I’m going to say it – this dress was a long shot.
Last time I visited my hometown in Upstate New York, I took my beau on a tour of the best thrifts in the area. At one of my all time favorite Salvos in Fulton, NY, this floral sherbet beauty awaited me. Most people would not think twice about passing this up, or perhaps at most, pulling it out, making a funny face, and saying to the person next to them “this is sooo you! har har har.” Trust me, those are all totally understandable and normal responses. Lucky for you all, I’m not normal!
I saw this dress and almost died with excitement. However, knowing myself and how I generally look in the color orange (read: awful) I didn’t get my hopes up too high. Clearly this was going to go one of two ways – I was going to exit the dressing room in a discreet “I obviously didn’t just try that on” way, or I would exit in the complete opposite full of whimsy and grandeur. As I stepped into it, I got more and more excited – zip! – doesn’t look too bad, and then bam! I added the belt and I was in love. It was perfect. It was made for me. The perfect shade of orange, the perfect length, the perfect cut and width, the perfect everything.
I left the try on room in triumph. When I showed my boyfriend my prize, to my great surprise he actually said he loved it – clearly we were meant to be.
Despite my moment of glory in the solitude of that little mirrored room, when I got back home a few days later, I looked at it skeptically and put it aside until laundry day. Where would I wear this? What would people think?
I decided to test the waters. The next week at work I mentioned it to a few of my friends. I himmed and hawed about the potential inappropriateness of wearing this to my job – we’re business casual here. Out of the 30 women in this office maybe 5 of them wear dresses, and only 3 on a regular basis. There’s only one other than myself that really goes all out and I thought how badly I would stand out. This, mind you, is very unlike me – I’ve really made a name for myself here as being ‘the girl with the quirky dresses’ and not much I could do would shock people. That being said, I didn’t want to overstep the quirky boundary into the ‘what the hell was she thinking’ realm. It’s a fine line. So after talking to a friend who said ‘I’m sure it’s very you‘ and talking to another who urged me to wear it despite my misgivings, I went for it.
And let me tell you, it was the best day of my life.
I recently watched an episode of 30 Rock where Tina Fey’s character realizes that ridiculously good looking people like Jon Hamm live life in ‘The Bubble’. The Bubble is were people around you treat you awesomely because you’re dead sexy, and for the first time ever, and I shit you not, it felt like I was in The Bubble.
As I got ready to leave the house, my boyfriend confirmed his feelings from the first time he’d laid eyes on it by saying it was his favorite dress of mine. From then on out it was ooos and ahhs from my closer girlfriends, and a double take from the HR manager who proclaimed after first being rendered speechless “Wow, beautiful. It’s like it was made for you – it’s like..like…an Easter Parade! Wow. Stunning.” which although laughable was actually incredibly sweet coming from a man. Later in the day as people streamed in, I became the must-see attraction. One woman feigned madness that I didn’t do a catwalk do show it to her earlier, and by the end of the day I was blushing at all the gushing more than ever before. At my local lunch haunt, where I generally don’t talk to anyone, the owner chatted me up for a good ten minutes, gave me a bigger drink than I asked for, and a free cookie – and also came to check up on me 15 minutes after I sat down with my salad. On the way home, even the train conductor brightly smiled and told me what a pretty dress I had. I was on top of the world.
I have a few other pieces that I will cherish forever, but none that have created such a stir. I don’t know that I’ll be able to wear this very often…or ever again, but it had one glorious day in the sherbet spotlight, and it was the best.day.ever.