I have recently fallen back in love with dresses. I’m not sure when or why I fell out of love, but at some point it became much easier to wear tops and bottoms and I quit wearing dresses. Now that I am in love again, I can’t quite fathom why I haven’t always worn dresses, but that is probably another discussion.
What Makes A Perfect Dress
So what makes a perfect dress? I’m fairly certain that the specific criteria will vary from person to person, but these are things to focus on:
1. It fits easily. No tugging or adjusting is needed; there is no pinching or bunching; when you change position, you do not have to fiddle with your dress.
2. It makes you feel great. Color, print, fabric should all speak to who you are and in turn tell that to the world.
3. It is easy to care for (you choose what that means to you).
4. It will stay looking good while wearing.
If you are thinking this is going to make it hard to find a perfect dress, you are right. It may take buying dresses and finding what works for you, then refining your future purchases to find the perfect dress.
How To Find The Perfect Dress
1. It Fits
When you are trying on a dress you must be honest with yourself. If you can’t be, then find someone who will be. A small thing that is compromising the fit may be fixable, and if you will take it directly to someone to get it fixed, that is okay, but if you are never going to get it fixed or if there is something essentially wrong, just put it back.
But first, sit in the dress and look at how it looks when you stand back up. Cross your legs, walk, pick up your handbag, reach as if you were doing whatever you might do in the dress, and see what happens. Look at the length and look at the proportion it creates with your legs and torso. Err on the side of long and lean.
Take advantage of that three-way mirror to see what happens in the back. This is what a lot of people are going to see, so it is a point of view you should never ignore. If there isn’t a three-way mirror, pull out a small hand mirror and use it to peer over your shoulder. Never forget this step! If you have someone with you, do not take their word for it; check the back yourself. Also check the length when seated. Consider whether it is the right length for your legs.
If different underthings are needed, those must be purchased. Take the dress with you when you go to buy them.
2. You Feel Great
If you have achieved 1, then the next step it how you feel in the dress. This is perhaps the most important, because you will exude precisely the level of fabulousness that you feel. A good color for you? Is the neckline flattering? Does it allow you to overlook that thing you hate? Is it going to be perfect with shoes you love (or may yet find)? Do you feel like a model/movie star/person to be reckoned with?
Do not base this on some pose you strike in front of the mirror (although that is often very affirming, so go ahead and do it!). This must be because you can see that all the elements are working to make it right for you. If you are questioning, analyze what is making you question and decide if it is fixable or a deal breaker.
3. It Fits Your Care Criteria
This seems pretty mundane, but if you need to give this dress attention you cannot give it, you will not ever be able to fully love it. It will become just one more thing in your life requiring special attention. So pay attention to things like wrinkling and care instructions. Be honest about what you have to give.
4. It Stays Looking Good
If your dress fits and looks good on you, and it requires the kind of care you can give it, you should only have to think about how fabulous you look when you are wearing it. You may have to prepare yourself for all the compliments you will get, but you will not have to worry about bunching, tugging, pulling, or wondering if you look good. You will know.
Why Find The Perfect Dress
We all know that a perfect dress has usable pockets! That isn’t always possible, but can be a decidedly wonderful thing for a dress to possess. Dresses without pockets can be fabulous, but never perfect.
This is a journey and it may require outside help (shortening to a perfect length, a nip here, or a release there), but it will be worth it.
I love this dress, but Navy really isn’t my color.