In my mind, a dress is a signature of femininity– like dotting Is with hearts. A symbol of all things girly and pretty.
When I was in middle school (back before uniforms became the standard), I owned a simple red dress. Nothing special about it, yet it was my favorite and I wore it all the time. I suppose it made me feel pretty, though in retrospect, it was quite a hideous garment– especially once the vivid red faded to a less ambitious hue.
I wore the dress so often that comments started to fly. Dubbed Granny Red Lips by one snotty boy, I realized that my favorite piece of clothing was no longer acceptable. I’m still not sure why the nickname caused me such heartbreak. Perhaps it stung because it was a stab at something I loved, which is often a deeper wound than any other. I laugh about the idiocy of it all now, but I still wonder why it was so devastating.
That moment prompted a revolution. I now refuse to wear a dress. Not that I’m reminded of that moment when I slip into a dress. That was so long ago, after all. Still, is there some lingering effect, I wonder? Some subconscious voice luring me away from that feminine ideal?
I’m a jeans girl. In fact, my motto used to be If I can’t wear jeans and flip-flops, I’m not going. It’s still that way for the most part– my job being the exception, of course. I even wore pants during a ceremony in which most women would wear dresses.
I’d wear a dress if I had to, but outside of a Mardi Gras ball (which is something I’d truly love to attend some day), I see no need for dresses. I don’t need a dress to make me feel pretty or smart or sexy or any number of other reasons why women wear dresses. I prefer comfort and, for me, dresses fall way outside that zone.
So, how do you feel about dresses? If you love them, what is it that attracts you? If, like me, you could do without them, what is it that turns you off?
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(Image via BridePop)
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