Monday, May 30, 2011

How to Not Wear a Maxi-Dress.

I'm in my fourth day of Memorial Day weekend get-togethers and in addition to the fact that I may very well be on my way to becoming a piece of grilled meat given how many burgers and dogs I've consumed, I'm having a little bit of a wardrobe meltdown. It started the way these things often start: here in New Jersey, it finally stopped acting like winter (or Forks) and just jumped straight into hazy, hot & humid summer. I miss you, spring we never really had... Also, I realized I might be forced to wear something other than jeans and a black t-shirt (long or short sleeve) this weekend. Egads! I was totally unprepared.

What I felt like this weekend (and looked like, a little bit, truth be told...)

I dug out some of the cute cargo capris that were a staple of my wardrobe last summer and big surprise, they were a little too tight to wear. I mean, in theory I could have worn them and I have seen people wearing garments that tight, but I am usually looking at them and making some sort of a "tsk"-ing sound to myself and wondering how well a fashion intervention from a stranger would be received, so I didn't want to go there. If you are stressing the seams of your clothes, time to get another size.

Enter the maxi-dress. I've never been a fan of the maxi-dress for me [note from JJ: even the name sucks. I always think "pad" whenever I see the word "maxi"]. All the prints seem too much on a full-length dress; and most solid colors are overwhelming, too.  I recall seeing a bright yellow number that just HAD to make the wearer look like a giant banana - and the fit on some of the knit versions evokes sausage casing. Or patchouli. Until this vision in black came along...


I bought this online at Loft a couple of months ago and fell in love with it the second I tried it on. It's exceptionally soft, it's flattering, and it covers an amazing variety of body flaws--everything from my pooch to my veiny ankles--POOF!--gone in an instant. I imagined myself morphing into the model in the photo above when I put on this dress: instantly pulled together, effortlessly stylish, with someone walking directly in front of me with a fan, wafting soft breezes in my direction, which would toss my hair playfully back over one shoulder. I could dress it up or down, and I was certain I would wear it everywhere. I imagined wearing this around the house, to the grocery store, to dinners out and parties. I imagined that I would wear nothing else all summer and seriously considered buying a second one as a back-up.

When the weather finally got warm, I went and got a pedicure and had my Fit-Flops at the ready. I'd been invited to a backyard barbecue yesterday and it seemed like the perfect place to wear my new dress. I showered shortly before I had to be out the door, such was my confidence that I knew exactly what I was going to putting after I dried off. I wasn't even going to allow myself to be put off by Jenny Jerkface's recent maxi-dress & flip-flop malfunction which resulted in her taking a header down her basement stairs; no, I would lift up my hem when faced with any and all stairs (and I ensured that I did not need anything from the basement,  just in case - I mean, why risk it??? JJ's ass is still sore weeks later).

I was ready to go, swooped into my dress, took a quick glance in the mirror to confirm that I still loved it, and then...I started second-guessing myself. I am the type of person who puts things on and takes them off a million times when I am getting dressed. Putting together an outfit I like usually involves me removing the contents of my closet and all my drawers and tossing them around the room to be put back at some as-yet-indeterminate date. And don't even get me started on accessories.... Was this just too much dress for me??? I don't own anything else even remotely like this... Would I stand out? I HATE standing out. I like looking good, but I don't want to stand out.

Desperate, I  tried consulting Mr. Snarky, who is loath to give my any wardrobe advice and who usually responds to my flouncing into the living room wearing two different shoes and doing that thing where you stick one out and then the other to decide which one you like better before asking "Baby, the black wedges or the ballet flats with this???" by reminding me that he is a heterosexual male. But instead of just sighing and giving me that "I don't know a maxi-dress from lederhosen" look, this time he comes out with "I don't know... Cute dresses are Jenny Jerkface's thing." Like she's cornered the market and I'm not allowed to wear a dress. Granted, JJ inspired me to wear dresses more often. Is that so wrong??? {{{sigh}}

So should I have pushed myself out of my wardrobe comfort zone??? Do you??? Should I have just said "Fuck it!" and worn the damn thing instead of ripping it off, tossing it across the room, and pulling on Levis and a black t-shirt before walking out the door in a huff (leaving my house late and my bedroom in shambles, natch)? I have one last weekend get-together tonight, and I think I know what I'm wearing. Just gotta watch those steps...

[Note from JJ: If you don't wear that dress tonight I am going to mock you mercilessly on twitter all night long.]

Aaaaand decision MADE.

39 comments:

  1. I'm so excited.  This is the first time in quite a while I've been able to actually leave a comment.  I say wear the damn thing one time.  Then decide if you like it enough to wear again.

    Now to make up for past comments.  The Hunger Games is being filmed where I live.  There is something about the movie nearly everyday in the local news.  I finally broke down & bought the books to read since they will take forever to get from the library.

    STY & I want to get healthier.  Any volunteers to help set up a forum so we can all support each other? 

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  2. YAY! you can leave a comment! awesome...

    Have not had a chance to look into the forum thing, mostly because i suck at managing my time. I think I need professional help. Yup - I'll get right into looking at that as soon as i get to it on my list...

    : )

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  3. Things I have realized since I posted this:

    Men don't like empire-waisted anything so I was barking up the wrong tree there.

    Nobody cares what I wear.

    There was something else but I am brain dead after this weekend so I forgot... I need a gigantic bottle of water and some dark, leafy greens, stat!

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  4. Wear it, to hell with anyone who doesn't like it. I bought one recently and I love it, though I will watch out for stairs now that you've mentioned Jenny Jerkface's episode...

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  5. True. Dudes don't like empire waist stuff. Fuck them.

    Also, you looked fabulous tonight. Be careful on those steps... 

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  6.  I do love the maxi-dress (except I hate that name) but you really have to be careful on the stairs when you wear one. Trust me. ;)

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  7.  The dress is cute! But I could never wear it because of the ahem - "upper support' -- issues.  I am thinking more and more that there is a lot to be said for dresses. This was after trying on at least 20 pairs of pants yesterday and discovering that I am pretty much incompatible with nearly everything. Either TOO BIG or TOO SMALL. I am at that sucky in-between sizes stage and it is the pits. Dresses and skirts are looking like the best option.

    Of course, that would involve hair removal and subjecting the world to the blinding glare of my snow white legs. But providentially, while getting the bag of recycling that my daughter left out of the back of the truck, there was also a bag of all sorts of tanning lotions. Did she leave them on purpose? Or is it a sign from above? It is hard to get away with black tights in the summer.

    'Cause dresses are way out of my comfort zone. It is the end of May and I think I might have worn a skirt 3 times this year. But after reading my Clinton Kelly cover-to-cover three times, I'm ready to make a new fashion statement. Maybe.

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  8. Looks adorable!  I'm not a maxi-dress fan and I'm thinking about picking one up.  And I  bet you looked adorable in it.  Thanks for all your awesome posts -- gotta love Calgon!

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  9. Can we get photographic evidence of you in the dress beacause I bet you look HOT in it!  I'm jealous you can buy maxi dresses because my upper boobie region would be trying to free themselves all the time.  That and the fact I can't wear anything spaghetti strapped cause I always need to wear a bra to hold these cannonballs in

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  10. I do not own a maxi dress.  Man that just sounds like maxi pad to me every frickin time.  Anyway, they scare the bejeezus out of me. I don't think they would flatter my figure at all.  But I am curious to try one on cause they look comfy as hell.  But you Snarky, are tall and thin, so you should look amazing and perfect in it. I say rock it!

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  11. And that was my first time leaving a comment since the change over. It scared me a bit and the fact that my google avi isn't there is a sadness. I would sign up with disqus, but I would probably forget the password.

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  12. So you did wear it?!  I hope so.  I bet you looked awesome, too.  And if you did it, hell, maybe I can do it, too.  Maybe JJ's started a revolution!  Woohoo!! :)

    PS SOOOOO happy to be able to leave a comment!!

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  13. I'm sure you totally rocked that dress!  

    Look.  Those other bitches who run around dressed like that don't have anything on you!  Why should they be cool and comfy while you sit around with swamp-ass in hot jeans?

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  14. The maxipad dress (I'm so with you, JJ).  So...My tits are gigantohuge, so pretty much any dress that doesn't have a defined waistline makes me look preggo right quick and in a jiffy.  That's the problem when your tits go out about a foot, but there's nothing to show that you aren't that ... extended ... the whole way down.  I suppose belts would help with that, but I just thought of that this very moment, so maybe my point has been shredded.


    *plans to try on a maxipad dress tomorrow w a belt as an experiment*

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  15. it's hard to change your style - well, it is for me. i have to admit that i don't do change all that well in general.  and i am uncomfortable doing things that might draw attention to myself. fwiw, mr. snarky was right and i would have looked pretty over-dressed at this back-yard get-together. JJ CAN pull off darling dresses that seem fancy in even the most casual setting and she looks fab, but that is her thing and also, i can't really pull off "cute" - JJ is almost 10 years younger and almost as many inches shorter than me, so it fits her and just looks fab. I am definitely not cute and quirky doesn't work for me at all - lol...

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  16. JJ did NOT get the chance to taunt me on twitter tonight - i wore the dress! I imagine it will just take some getting used to - last summer i wore more dresses and i even found a few i liked to wear over the winter (mostly with boots and tights), it's just so easy to wear a dress if you find one you like and that flatters! one piece and BOOM you are all set and out the door! but like @Kintail, am too pale and the years of waitressing were not so kind to my legs so i don't like going bare-legged unless i am wearing something relatively long. i used to be into long skirts (kind of an "Elaine" look with clunky shoes) but that was a looong time ago! i see hipsters wearing that look now but i think that if you were around for the first time something was a trend, you shouldn't go there the second time around (see: leggings, candies). : )

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  17. i went with a strapless bra, but it would work fine with bra straps sticking out, too - i'm cool with that look. no pictures were taken but that's probably because we were too busy stuffing out faces and if JJ had tried to post a pic of be snarfing down a sub sandwich, i would have been a tad angry. ok, a lot angry.

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  18. try one on - you never know! i think the shape of this particular dress would flatter most anyone. they do have knee-length-ish versions, too, which i am considering buying. the maxi is definitely looong and comes to the floor until i put on shoes.

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  19. I did!

    and if anyone can inspire a dress revolution, it's out lil' JJ - lol!

    p.s. i think Disqus is only cooperating with people tonight because it knows i am actively looking for how to uninstall it! it's like having a good hair day right before you are scheduled for a cut. i won't be fooled!

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  20. i think i must like swamp-ass - lol! but seriously, a dress is so much more comfy IF you find the right one. plus you could totally go commando in this one if you wanted. Hmmmm...

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  21. i might have to try belting some stuff, too! i am such a complete fail when it comes to accessorizing and i definitely am not an out of the box thinker who would come up with the "hey this just needs a belt!" idea unless the dang thing came with a belt. if i swap out the belt something comes with for something nicer, i am generally patting myself on the back pretty hard. 

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  22. Addicted2TwilightMay 31, 2011 at 12:49 AM

    I found a maxi dress a few years ago and I love it. I'm so short and I can wear it with flats and not step on it. That being said, normally I feel like I look very uncomfortable in a dress. I hardly wear them so when I do I feel like a girl and I'm so not a girl.

    I'm glad you wore it.

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  23. i think the more i wear them the less i feel like i am playing dress-up but it definitely takes some practice. : )

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  24. I do that same shit! I pick an outfit put it on then proceed to rip off every article I'm wearing to replace it with other things.. then leave a pile of clothes the size of a small island laying around for some date in the future where I'll either wear it or finally put it away (or give it to my sister bc I think it's ugly and makes me look fat then she wears it and I want it back bc her skinny ass makes it look good, bitch<-said with love lol).

    Oh and dresses = fancy so I don't wear them unless I'm going somewhere fancy but only if jeans are seriously frowned upon.

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  25. Thank gawd I'm not the only one who tries stuff on a bunch of times and leaves my bedroom and closet in shambles.  OK, it happens more when I'm PMS-ing, but still. Tonight for example, DG & I were heading over to my parents for a BBQ. It reallly didn't matter what I wore...it's my parents and Sister..who cares!?  BUT being that the weather was sunny but still cool, I felt like a hippo & of course have NO CLOTHES, I had some major challanges. Of course I ended up in my staple, GAP jeans & BR cotton T. Fabulous. NOT.
    P.S. Soooo not trying the maxi dress...you STY have the body for it! I'm 5'2" and curvy...no way in hell am I attempting the maxi-dress.....yah, I'm jealous.

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  26. I bet you can totally pull off this look because you're tall - bet you looked really model-esque.  I bought a maxi dress once and never got up the nerve to wear it, except one time after a day of margaritas in St. Thomas.  I don't want to have to get drunk each time I want to wear a particular item.

    I had this whole plan of buying a maxi dress or two for this summer, since Gwen and Ashlee and all of those celebs always looked so cute in flowy dresses when they were pregnant.  But now, I'm thinking it will probably just make me look as big as a house.  The only advantage is that I could sit as un-ladylike as I wanted, in whatever position I could actually get comfortable in, and wouldn't actually flash anyone.  Considering the underwear choices I'll likely be reduced to this summer, this would be a good thing.  I think.

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  27. STY I'm glad you decided to wear the dress, I'm sure you looked great in it.  You have the perfect figure for a Maxi dress.
    I'm not a big dress person as barrel gut isn't the best look in a dress.  I have horrid memories of wearing a maxi dress at work and trying to move a server.  Not good and needless to say I don't wear dresses to work anymore.

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  28. i'm REALLY trying to get out of my jeans/black tee rut! i've done it in the past, but old habits die hard, i guess!

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  29. I think unless you are really really petite you can pull off a long dress - it's all about finding the right proportion, maybe?? then again, i am in NO position to be doling out fashion advice to anyone - lol... not that that's ever stopped me. i mean, georgio Armani wears jeans and a black tee almost always. he's no fool! 

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  30. lol! yeah, there's a reason that the folks in IT usually get a pass on the corporate dress code! although i have to admit it took me a minute to figure out what you meant by "server"!

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  31. it is very tent-like, but i am trying to convince myself that it isn't moo-moo-y (or however you spell it - lol). like anything else i own, it looked better before i put on a few pounds these last few months.  i think a maxi-dress would be absolutely perfect for a tropical vacation! and wearing it "away" might make it easier to bust out of your usual clothing rut, right???

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  32. I love the idea of a maxi dress, but I look like a toddler with progeria when I try to wear one. It just doesn't work for me. I keep trying though.

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  33. just_bella TeamBDMay 31, 2011 at 4:57 PM

    I can't do maxi dresses. I've tried but all that fabric makes me feel super frumpy and claustrophobic. Yes, claustrophobia from a dress. It can happen.

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  34. I think it's less the location and more the amount of alcohol consumed that made me capable of busting out of my clothing rut... I'm not usually that brave!  This is probably a perfect article for concealing any extra pounds (probably not the amount I'm currently sporting though) since it's really forgiving.  And, just don't combine it with slippers and hair curlers, and I don't think anyone will mistake it for a muumuu.  Hopefully.  

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  35.  Also, the word muumuu makes me think of mmbutts-mmbutts - whatever animal that was in the Quileute language.  Best. word. ever. 

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  36. Oh STY, I bet you look freaking hot in that dress....not swamp ass hot....like hottie hot.  Wear it in Forks for me puhlease. xo

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  37. Yay! The old format!
    I love maxi dresses. STY, I've seen pics of you and you are tall and lovely-- you should look great in one. The only issue I have (because I have no stairs in my condo) is that every time I wear one, which is like 3 times a week, SOMEONE says, "Why are you all dressed up?" I got the rag at Old Navy-- it's cotton knit. It airs out my vagina. How is this dressy? I dunno.
    But otherwise, I love it! I'm sure you looked fabu!
    xoxox

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  38. I imagine that you looked great in that dress. You're tall & slender so I pictured that you wearing that dress in my mind while I read this. Yep. Definitley good.

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  39. You look elegant in that dress and the burger costume is funny!

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