Zip Me Up

I keep buying dresses. But dresses aren’t for me.

Other women wear dresses like it’s no big deal, but it’s a huge deal for me. It used to be that way with hats, too, but I had a breakthrough with hats. So I’m good with hats but still stuck on dresses.

What differentiates people who wear dresses from people who don’t? I used to think it was a form of fashion superiority, a deep, probably genetic, confidence in one’s own taste and looks. Dress-wearers have a little voice that tells them, “If I wear this, I will look cute.”

What I hear is my own voice saying, “Why aren’t you like a normal person who can wear a dress without becoming a head case about it?” I don’t even get to the part about looking cute or not. To me, wearing a dress is a sign of fashion normalcy, fitting in, being more mainstream, less conscious, less concerned, more comfortable in my own skin.

I think the last phrase there is the truest and most telling. I think people who wear dresses are more comfortable in their own skin. I really do. I think yearning for a suit is evidence that I think I have something to hide.

Last year, I went to a relative’s wedding out of state. When I packed, I decided to take a single dress so when I got there I would have no choice but to wear the dress to the wedding. That or my jeans, not even my dress jeans.

So I pulled it off (not the dress, the feat) and wore the dress to the wedding. My arms ached for a jacket or a sweater or a shawl, anything to give me that suit-like security. People tried to talk to me but I just had to be about the business of wearing my dress; human discourse on top of that was just too much. As a consequence, I don’t remember much about the wedding except I lived through my nutty, little fashion angst.

This groundbreaking dress now hangs in my closet next to several others, never worn, feeling superior for making the cut and waiting for the next wedding.

#62/100: 62nd in a series of 100 in 100

5 Comments on “Zip Me Up

  1. For me, the problem with dresses (aside from finding so many of them ugly and poorly made) is the shoes you have to wear with them. My poor feet don’t handle pointy toes and high heels. And even the modest dress shoes you wear would cut right across my damn bunion. . .

  2. For me, a good dress makes me feel comfortable and confident! Maybe like a suit it’s about finding the right cut for your body? (Btw, I enjoy your writing)

  3. I have always hated skirts and dresses, railing against them, wearing pants underneath them, from the youngest ages I can remember. As I got older, I could sometimes get into the dress/make thing during high school/college as a costume moment, but I never felt “at home” or “myself” for very long, if at all, with all that fabric wafting around. I also hate hats and only wear them in the coldest or hottest of conditions. I disagree that it’s about one’s body image, though, since my body and body image change over the decades, and I STILL hate dresses and skirts, every year. Best to you!

  4. It’s a great dress, and you look great wearing it.
    I wear dresses when the weather is warm, as I find them cooler than trousers. It’s so nice not to have a something round my waist on a humid day. I pick more casual styles – but it’s worth a try.

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