Tag Archives: dress

I’m In Chains: The Dress That Has Come to Represent My Early-Mid 20s

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Dress: Lazy Oaf via Nasty Gal. Faux fur vest: gift from my brother. Necklace, ring, bracelet: gifts from family and friends. Earrings: vintage. Tights: DKNY. Shoes: Ann Marino (these are ANCIENT).

The dress from the front.

The dress from the front.

The dress from the back.

When I first saw this dress, my first thought was, “OOOOOooooOOOOOoooo. So many colors…” Like most days, I was checking out Nasty Gal (don’t worry — I’m almost always just checking) when I stumbled across this funky number by Lazy Oaf. The colors, the bold chain print, and the form-fitting, figure-flattering, flirty, feminine cut were enough for me to click on the picture for a close-up. What did me in, however, were the “Lazy” tags that were part of the print. This dress reminded me of what life had been for me up until now: I had been chained by what many had perceived to be laziness, but what I knew was actually fear of failing miserably.

I recently came to the realization that anxiety over the prospect of failure is not my only problem, nor is it my biggest problem. My greatest issue is fear of commitment. I’ve come to understand that, like many people, I am not a talentless loser who fails at everything. Rather, I actually have many talents and, if anything, I’m overwhelmed by opportunities for tremendous success. However, being that I’m afraid of commitment, I’ve shied away from many opportunities for success precisely because of the presumed commitment to continued good work in that particular area in which I would have realized success. In a nutshell, if I decide to pursue taxation and I become successful in that field, I am afraid that I will be locked into that field forever without any way out.

You must understand that this realization is a huge step forward for me. Not only have I accepted my real shortcomings, but I’m beginning to accept my talents. Let me tell you, it’s been extremely liberating and empowering to finally look at myself in the mirror and see the reflection of someone capable, rather than someone who constantly fails. I’m finally freeing my true self from my old, toxic self-loathing self. I’m sawing off the rusted chains and shackles that have kept me from soaring into space! Needless to say, I bought the dress, and am thrilled that I did.

Anyway, back to the dress. Now I know what some of you might be thinking: “Umm, hello? Is anybody home? It’s made of polyester, and you’re not supposed to buy anything unless you need it.” Well, smartypants, I have news for you all; I did need to buy this dress. I was in need of one club/lounge dress at the time of purchase because I didn’t own ANY.

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Anyway, I wore this last Saturday night under the faux fur vest my brother gave me. I wore it with some of my mom’s jewelry from the 70s: a colorful silver scarab on a silver chain, and the “shield” ring with her first initial on it. I also wore a silver coil bracelet with brass balls threaded through it that was given to me by a family friend eons ago (pictured above).

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vegetable picnic earrings

I mustn’t forget my favorite earrings! I had purchased these a few years ago at some thrift store on Orchard St. I had to haggle with this loaf of a man with Jerry curls for about ten minutes before reaching an acceptable price, but I got them. I love their whimsical design; the flourishes and the dangling “carrots” are so magical!

I think that I looked great. I did, however, make one major rookie mistake: I layered a form-fitting polyester dress over a Spanx slip over tights. My dress was riding up my thighs for most of the night. Also, my shoes kept on slipping off of my heels as I walked. Sigh. It turns out that wearing this dress is like wearing the chains that were keeping me from living my life until recently!

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I miss my summer dresses!

As much as I love fall and winter, I do miss my summer dresses. Last night, I was looking at pictures from this past summer and immediately, the memories of weddings, rooftop bars, parades, and Coney Island had me wishing I could ditch my warm puffer coat in favor of a breezy and diaphanous gown.

This look, especially, is my favorite from this past summer. I had worn this outfit to my cousin, Elvira’s wedding.

Dress and belt: BCBGMaxAzria Runway, bag: Lauren Merkin

I love the pleats, and the color combinations, and the boldness of the black borders, and the thigh-high side slits. The dress is actually pretty revealing, and shows a great deal of “side boob” if worn off the hanger as-is, which is why I wore black Spanx to make it more appropriate for a family affair (and to make firm whatever tends to look squishy, if you know what I’m sayin’…)

As you can see, the dress is too long, but I feel that this length added an element of drama and mystery to my look, kind of like Morticia Addams (after all, you never saw her feet… although Chas Addams had drawn her with tentacles in certain cartoons…). I was right to aim for mystery, though, because I did have a secret: I was wearing flats. I hate wearing high heels to weddings because I always like to spend a great deal of my time at receptions busting out a lot of cheesy, overzealous, overly enthusiastic, wannabe acrobatic dance moves. Heels are not exactly the right footwear choice for four hours of the Charlie Brown. So, yes, I found a way to still be wedding-appropriate, elegant, and comfortable by opting for the long dress-flat sandals combo that is always acceptable for summer weddings, even if I was never on the beach witnessing a couple named Rainbow and Moonbeam exchange their vows.

Dress: BCBGMaxAzria, my brothers: made by my parents

Almost exactly a year earlier, my cousin, Laura got married and had her reception at the Bronx Botanical Garden (it was so beautiful and romantic, and the weather, thankfully, was perfect). It was black tie, so we got all gussied up (I found the dress the day before the ceremony, of course). I started off the evening in a pair of strappy, gold Steve Madden heels only to be unable to bear them after a few hours, so I went to our car, and traded them for my flat gold sandals. Instant fix! Also, I love the combination of lavender and gold. I threw in a neon color for one crazy fun color palette (I wore Dante nail lacquer in Racy Red — a color that I’d love to purchase if it wasn’t for the fact that it’s not sold in stores or online except wholesale!).

I could post so many wedding outfit photos, but the fact of the matter is that it’s December. It’s cold, and it gets dark early. It can be depressing! But you know what makes winter better than summer? The fact that tomorrow morning, I will not only be thinking of which shoes and bag and accessories to wear with my dress or separates, but which coat to wear over my outfit, and which hat to wear with it, and which gloves, and which scarf…. winter provides us with more possibilities to be creative with fashion!

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