Why Dresses are (Secretly) the Best Thing Ever

When I was in elementary school, I hated almost all clothing that would be conventionally considered “girly.” Tights were uncomfortable. Frill just got in the way. And skirts were seriously prohibitive whenever I tried to run. But no matter how much I hated these things, nothing quite matched my abhorrence for dresses.

It was a fight whenever my mom wanted me to dress up for any sort of occasion. We eventually reached a point where we agreed that I would wear a skirt for Christmas Mass, funerals, and weddings. But she wasn’t getting me in a dress. Not if I could help it.

As I made my way through middle and high school, this distrust of “girly” clothing continued. I was attached to my jeans, Converse, and sweatshirts. Sometimes, if I felt like trying really hard, I’d put on a nice shirt, or if I was really motivated, I’d put together a whole skirt-oriented outfit. Most days, however, this was just too much effort.

In the last year, I’ve come to realize that I was coming at the whole skirt/dress issue from the entirely wrong direction. I’d clung to my childhood notion that skirts were somehow less cumbersome than dresses, and that therefore, dressing in a skirt was easier than putting on a dress.

But somehow over the summer, I had the realization that dresses were actually magical articles of the clothing. In the summer, spring, and early fall, wearing a dress literally means you have to choose one article of clothing and a pair of shoes. You might need a jacket, just to be careful. But that’s it. You’re done. Once you’ve picked out the dress, you already look put together and ready for the day.

It’s slightly more complicated in the winter, when jackets are absolutely necessary and tights are highly recommended. But, still, it’s easier to put on the dress than struggle for at least a half-hour deciding if the sweater goes with the skirt, if the jeans fit right, or if you should tuck in your shirt or not. Dresses, simply put, are the easiest outfit ever.

What’s particularly magical about this, however, is not that they are so easy. It’s that almost anytime you end up wearing a dress, you’ll get at least one comment about how nice you look that day. Sometimes people will even ask why you’ve dressed up.

That’s a nice feeling to have on a morning where you felt entirely frazzled after waking up late and rushing to shove everything in your bag before your first class. When you’re wearing a dress, you realize that no one else can quite tell how rough your morning might have been -- all because you’re wearing an article of clothing society has somehow deemed dressier than anything else.

After spending years avoiding dresses like the plague, realizing that they are actually easier to deal with than the standard outfit of my high school years was amazing. Learning to wear dresses on regular days has been almost a year-long process for me, but all in all, it’s been a freeing discovery. 

 

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Images: 1, 2, 3 (photos provided by author), 4