Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Dress

I mentioned The Dress in my first Favorite Pieces post. As summer winds down and The Dress prepares to breathe its last breath before being pushed into the back of my closet, I decided it was time to talk about it.

I am not one for patterns. In fact, I can't stand them. I understand why people like them. I see others wear them beautifully. But I can't bring myself to even try them on. In stores, I touch them gingerly. Almost as if they are offensive to my sensibilities. Beyond a few simple pinstripes and a polka dotted dress, all in neutral tones, my closet is devoid of them. Well, except for one piece.

A couple of weeks after my 24th birthday, I was sitting in my office when a box arrived from my mother. I opened the card first. Nestled among the birthday greetings was a Post It. Call me immediately after you open the gift. Within the outer packaging lay a Marc by Marc Jacobs gift box. I opened it and pulled out the dress. Then I excused myself to call my mother.

If you don't like it, you can return it. My mother was used to my hatred of patterns and had steeled herself for my disapproval. But it didn't come.

A few weeks earlier, on a window shopping adventure in the SoHo Bloomingdale's, I had tried on the dress. I liked it but all of the colors scared me away. I was in the middle of a black/white/navy/gray phase also known as My Life. But apparently my mother can read minds. Or she just knows me more than I give her credit for.

In its second spring/summer, the dress is worn often, usually with one of the wide belts that I bought last year from Banana Republic. They nip in my waist. The dress billows out. And I suddenly take on a curvy shape.

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