I get it. “Maxi”, i.e. – you’ll get the ultimate, maximum usage out of this dress for the summer.
No, really. I get it. Summer, e.g. – uncomplicated wear of ease.
Why I won’t be wearing one? Simple. My condition called the I-don’t-wanna-be-caught-dead-wearing-what-every-one-else-has-on-itus.
It’s a phobia of mine, and my friend, I tell you, it’s real.
Developments of some phobias occur when one experiences a specific traumatizing incident. Mine occurred, circa 1989 (yeah, I heard Chuck-D’s voice just then, too), shopping the hallowed racks of Marshalls or TJMaxx with mom in preparation for a yearly summer event. Now lemme tell you something: there’s nothing like hunting to find the perfect easy, uncomplicated, comfortable dress when you know you’re going to spend three sweltering summer days at a racetrack with eight to ten thousand people. Granted, with so many bodies in the same place for three days, you’re bound to see repeats. Somehow, though, my mom managed to locate the ONE scoop necked, empire waist dress on the t-square rack that every tenth woman at the facility would be wearing.
Day one – spotted the dress twice; once on an escalator, the other in the ladies’ room.
Day two – four times.
Day three – albeit in different colors, I saw a total of nine women wearing that very same dress and from that day forward I vowed: if ever there was a dress, no matter how great it looked on me, that I thought for one moment might be worn by someone else I would see sashaying down the corridor at a race track walking down the street, it isn’t coming home with me.
Now, when sighted, what does this season’s this unnecessarily popular yawn of a dress say to me:
“Hi, my name is … well, it really doesn’t matter what my name is, does it? I’d rather pick up this aptly named ‘simple and easy summer dress’ because it’s hot outside, and I deserve to slack off and be comfortable, even if wearing such means I lose a bit of originality and look exactly like the woman standing behind me at Starbucks.”
Look, I’m not suggesting a boycott of the ‘simple and easy summer dress.’ But there’s a difference between finding convenience and just being plain ‘ol lazy. Sure, go ahead, buy one of those hopefully not-so-overpriced window treatment-like dresses. Just please raise your left hand and promise me this (no, really do it!):
I will try on the dress to make sure it fits properly. In the ‘just because they make it, doesn’t mean you need to own it’ category – this dress is not for everyone. Looking at a woman in an ill-fitted dress makes me do a double take. And not in a good way. Don’t think for one moment that the drape-y design of this dress will hide those ‘more to love’ parts of us. We all need Spanx, so wear it. Huh? You don’t own Spanx? Well, get it, or something like it. Speaking of double take…
If “the girls” don’t fit in it, I will forget it. You know what I’m talking about here. Spillage or ‘quadraboob’ action is a major no-no. This means – if Betty and Barbara (or whatever names you’ve assigned your “girls”… hey the size of my “girls” means they are their own entities and as such, yes, have their own names) are peeking out at the top or on either side, put the dress down, try another size. They’re still peeking? Put the dress down, and pick up the right undergarment. This segues into my ‘women need to get fit’ soap box rant which I’ll save for another post.
Most importantly – I will make any dress I wear original to me. Every other Jane and Jeanette will be sporting this look for the summer, but what they won’t have are your necklace, earrings, bracelet, scarf, stylish kitten heels or espadrilles. Pairing specific accessories to compliment any dress speaks to who you are, and gives this every day dress its very own voice – yours. We’ll talk more about this later.
Ah, 1989. Since then I’ve learn to ‘fight the power’ (please don’t make me explain that reference) against overly manufactured dresses of convenience. I also realized that mom was no longer allowed to pick out clothes for me, especially after her suggesting a few years later that I wear that same dress of horror for my high school year book pictures. (Yeah, there are pics out there… I’ll never tell.)
You may ask, though, ‘How many dresses you have in you closet today?
I counted. Seven.
You’ll never see another woman wearing any of them in the same room.
You can put your hand down now.