dress sense

Okay, Anne Slowey of US Elle made it sound incredibly stupid to wear trousers -

“The first hint of chill in the air, and the full-legged, pleated high- and low-waisted legions will be out in the urban jungle,” said Ms. Slowey, already so adapted to her new television role that she speaks in thought bubbles. The expiration date for the dress, she claimed, “is end of August.”

According to this New York Times article, she was speaking on "Fashionista", some reality TV show about, you guessed it, fashion. "The pant", as she puts it, was the new thing, the fashionable thing, and dresses are over.

The writer of the story, Guy Trebay, made an argument for women in dresses that brought to mind every male friend I have. Wrote Mr Trebay -

"That is because, unlike Ms. Slowey, I am not eager for women to become “a little more hard-core, a little more androgynous, a little more butch.” Yes, gender play is fun, and trousers are a useful wardrobe default for the woman in business. But unless you are Thomas McGuane and find nothing sexier than a woman with crow’s feet, tight Wranglers and suede chaps, you will have to concede that, for flattering a woman’s body, nothing is quite like a dress."

But amusing as I found it, it occurred to me that I am not much of a dress person. In spite of the ease, the efficiently of simply throwing on a dress and walking out the door, the elegance and grace a dress conveys, the general flattering-ness of it, the endless variations that makes it possible for every woman to find the right one, I am a trouser girl. (More specifically, a jeans girl.)

I have a few perfectly wonderful dresses I wear frequently enough, but I also have a lot of great dresses I never wear, because I'm never quite in the mood for it. I prefer shorts and trousers - bottoms with two legs in general - because I like the ability to run without flashing or excess fabric flapping about unnecessary; because I tend to draw my legs to my chair when I sit in any place that permits such posture; because there's a strident quality to pants that a dress, however sharply tailored, can't quite convey.

Lots of girls I know prefer dresses - my own sisters have bought dresses over other items of clothing about 3 times of 5 - and I don't have an issue with it, but for me, dresses are things meant for occasions that aren't quite everyday.

I decided that this has to be the reason why I put on a beautiful dress this morning, sighed, took it off, and threw on my jeans, one of my usual white tops, and headed out the door. I save my dresses for special occasions, for days when I want to make a little more effort. Maybe when a woman puts on a dress, it's a moment (as Mr Trebay says) for men to savour and remember, but sometimes it's a special moment for the girl too, the girl who wanted to look special that day, a moment for her to slow down and feel a little different once in a while.

Who knew I felt so sentimental about dresses?

Pictures of the Gap fall collection on www.style.com


k said…
That was lovely. I have a friend who ONLY wears skirts or dresses. I used to do mostly pants, but have veered towards skirts and dresses lately. I think it's important to change your look every now and then...and that's been my change.
enc said…
I wear dresses only when I'm in a certain mood. They mean something very special to me, too.

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