Monday, March 22, 2010

Doubts, or Dress #22

Dress: Signature by Robbie Bee;
Tights: Target;
Boots, Kady cognac, Target.

I almost didn't post any photos from this set, but decided against that because I promised myself I would give an accurate representation of The Dress Project. Twenty-two dresses in, and I'm beginning to get into the ones that I only feel so-so about. If you've been reading for awhile, you probably know that I associate lots of memories with the clothes I love. But what to do about the ones that have bad memories associated with them?
This dress was part of my work wardrobe when I worked at a summer internship a couple of years ago. It was an exhilarating time of my life, yes, because I was on my own in a big city and learned a lot from the experience. But it was still a very lonely, insecure time, when I doubted my own professional work and hated how I looked (I gained a lot of weight in the year after my dad died, and am only now seeing most of it come off). I still have some clothes from that weight-limbo era where they don't really fit now, and I'm only keeping them for strange sentimental reasons that I can't shake. And somehow by putting on this dress, I could feel those dismal, insecure thoughts come back in the seams. 
There's nothing inherently wrong with this dress -- the peter pan collar and the cut are actually pretty nice, and I'm sure on the right person it would look professional, conservative and pulled-together, which is why I bought it in the first place. There's nothing wrong with the brand, either. But now on me, I think the dress looks a little matronly and drab. Looking at this photo is like looking at a JoAnn from years past. Or at least it feels that way.

I don't know if I'll get the dress altered, shortened or just retire it to Goodwill for someone else to give it a second life. Maybe I'll give it another chance and associate good thoughts with it. It's funny how old clothes can remind you of the ways in which you've changed since you've worn them. I think I've come a long way in the last two years, and am glad my style has evolved (and is still changing) to reflect that.

signature1 by you.  


  1. Awww... you can make it through the rest of the dresses, I know it! It seems to me that you're getting more than a style challenge out of this project: it's kind of therapy too. Wow that's deep.

    Stay strong! - Katie

  2. personally, i really love this dress on you! that was my first thought. and then i loved it even more because despite its not-so-fluffy memories you wore it anyway.

    definitely relate to the emotional attachment to clothing... sometimes it's claustrophobic when you put it back on for the first time. luckily, i don't have too many of the icky memories but i can relate on a smaller level. the best is when you put it back on and feel great in it - hoping that happens more often than not in the dress project!

  3. im glad u gave this dress some love cuz its adorable on you!

  4. I like this dress a lot too, and the tights look great with it. :D

  5. It is such a lovely dress! Maybe if you have it a little shorter you will prefer it !

  6. Oh, this post made me a little sad. It's pretty amazing how something as simple as a dress can set the tone for the day. I think the dress is cute, but not as cute as a lot of your others. I was thinking that shortening it would definitely help, or somehow having the skirt altered so it's a wiggle dress ala Joan Holloway. Or maybe just give it to Goodwill since you're not hurting for dresses.

  7. easily my favorite post yet--this was so open and real and sweet. it is funny the way clothes make you remember past times in your life and what you were doing then. i have clothes like that, too, ones that remind me of ex-boyfriends or really hard times in my family, that i can't wear because of the memories associated with them, but neither am i willing to give them up.
    so i say do what makes you happy with this dress. if you don't want to let it go, get it altered and make it new for yourself. and if you can't change it or wear it, pass it on.
    a big hug to you!

  8. I love this post. It's so true - sometimes it's like those memories become inseparable from the outfit itself. I love the way this dress looks on you - it has such wonderful details. But if you're feeling less than your wonderful self in it, it might be time for it to move on, cuteness or no. Or maybe wearing it and blogging about it now will change the way you feel about it and make it a keeper again.

    Regardless, you look all sorts of lovely today!

  9. Oh lady, I know just how you feel. I think you should consider retooling this dress somehow, as it's really marvelous on ya. Maybe overdye it AND have it taken in!

  10. I definitely think if you're not happy with it as is, you should take it in a little or maybe shorten it and wear it with some mary janes or heels? I bet with a cardigan it would look cute too. :)

  11. I like the honesty of your post. I think the dress looks classy on you. I definitely think you should give it a shot at altering it if you want. If that doesn't work then get rid of it! No reason to hang on to it if it doesn't make you feel good!

  12. Im not sure about this dress - I like the top half its the length i think thats the issue - so maybe if you had it altered?

    Or if it evokes to many bad memories maybe its best to let it go - or pop it away somewhere!

    Love the tights :D

    CC xXx

  13. I think if you shortened it, it would give it new life. I know what you mean about clothes being associated with memories. And hey, if that dress holds memories you just don't want, it doesn't hurt one bit to give it to a friend or donate it!

  14. Maybe I'm just too used to seeing you in v-necks and scoop necks, but I'm not a fan of this peter pan neckline on you, and in general the fit seems a bit off. Or maybe your lack of enthusiasm for the dress is really coming through in the picture for me.

    You're right that there's nothing inherently wrong with the dress, which is why I vote for giving it away so that someone else can rock it the way that you usually rock your dresses!

  15. I think the dress would look amazingly cute hemmed just a little shorter.
    But if that dress makes you unhappy, it might be a good idea to get rid of it.

  16. I think the dress is gorgeous. It is a tad old-fashioned, but the collar and the bow at the waist are the types of vintage-y details that make me smile and look feminine and pretty to me :) However, if you have not-so-great memories associated with it (and I understand how powerful those can be!), you should purge and get something you can create happier images around! (And I will gladly take it off your hands if that time comes ;) )


I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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