I put my head down and I ducked into the change room. I called out to Desiree behind me that I was ‘going in’ in the very dramatic way that I knew would make her smile. Arms laden with items including a new bikini top, a maxi dress or two and some skirts that had called my name. I stripped off and started to try them on.

One by one I either decided to buy or discarded. Then there was the maxi dress. Printed and sort of flowing, dual side splits and a colourful print. Desiree was having a birthday party. I decided something like this dress would be perfect for it. And it was. But let’s flash forward now.

There was something I didn’t consider.

It turns out that I can be REALLY uncomfortable in clothing that feels really feminine, to me. Isn’t that the strangest thing? As I tugged my strapless bra into place, lining the girls up as you do, and slipped the dress over my head, it was there.

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I felt self-conscious.

Maybe it was the amount of boob on display, maybe it was the ruffle or the print. Perhaps it was the exposed shoulders, the full length or the print but it was there. Nerves. I turned to Desiree for reassurance that it looked ok and she shook her head and laughed at me. Pffft, errr yeah.

So I took her word for it because she’s not the kind of friend to blow smoke up your ass, and I went with it. It occurred to me that my style really isn’t feminine at all. I’m more comfortable in simple, straight lines with strong colours (black being a big factor) and well, pants! This billowy, busty maxi was something else entirely.

And I got curious about that.

Was I weirded out by the visibility of my boobs? Maybe. But not in the way you think. I’m happy to wander around in my swimmers or underwear in the company of friends no problem. My boobs have never really been a feature in my personal style. I like them, they’re there, but I don’t build outfits around them. They make appearances on occasion like Brad Pitt did on Friends. Welcomed, but hardly necessary.

But that’s wasn’t it.

I think the length didn’t help. Have you ever done a Debutant Ball? Not just been to one, but participated? There’s all this walking, being presented and dancing in a floor length gown that is practically designed to end you. This maxi dress was long.

I don’t know how the short ladies would ever have worn it because I spent the entire first half of the party (before I tucked it into my underwear a little giving me freedom of movement) lifting my hem delicately like some character from a Jane Austin novel-adapted movie. But with more visible ankle.

And then there was the fact that it looked weird with my sneakers! I mean. I can’t even.

But most of all I felt like it was a great dress, it looked great (you guys sure liked it on Instagram) but it just wasn’t me. I felt like I was playing grown-up lady at a nice party in that dress. Not always a bad thing, playing dress up is awesome. But when you know your personal style, have curated from the depths of peasant blouse extinction, wearing something that isn’t you just doesn’t work.

And you shouldn’t. I believe that. I think you shouldn’t do anything you don’t want to do, wear anything that doesn’t work for you or be anyone you don’t want to be. So keep that in mind folks. You do you.

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  • I bought a work-type dress last year. Or maybe the year before. Hmm. Not sure. Either way, it’s all very nice but still sitting in my cupboard. I don’t wear dresses.

  • Pumba

    It’s crazy that others can see/say that you look awesome, but unless you’re sold on it yourself, you just can’t be comfortable. I definitely know the feeling.

    • It’s SO like that. I loved this dress and was happy with the way it looked on me, all that, I mean I bought it but in the end, it just wasn’t me. No point trying to make it that way.

  • Lauren Boase

    Funny, I was just looking at your picture thinking how fantastic you looked and that I’m going to go tomorrow and try the dress on (not that i need more work inappropriate clothing, but the fact you said its super long excites me to know end!!) but I completely understand what you mean- it doesn’t matter how awesome something looks on you if you don’t feel comfortable its hard to enjoy wearing the said item/having a good time.
    If you do sell the dress, let me know I’ll buy it from you.
    Xx Loz

    • Consider it done Lauren, I’ll message you on Facebook later, I got it on sale too, so you’re set. Haha. It’s a fab dress, I’d be glad to see it go to a good home. x

  • I found myself nodding along to this whole post because this spoke to me –

    “It turns out that I can be REALLY uncomfortable in clothing”

    Yup I’ve shortened it but that’s what it is for me. NO it doesn’t mean I like being nude [I don’t trust me!] but I just don’t think I’ve worn a piece of clothing in the last 15 odd years that I felt good in. I can’t remember the last time I wore a piece of clothing that I felt great in, attractive in, sexy in!

    I say stick with what you love and feel great in…..now for me to find something LOL

    xx

    • Thanks Rach. I do sort of prefer to be nude, just don’t tell the interwebs. Haha. Creepers, you know. But I hope like heck you find something that you love to wear lady. I want that for you almost as much as you want it for yourself. We’ll keep looking! x

  • I think it’s a gorgeous dress, but I totally get where you’re coming from. You’ve got to feel comfortable in it.

    • Thank you Janet, that it is. But that’s it right? It’s not really me, so best send it on to a new home.

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  • I think you look great but I think sometimes looking good isn’t enough, you have to feel good in what you’re wearing too! You nailed it when you said “you do you.” Wise words indeed!

  • I thought you looked great too, but I get it.
    I have a few dresses like that, that need to go in a sale too.
    You do you. Rocks!

    • Thank you Sarah. One of those things for sure. And my sale, well sheesh, it still hasn’t happened. Hope you’re having more luck. 😉

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  • Kellie McMaster

    This dress would be perfect for an engagement party I have in two weeks…

    • It’s probably 12 months old now, sorry lady. Though City Chic tend to recycle styles, so it might be worth a look. x