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She Wore Green Velvet

August 18, 2006

I’ve been wanting a new dress lately. I haven’t been a “dress wearer” for some years now, but some days you just want to slip on ONE GARMENT and feel instantly good and ready to go.

When I was writing this quick synopsis on my favorite dress in high school, it occured to me that there used to be a time that I could find something to wear and it would make me feel FANTASTIC. In particular, dresses. I felt PRETTY in dresses. I cannot remember the last time I felt that pretty or that comfortable. I can remember the dress I graduated in high school in, and the dress I graduated college in. The college dress may be the last dress I felt COOL and POWERFUL and attractive in. After that, it’s ALL DOWN HILL. Why, I wonder? Pobably, because over the years, I’ve become increasingly more CHEAP when it comes to clothes and I HATE shopping, like nobody’s business. I also have NO SENSE OF STYLE OR THE PATIENCE for Goodwill and Salvation Army combing. My friend Jen can find the COOLEST THINGS on the planet at used places. I’m always asking: Where in the heck did you find THAT COOL outfit? She’ll name some used clothing store and the entire thing cost $5! If I buy anything, having AGONIZED over a $1.50 purchase, I come home with a skirt I don’t feel comfortable in and will never wear.

I am amazed at all the craft bloggers out there who go out and find the coolest most retro fabulous things at the cheapest prices. This is a GIFT, I tell you! A gift, I don’t seem to posess. Plus, I live in New York, which turns out to have the MOST EXPENSIVE used places in the world. Seriously, I went to the Salvation Army to buy some pots and pans and there wasn’t anything cheaper than $15! That seems a liitle steep for a BURNED OUT pot, don’t you think?

I think back to the girl in the velvet dress, so ON HER WAY to being a little more SCREWED UP than she was at that moment. Things seemed a bit simpler in a sense. You had a boyfriend and a pretty dress. Behind it were other, deeper, less obvious things, of course. Still, I wouldn’t go back to that boyfriend in a million years, but to find a dress (oh, to find a dress!) that made me feel like a MILLION BUCKS, that is something to return to.

  1. pippa permalink
    August 21, 2006 1:34 pm

    Oh! I absolutely love that. It perhaps says something about my personality (that I haven’t discovered yet) that I have a closet of beautiful black cocktail dresses hanging up in my brother’s closet back in Adelaide. They all feel great on. But are erm, too formal for everyday wear. There’s one, a gift from an ex-housemate that reminds me of the Smog song, <>Dress sexy at my funeral<>.But the dresses that worked the best are a couple that I had made up in Vietnam for about $10 each.Oh, everyone of them has a memory.

  2. Jake Pierre permalink
    August 21, 2006 1:34 pm

    Sum, I love the illustrated memories. You may recall that I’ve encouraged you before to pursue this direction.Of course you been drawing in one way or another these vinyettes for as long as I can remember. Yeah you’re right about just doing it and not procrastinating.These scenarios will pour out of you with ease. In fact in most cases you don’t even rough out the composition do you?Yet your drawing is clean,balanced and your text fits perfectly.Also your content is witty, insightful and very relateable.I can see tons of books for a mass audience.You don’t need Bynda Larry to teach you anything.You been drawing this kind of stuff all along. xxox buff dad P.S. Will send zomeg.

  3. The Sensualist permalink
    August 21, 2006 1:35 pm

    I advocate dresses for the same reason that I advocate the jumpsuit (or the mechanics coverall, if you’re not going to jump out of a plane anytime soon). It is one piece and viola! you are dressed. There is no matching top to bottom, no color cordination needed hardly at all. You put it on, add shoes, and you’re done. Perfect for the lazy and stylish.Kai’s dress thrifting 101:I would suggest looking at thrift stores for dresses by J Crew and Old Navy, any brand that who has a “classic image of simplicity”. They seem to make clothes for a more realistic body type. For instance, my awesome dress from J Crew is a size six (hah!). I look first at the pattern, color and material. Go with dresses that are more natural fibers: linen and cotton are forgiving and comfortable. Your not going to wear something that is scratchy, no matter what you think at the time. No polyester, no how! It makes you sweat, and is usually gross colors. Same with material, you’ve got to like the pattern and the color, or you won’t wear it. If you go shopping and set yourself a limit on what THE MOST you’ll spend on something is, it helps. I go with 20 bucks as the most usually. Not that I can afford it, but if you only shop at thrift stores like I do, you won’t find something again.Oh who am I kidding, I hate shopping too. Hope this helped. I really should take my own advice more! I also should do a little drawing for this. You post obviously inspired me!

  4. Sally Veganini permalink
    August 21, 2006 1:36 pm

    I think it was picasso, who said, that one should only wear clothes that make them feel A L I V E!!At times, frustrated by the suffocating feeling that comes from having a full closet, and still being pressed to find a decent outfit- I try to follow this mantra, and ruthlessly begin throwing out clothes..Then I realise I will have about 4 outfits left at the end, and something about that scares me..So I keep all the shitty clothes, that make me feel just okay..But I know that green velvet dress feeling.It’s so peculiar the effect a piece of clothing can have on ones total sense of being..Maybe it’s time to adopt picasso’s shopping criteria..

  5. Tiburon Grande permalink
    August 21, 2006 1:37 pm

    Random thoughts: 1) How about putting on pounds as you age, so that it is harder to find ANY dress that fits? 🙂 An issue to consider. How old are you? Wait ’til you hit your late 30’s, baby! (Watch, I’ll find out you’re, like, 42 yrs old or something). 2) I find myself tending to “hero worship” female artists/ musicians more than, say, female mathematicians, politicians or astrophysicists. (Though I have on occasion been known to prostrate myself before politician Nancy Pelosi). So, I’m wondering why this is. There aren’t really any MALE mathematicians who get worshipped, for that matter — closest thing to having a mathematician idolized in pop culture, in recent years, was that guy featured in “A Beautiful Mind.” Man I had a college math professor once who BLEW MY MIND, though. Really brillant.3) Do you attract a great deal of random effluvia by putting your thoughts out in the public domain like this? I am of split minds about blogging because I am not sure what I would gain by sharing so much of myself to a random audience – and for my true heart friends, I would not need to communicate with them in such a fashion. It seems mostly useful as a vehicle of self-promotion. — A Random Blogger

  6. BarfUser permalink
    August 21, 2006 6:12 pm

    Wow… I love your drawings; it’s inspiring to see you do this work, and do it so evocatively. And you’ve GOT a WAY with CAPS 🙂

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