I wrote a little bit about this on instagram, but since captions can be limiting and most of us don’t read them anyway, I figured I’d talk a little bit about it on here. Let’s be honest — few read the text on blog posts, either, but there’s still a big part of me that looks at this blog as equal parts diary and resource. A strange mix of links and info and heart-on-my-sleeve and generally mundane recollections of my days. And and and.
I first saw this dress on Solange during NYFW in 2015, and I fell in love. She was dressed for the Zimmermann show (I did not attend; I am not that cool), and as suspicions confirmed when I checked their runway images, it was for their upcoming SS 16 collection. I knew it would be well out of my price range and I’d have to wait several months to find out just how much it was out of my price range (although Moda Operandi probably had it for pre-sale, I can’t remember) but I felt like I needed it. Very dramatic, I know, but this has only happened to me twice: once with this dress, and once with a pair of sunglasses that I spotted at a friend’s wedding, tracked down and purchased, and still wear all the time. Of course, sunglasses have a little more versatility than a very specific dress, but the dress was calling to me. When the collection finally launched, my dreams were squashed because the price was so well beyond my budget that I couldn’t even think about it. But I waited and waited and waited for it to go on sale, and then on sale again, and several months later — about a year after I first spotted it — I got the dress. It was still more expensive than anything else in my closet, but I was overjoyed when it arrived. It’s the most “me” dress I’ve ever had.
But then something weird happened: I wouldn’t wear it. I didn’t feel worthy. I shouldn’t say “weird” because it’s not the first time. I’ve returned or passed up a few things because I didn’t feel worthy of them, but this was something I already had in my possession and it was final sale, so returning wasn’t even an option. I’d put the dress on and think to myself, “Who do you think you are? You don’t deserve this.” And back in the closet it went. I reasoned with myself that maybe when Bobby and I got married, I could wear it then. That would be an occasion worthy of a special dress. I spent all this money on a dress I stalked and obsessed over for a year, but I couldn’t bring myself to wear it. I worried I would look like a fraud. I’ve been called a sellout for not exclusively wearing thrifted or reconstructed clothes anymore, I’ve been told I was “born poor and will die poor” and that I “don’t deserve nice things” by strangers on the internet who probably never gave me a second thought past that, and at some point I started believing those things in some tiny, whispering voice in the back of my head kind of way. Isn’t it strange that you can receive 1,000 compliments and one rude remark and somehow you only retain the latter? In my case, it’s because I already felt that insecurity and their comments/emails — though less tactful than my inner dialogue — felt like affirmations of my self-doubt. I’ve held onto a remember-where-you-came-from mentality to always keep my feet on the ground, but it can sometimes pull me under. Even re-reading this post, I caught that I said “I am not that cool.” I do that a lot. If you tell yourself something enough, you will believe it and live it. And others will believe it, too.
It took moving into a new apartment to wear the dress. Moving the unworn dress from one apartment to another apartment made me realize how ridiculous I was being. Here I was, saving this dress for a special occasion that was nowhere in sight, telling myself I didn’t deserve to wear it for any other reason. So, I put it on. I wore it for Valentine’s Day pictures with Miku and Bobby. I wore it again for a dinner. I wore it again for an event. I wore it on this beautiful Spring day for brunch. I wore the dress again and again and again because a dress this special deserves to be seen, not sitting in the closet. And if you treat each day as such, it can always be a special occasion. And heck, if you’re going to spend a lot of money on a piece of clothing, you better get that cost per wear down and wear it to death.
The point of this very long and dramatic post about a dress is that in life, there will be people who make you feel like you’re not worthy. Sometimes that person will be you. Don’t listen to them. Smack your self-deprecating inner dialogue square in the mouth. Wear the dress!