There’s a scene in the classic novel A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
where Francie, the book’s teenage heroine, takes seven cents to the dry-goods store and buys a dickey (aka a “shirt front made of stiffly starched muslin worn once and then thrown away”) for her father to wear to his job as a singing waiter — “His linen was immaculate, if temporary,” the narrator explains. Over 100 years later, this abbreviated layer is enjoying one of many resurgences thanks to TikTok (an app favored by teenagers around Francie’s age) and Amazon (the digital iteration of a dry-goods store). Recently, in our reader-sourced roundup of the endlessly inventoried site's Hidden Gems
, one social-media-savvy reader pointed us in the direction of a glowingly-reviewed dickey
that had somehow accrued a 4.5-star rating across over 2,300 reviews. When a $9 accessory of unknown origin surfaces on Amazon
boasting such stellar customer accolades, you know that the Refinery29 Shopping team is going to be the first in line to find out why this seemingly simple garment scrap is garnering such viral buzz.