Yesterday I wore a dress. It had been a minute. It’s been coldish and cloudy in Los Angeles, that weird kind of dreary where the day starts off like the opening of a horror flick but you know it’ll get hot at some point and the day will turn into a sickeningly sweet rom-com. So you can’t wear a dress with tights; you can’t wear a sweater. You have to layer. I’ve been living in jeans, tees and my denim jacket.
But yesterday it was sunny and I wore a dress. I love dresses. They’re just so easy; put them on and go. I don’t know how to do much fashion-wise. I’m either in a dress or jeans. My Pinterest style board is full of, well, you know, dresses and jeans. And, while jeans are my first love, I wear dresses a lot. There are any number of reasons I’ll put a dress on. I could be really happy or I could be really sad and hoping the dress will make me feel better. I could be feeling anti-pants. I could be completely lost as to what the proper attire is for a night out or a friend’s barbecue so I throw a dress on and hope for the best. I could be hot but not feeling shorts.
Yesterday I was none of those things although maybe slightly on the sad side. I had a lot of shit on the to-do list and didn’t want to deal with choosing what to wear so I threw on a dress I got from last month’s Stitchfix box. It was a navy blue sundress with wide white stripes at the bottom. I felt like a sailor. A small wimpy sailor wearing too much lipstick but still. Leaving the house, I felt better. A dress will sometimes make me feel like I can do anything and while I didn’t quite reach that state yesterday, I definitely felt a bit of added bounce in my step.
As my day went on, I thought about how people treat you differently in a dress. I even feel differently about myself in a dress. I feel more confident but also more exposed. I’m the same person I am when I’m wearing ripped jeans and a faded Ryan Adams shirt but ‘Dress Me’ gets more respect and more attention. It’s a double-edged sword I’m sure most women can relate to. On one hand, I talked the car wash guy down from $150 for a full detail to $80 and the bitchy receptionist at the doctor’s office was kind to me. On the other hand, as I walked the dog, I had some not very shy dudes yell some not very inspired things at me from their car as they drove by. I feel like I should mention here that the dress in question is flowy and goes to the knee. It’s not revealing or sexy. It’s just a dress. And I don’t look particularly spectacular in a dress. I look like a normal girl in a normal dress. But, there is something about a dress.
A few years ago, a friend mentioned that three girls hanging out together should not all wear maxi-dresses at the same time. “Too powerful,” she said. When I first heard this, I laughed. I had no clue what she meant. But now I think I do. Dresses are powerful. Women in dresses are powerful, especially when we’re wearing them for ourselves.
*photo of me in, you know, a dress.