The Problem with Dresses

I dreamed I found the ultimate dress.

In the dream, there were a series of open-air trailers on Lockland, close to the Jamaican restaurant. Inside the trailers were impossibly long clothing stores, like big white winding Aeropostales, full of permanent magic hour light.

Anyhoo. In the dream I saw two dresses I would wear — knee-length, long-sleeved kinda western shirt-dresses, one wrap, one not, both red with white polka dots and a light, floaty fabric. You know they had to be good because I hate paying retail.

I am not a big wearer of dresses. I like them, in general, and would wear them more often, now that I am not painting and moving furniture alla time.

But here’s the thing. Although me and my boddy are on pretty good terms nowadays — I feed it foods that don’t make my pancreas cry, and it indulges me in the periodic run around the block — there are still boddy parts I don’t like to show the world. I don’t think of this as a self-conscious low-self-esteemy thing. I think of this like how James Gandolfini got a wave of hate mail for wearing shorts one one episode of the Sopranos. Made men don’t wear shorts! Certain articles of clothing are just not cool. For that reason, I don’t wear shorts out of doors either, even when it is chicken-boiling hot outside — except when I am phys-edding.

There is another reason I don’t wear shorts:


I have skinny ankles, skinny calves and big, furniture lifting thighs. I like them a lot and use them frequently, but here is a chart of hemline consequences:

Mid-thigh Hooker
Above mid-thigh Hooker who can’t sit down
Above knee “Hey, check out my knobbly knees!”
At knee “Hey, check out my knobbly knee scars!”
Below knee Shway
Mid-calf LDS, or “My, you’re looking truncated today.”
Ankle LDS who trips a lot
Floor-length Glamorous but impractical, unless I hitch up my skirts and run around like Madonna in the “Say Goodbye” video

So the best hemline is one that hits just below the knee. That’s a 44″ length for me. That’s kinda hard to find.

At the moment, my measurements are 41 – 34 – 40. This works OK with a shirt and skirt, which is my preferred method of fancy dressing, but requires the following of any single article of clothing:

  • Ability to wear a brassiere under it, lest small children be frightened. Yes, I know they make strapless/convertible brassieres, but, no, if you think I hate paying retail for a dress, wait until you show me a $40 tag on a daggum ‘foundation garment.’
  • Low neckline — to break up Great Plains of my shoulder-bust region (but let’s cover the bra please)
  • None of that under-bust tailoring — you know, that kind of bra-in-a-dress effect with two little stitched curves that say “boobs go here.” Because Gawd forbid your boobs runneth over, because those curves park offensively atop like dual boob yarmulkes. Thanks, bra-in-a-dress! But I would rather WEAR A BRA. This style suits my petite and slim partner in crime very well, so it is not evil, but when a dress gets up to size 12 can we agree the wearer’s girls need freedom and security? KTHX.
  • A-line or full skirt, because of the fin effect I get about the hips when a tailored dress big enough to cover my bust makes assumptions about what my behonkus looks like. I have owned a ‘wriggle dress’ in my life that met my needs, but it is now gone to the four winds and required three Hail Marys to get into anyway. Stretchy skirts are OK, but I have a broad, nondescript backside which wants more than an acre of stretched fabric to decorate it.
  • Elbow-length sleeves — these are negotiable, but they bring harmony and balance to a silhouette that is 80% rack-n-shoulders. I can do the sleeveless, now that the Mr. Yuk shoulder tat is covered by a pretty birdie, but it makes me feel like I should be wrestling sailors. But strapless is a no, and anything from cap-sleeve to short-sleeve makes me look like a transvestite. Not a bad option, but not always occasion-appropriate.
  • Substantial fabric — Too stretchy and I look like an additive waveform. Too fixed and I’ll be cranky and wrinkled by noon. Too heavy and I’ll need a stillsuit. Too transparent and I’ll be arrested.
  • Less than $50 — Because no. No, no, no. I’d rather buy five naked burritos.

Also — I’m picky about patterns and colors. I like black, red and desaturated colors (like pink and navy; and either very small patterns or, like, huge graphic things that don’t even look like a pattern.

Are you annoyed yet? Are you throwing a brick at your monitor? No, I bring peace, for there are a couple of styles that suit me — the kimono dress (again I arrive on the bandwagon three years late)


ChinaTowner is right-priced, due to exploited labor, I reck, but takes too long to ship. I should have started thinking about what to wear to graduation more than a week ago? Yes.

and the 40s/50s cocktail dress.


Trashy Diva is pretty much all gold, if I could just find a way to try one for cheap

What would probably rock my socks is either of these as a jacket and skirt set — like a cocktail dress suit.

Man, I need to find a D&P costumer to start sucking up to.

Until then — eBay!


Draws. Sweats. Eats too much sugar-free candy.

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1 Response

  1. FormerUni says:

    I know I’m fashionably late, but I really like your choice of dresses. Who cares about the trends, right? Do whatever works for you and your pocketbook.

    Besides, you never really struck me as a slutty hooker or a Mormon anyway.

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