Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Dress It Up

After spoiling you a bit with pretty frequent posting, things got a little hectic and crazy here at Maison de Samantha.

Okay, let's be honest, it's been a shit show.

But as none of the circumstances leading to Crazyville have to do with clothes, let's leave them behind.

It's been painfully hot here in New York. I've never liked the heat. Being born and raised in Boston, my favorite season is the fall. With its thin sweaters and cardigans and soft corduroy pants. During the summer, my hair devolves into a mountain of frizz. My fan can't twirl fast enough. Every item of clothing in my closet looks too heavy.

Until last year, my summer wardrobe consisted mainly of skirts, tops, jeans (cropped and full) and khakis. I stayed away from dresses. And shorts. My relationship with shorts is long and twisty and, occasionally, dark.

Dresses, however, had simply fallen to the wayside. As a child, I always loved them. I would spin until ill just to see the skirt float away from my body. I would put on frilly dresses and my little Mary Janes and tap dance with Ernie.

So it was last summer that I, flush with cash, decided to rediscover the piece of clothing that I had neglected for so long. I stocked my closet. Black dresses for interviews and play. Pinks and blues and patterns. Short and sparkly for nights out. Light and airy for steamy days. When I open my closet now, at least a third of it is packed with dresses. And unlike some of the pants and skirts and suits, all of the dresses get worn.

Their transformation from neglected step-children to favorites can be explained by a change in my mindset. I gravitated towards separates before because I thought they were more versatile. They lent themselves to multiple combinations. Dresses could only be worn in one way. Unless you like to shop at American Apparel. I, and my analytical mind, liked the numbers game one could play with skirts and tops and jeans (cropped and full).

But I was wrong. A different shoe. An ornamental belt. A jacket, a layering tank, your hairdo. All of these can change the feeling of a dress.

And so they have become the pieces I rely on most. When I'm in a rush. When I don't know what else to wear. When all I can think about is finding the nearest place with air conditioning.

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