The Fairy Dust of Dresses

Andrea - Chicago, Illinois
Entered on June 10, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

I believe wearing a dress makes you an automatically carefree person. Not the kind of dress you are forced to wear to weddings or other mass celebrations, the one that are too tight in the wrong spots, too loose in the other, and you are constantly tugging at it hoping it doesn’t expose something you don’t want others to see. I’m talking about the one that hug your skin enough that it melts into you and you only remember you are wearing it when a slight breeze makes the fabric brush against your skin causing a ripple reminiscent of the ocean.

I don’t think happiness should be measured in materialism, especially in clothes, but when I choose to wear a dress it’s not on days when I plan to be in a gloomy mood. When I was younger my mother outfitted me in dresses of every shade of the rainbow and they’ve all come to symbolize times when I enjoyed life and just did, without thinking. A couple of summers ago I woke up in the middle of July. The days at this point were all bleeding into one hot sweaty monotonous summer that I spent sulking around the house and watching soap operas. I went to my closet looking for the tank top and shorts that had become my uniform for a month already when I saw something orange catch my eye. When I pulled it out I saw it was the knee length, spaghetti strap dress I bought in the spring for reasons unknown.

The weather was warm and muggy but the orange dress against my skin made the day seem brighter. So bright that I decided to actually walk around my neighborhood for the first time that summer. As I was walking down the sidewalk and the hemline of my dress was grazing my shins I began to feel blithe. I was walking but I didn’t know where I was going and I was fine with that. All the problems that plagued the thirteen year old me were quickly gone. Anything capable of making me forget seventh grade was something beyond great. It was something holy. I left the house around noon and came home as it was getting dark. Though I was sunburned and sweating profusely, I was able to reintroduce myself to the idea of just living life without worry of the repercussions.

I believe that dresses hold magic within their creases and folds. I don’t think girls ever outgrown dresses. I don’t associate dresses with proms and parties rather with bare feet and running through sprinklers. Though life’s stresses cannot automatically disappear, whenever I wear a dress I like to pretend that they do. You can call that ignorance or the power of orange dresses, I choose to believe in the latter.