object study: it might get loud

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Following the train of thought sparked off by the leopard shoes, I thought it would be amusing to take a good look at one of the loudest things in my wardrobe. I do wear bright things sometimes, borrowed from my mum or sisters, but this one is mine.

I bought this for about S$10 about two years ago from my favourite vintage shop in Singapore, which has since closed down. It fell to about mid-calf, which is a terrible look on me, at least in this print, so I shortened it, and wear it belted. It is made of a stiff cotton, and it has pockets that I can actually use, nice and deep enough for my mobile phone. When my mum goes to the beach, she borrows it and wears it without a belt (on her, it hits her knees).

The flowers are gigantic and vividly coloured, and they make me laugh. This dress automatically incites comments from people, especially people accustomed to my fairly sedate colour vocabulary. It's a hit during the Chinese New Year, because bright colours are considered auspicious, and the flowers on the dress do look a little like peonies, which is a very Chinese thing (I'm Chinese).

Despite the obvious festive advantages of this dress, my favourite thing about it is the fit. I like the boxy sheath top, which feels like a rare thing these days. It doesn't cling and it's incredibly comfortable in hot weather but it has structure. The print is a throwback to days past, but its loudness has a techno-graphic quality that seems modern to me, and the dress has a clean, timeless shape. It packs very well and is pretty ideal for holidays - practical enough for sightseeing and pretty enough for dinner after.

It's not an obvious choice for me, going by how I usually dress, and yet I wear it often enough. Why I responded to this and not the countless brightly-coloured floral things out there is a mystery to me. And I don't feel different from my usual self in this dress.

I've never looked at a floral dress with much interest since I bought this, because this seems to have satisfied my need for one. And frankly, a lot of florals don't pack a punch like this one. Maybe it appeals to the side of me that doesn't like things done halfway. Either I wear enormous flowers, or I don't at all.

What kind of out-of-character and yet somehow totally true-to-self things do you own?


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