) and my knees and tas will not be showing.


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