a year in well-worn dresses

outfits of 2018 (1 of 3)

pastel dream dress (1 of 2)

Though all blogs, diaries, and long-lost firsthand personal narratives remain selective in the facets of an individual’s life that they present, I assure you that my love for dresses as expressed through my social media holds a very strong basis in reality. I wear dresses (and occasionally skirts) nearly every day – I can remember with perfect clarity each of the few instances in which I’ve chosen a pair of leggings or pants instead over the past year.

Given that I have become what can be fairly described as a “dress collector,” of course, I now prioritize different qualities in garments than I did in the past. I love dresses that seem to last forever, and can be worn countless times in various situations. Some of this past year’s acquisitions, fortunately, appear able to withstand any challenge – and will ideally remain part of my wardrobe well into 2020 and beyond!

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ex libris

Literary Dress (3 of 3)Literary Dress (1 of 3)

For every book cover printed on this dress, I can assure you that I have a real-world equivalent stacked in the massive monolith of research texts I acquired for the end of this semester.

Sometimes the treasures that fall into my hands through interlibrary loans astound me. A few weeks ago, I went to retrieve a stack of books about the Lindisfarne Gospels and wound up with a resplendent gold-embossed tome from 1908, its covers graced with as much elaborate interlace as the Gospels themselves. I felt almost afraid to touch it, much less page through in search of historiographical significance – it currently sits on a single shelf in my office like an arcane sorceress’ grimoire. 

Literary Dress (2 of 3)

I wore this dress not for an endless day of research (of which I’ve had many of late) but to celebrate my favorite poet’s birthday, an occasion for which I participated in a reading of an eccentrically droll children’s Christmas story from the nineteenth century. I have to confess that the experience of holding that original book up for the audience to see absolutely delighted me. 

I wonder how perplexed (or delighted) these various writers from the past century would be to find that the vogue for ornamental Victorian book covers has persisted to the extent that I own a dress covered in their likenesses! 

skydancing

pastel dream dress (3 of 5)pastel dream dress (2 of 5)pastel dream dress (2 of 2)

This dress reminds me of a more gently colorful and joyous period in my life: that brief stretch of my youth wherein I acquired an admirable collection of pastel-hued, fantasy-themed 90s toys. I wish more than anything that I had kept my Starcastle, which boasts the unique distinction of serving as both protective fortress and enchanting carousel alike. (Not to mention the fact that it apparently turned into a tea set.) Alas, my younger equivalent could never have imagined that her Mainland-dwelling, engaged-and-in-grad-school future self would have genuinely wanted to display a glittery plastic castleI understand the success of eBay with the nostalgia generation all too well.

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milo james thatch

tweed dress (1 of 2)-2tweed dress (2 of 2)-2

For some reason, I attempted to channel a vaguely Atlantis: The Lost Empire aesthetic for my first day of the spring semester. Milo Thatch, after all, has always been my number-one fictional academic inspiration.

Will such a style help me with art history, though? Likely not — but if I need to decipher any runes or mythical cartography I might be okay.

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my favorite outfits: 2017 edition

 

rabbits & the moon  my first petticoat! ♡ cosmic & canine

cute & cephalopoda she buys seashells ♡ return to the sea

tidepool time rose-y cotton ♡ burgundy every burgunday

Given this general delinquency in terms of my blogging consistency this year, I almost feel like I don’t deserve to pepper this coming week with unwarranted “round-up” posts–but I hope the nostalgic alchemy of year-end reflections will transform my posting malaise into something golden.

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outfit of the [yester]day: floral fish!

floral fish (4 of 4)floral fish (2 of 4)I attempted to create a more nuanced title for this post, but let’s face it–with a concept this incredible, there’s honestly not much I could possibly improve with a pun.

Meet the floral fish dress! I’m not sure which Lindy Bop fabric designer is responsible for this quirky land-meets-sea mashup, but they are my type of person. Its triangular collar provides some needed variety to my wardrobe, which is currently so devoted to Peter Pan [collars] that it might as well be a Lost Boy.

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be yourself, unless you can be a medieval unicorn

unicorn (3 of 3)Historiae_animalium_1551_De_Monoceroteunicorn (2 of 3)

Unicorns! How curiously you’ve evolved in the popular consciousness over the past thousand years or so. I’m not one to consume sugary beverages named after these beguiling creatures, nor particularly a fan of the stylized neon unicorn that seem to permeate our visual culture these days – but man, do I love medieval and early modern unicorns.

This dress satisfies my fantasy need in a subtle way: spotting the unicorn amidst this pastel castle landscape is a true challenge, and from afar, the print looks like a simple blend of Fauvist colors. No one needs to know that a fairy tale is taking place on my very skirt!

(By the way, that handsome fellow above is from a sixteenth-century Swiss woodcut, back in the days when unicorns still had teeth!)

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