what's in a dress?

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."
Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)

We might have heard and recited these words one time too many, so much that their philosophical weight may have gotten lost into oblivion. If we were to call a rose an 'ant' or a 'bat', or anything else really... would it still be the same thing, the same concept, would it 'smell as sweet'? Taking this to a stretch, perhaps, would we call 'dressing-up' so if it did not involve a 'dress'?

Whenever I shop, whenever I click the 'add to bag' button, whenever my hands surpass their limit as clothing hangers as I storm the shops, the timeless dilemma puzzles me every darn time - should I spend my money on an exquisite dress, or perhaps invest in more timeless staples?

First of all, you should all know this by now, but anyhow I'm saying it again, I am a sucker for dresses. They're the first thing I look for when I shop, the first item my eyes fall on. I am of a petite stature so I find a dress to be rather flattering for my shape and size than perhaps any odd pair of pants or skirt and some random top. But really, I believe there's more to it... what is it about the dress that entrances me so deeply?

When I open my wardrobe, the most soothing and relaxing feeling is that of sorting my dresses (by colour, by length, by occasion and whatnot). Call me weird, but I'm being rather honest here - this is where I get my high from...! When I look at an individual dress, it takes me onto a nostalgic trip (no pun intended :P ). 

I remember the night I wore it - the kisses swapped and the words that passed, the photos taken and the hugs exchanged, the scent of my Martini bianco and the aura of dimmed lighting, the people I met, the feelings felt and the songs we danced to.

No pair of shoes, no sequined clutch or statement necklace could ever live up to a dress, because let's face it - it's that one piece of clothing which, no matter how many times you've worn it, you will always remember it's first time.

The reason you bought it - perhaps it was that special anniversary, celebrating the beginning of summer, the end of summer, your birthday or your friend's, Christmas Eve (when mulled wine takes precedence) and New Year's eve (which simultaneously means the dropping of the ball in Times Square, New York and you dancing the night away with your closest friends here in Malta) is part and parcel with the dress.

Balmain - F/W '11/12 - Runway look 29

Perhaps you may not afford this EUR25,000 Balmain dress (I don't either - heck, I'd buy 3 cars with that price), but dresses come in all shapes and sizes, in all prices and styles, there's always one to suit your liking and if you're as finicky on dresses as I am you can always have have one made or make it yourself - what's more unique than that?
Regardless, I will part you with one disclaimer -

Do not pick a dress because you have to, I repeat, do not buy a dress just because you need one. Unfortunately I spot many girls at parties, who wear a dress, just so they're wearing one.

Ideally, you buy a dress when you've fallen in love with one and not when shopping specifically for it. The latter will leave you with a dress you will only wear once because that's 'all you've got'. [Go to this post for one of my frantic dress searches - result: after I stopped searching, the perfect dress fell into my lap...read this post - scroll to the end]. The first option, that is buying a dress out of love will leave you with a dress which instils positive memories during a wardrobe-sorting ritual, as that mentioned above - a dress which defines you and flatters you...

One last thing, I promise! I know I've already ranted too much today but I have to say this (I'm sorry) -
Let the dress be one which puts you into the spotlight and not the dress -
You're not the canvas - you're the work of art, the dress is just a tool like paint and brushes are to a painting.
[woah, I feel wise haha]

Pssssst: this is what the designers and merchants never tell you...!!!

Now, go ahead and let yourself shine, you've earned it!

Toodles x


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