It’s what’s inside that counts

Dresses just don’t look good on me. The important ones I mean. I was looking through some old pictures today, my prom pictures among them. I recall looking through dozens of teeny bopper magazines to find the perfect dress. I found pieces of dresses I liked but not one I could fall in love with. So I had my dress made. A red velvety, concoction with a white airy fabric connected at the throat by a jeweled brooch, that flowed over each shoulder all the way down to my ankles. I believe it had a small train as well. I was proud of it and took several pictures playing with the trailing white fabric. I was a size 5. Flat stomached with budding breasts. And I felt beautiful in it. But when I saw those pictures today, I thought it was fairly shapeless. The heavy fabric adding nothing to my figure. Still love the airy strips of fabric flowing down the back though. Did I mention the dress maker made three dresses? One for me and two for sale on the racks. It must have been a decent design.

Another dress I regret is my wedding dress. I went out of state to buy it so my mother could be a part of the experience. I tried on one dress, out of her price range. But she loved it on me, and that made me happy. So we bought it. I had it altered to change the zipper, that helped the dress hug my curves, to a corset tie on the back. I had always wanted a corseted dress. But on my wedding day the corset didn’t hold tight enough and the bodice of my dress was ill-fitted. I noticed later when I looked at the pictures. Too much space between the dress and my breast.

So, I chose these dresses. At first I felt good about my choices. I felt good when I wore them on the day of the event. But, when I see pictures after the fact I become regretful and self-critical. I blamed the dresses. But maybe it wasn’t the dresses after all. Maybe it’s what was inside the dress. Maybe it’s just me. I imagine one day wearing a dress that makes me drop dead gorgeous. Somehow forgetting that ultimately it will still be draping my body. And at the heart of my dress problem is really a body problem. Or should I say an image problem? I don’t much like my image. Now, what to do about it? First, stop blaming the dress.