It’s now been a year since I bought my first novelty print dress (as an adult). I saw my beloved shark dress on Poshmark and couldn’t believe my luck–in a world of solids, polka-dots and stripes, had someone actually designed a quirky marine biology dress in a non-kid’s size?
Ever since, I’ve plunged fully into the world of whimsical clothing. Hey, if it’s affordable and boosts my mood and self-confidence every time I wear it, why not? I’ve managed to expand my collection to include dresses featuring dinosaurs, seahorses, mermaids, and rocketships, but as a historian and natural history nerd, I have a few ideas for some extra-strange novelty prints that I’d like to see some day…
1. The Greenland Shark
A normal shark print is good enough on its own, but why not take that to the next level by paying tribute to the world’s longest-living vertebrate? I bet a cute border of tiny Greenland shark designs would look good on a deep teal circle skirt.
2. Ocean sunfish
I make no secret of my love for sunfish, or Mola mola. Sure, they look like 50% of a fish, but in an adorable way. I think tiny mola silhouettes tessellated together would create a beautifully bizarre alternative to a houndstooth-style dress.
3. The Voynitch Manuscript
Fabric with handwriting/script prints is fairly commonplace. You know I won’t settle for anything less than a dress covered in selections from an undeciphered early modern codex written in a mysterious writing system.
4. Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty
Because I’m quite sure that no one will make a skirt that celebrates my favorite Earthwork, I’ll just go on pretending that every spiral print I see is a Robert Smithson reference.
5. Literally any bioluminescent deep-sea creature
Bonus points if the dress glows in the dark!
6. The Loch Ness Monster
I’m not exactly a pro-Nessie believer, but I would love to have sweet plesiosaurs interlocking on a green dress with a Peter Pan collar.
7. Tiktaalik, of course!
My beloved fishapod! As usual, if anyone can find a tiktaalik-print dress for me anywhere in the world, you’d have my eternal gratitude.
So–anyone want to start a fashion line?