“One is never over or under dressed with little black dress” –Karl Lagerfeld
In 2010, I read a magazine article once that was talking about the little black dress (LBD) being the must-have staple of any closet. I am somewhat fashioned-challenged, so anything as simple and versatile as an LBD (especially one declared the “must-have staple”) seemed like a good idea. So, every time I passed a group of dresses in the store, I checked each black dress to see if it would be the new staple of my closet, forgetting that until recently, I didn’t wear dresses that often.
The longer I passed dresses that didn’t fit my style, the more I figured I’d just wait until I “grew up” to get a classy dress for some event, like that movie premiere I pretend I will attend someday. Only a few years later, I would get that chance (own a classy dress, not attend the premiere, unfortunately).
First, I saw a collared dress that was on clearance at a department store, and fit my (mostly casual) style. I bought it, took it home, and didn’t wear it. It ended up being too little, but I thought, maybe I can wear some leggings under it, and it won’t look as short.
Then, I got invited to my friend’s bachelorette party. Dress code: black cocktail dress. I was very excited. I had a LBD! But, when I tried it on, I realized that it wasn’t going to work with leggings, and I returned it to the store after much debate (the date of the party was coming up quickly, and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to find another black dress that I liked, considering it took 4 years to find the first one).
I went dress hunting (different from shopping, because I had a very specific goal in mind, and I didn’t get distracted or browse through any other clothes). Starting at one end of the mall, I went into each store that sold dresses and asked if they had any black cocktail dresses. If they did, I tried on anything that seemed like it would fit.
After 1 hour of trying on a variety of LBDs (and being really shocked at the ugliness of some of the styles), I settled on a 3/4 sleeve MICHAEL Michael Kors dress. It’s not the traditional strappy dress that most think of when picturing the LBD, but it is comfortable and fits into my current clothing style well.
The feeling of accomplishing this goal was different from many of the others, since it was just a purchase-and-done type of goal. The process of looking for the dress wasn’t that exciting since it took me 4 years. Maybe it’s also because I was stressed because I was running out of time and needed the dress for a specific event, because even the super-fast version I did at the end was exciting but not really fun, in contrast to how I feel when I do things for other goals. Still, it was nice to say that it’s done and to know that when I wear the dress, I think about this story, making it one of the most expensive souvenirs I’ve purchased while doing my bucket list activities.
- If you want to buy the same MICHAEL Michael Kors dress: I got many compliments on it and I know I will wear it again. It is available at Nordstrom and Macy’s.
- Looking for a special dress/clothing item? This guide to dressing for your body shape is nice because it doesn’t put the focus on “hiding flaws” but acknowledges that “Women come in many shapes and sizes. The clothing that you wear should flatter your form.” Read the guide: Looking Your Best for Work: Complement Your Body Type