Let me start this blog post by saying that we have ALL made mistakes. Some of them are catastrophic mistakes (like the time I decided to cut my own fringe in Singapore), and others are minor misdemeanours (like wearing matching overalls to the shopping centre with your best friend). Either way, when I look back over the years of my life in terms of fashion revolutions, there are some epic face-palm moments.
The first time I ever got a clue that my tastes were a little more adventurous than the average girl was when I was 16, and in Canada for a ballet competition. Our chaperone, who is now a very special friend, turned to me at one of the events we had to attend to during the week (this one a garden party at a sponsor’s house) and said, “My god you are so eccentric! No one else would chose a dress like that- I LOVE IT!”
I remember being completely taken aback. I was wearing my favourite dress of all time. In fact I had spend weeks saving up my teaching money ($20 a week back then) to pay this dress off on layby. It was the softest pink colour, with eyelet lace around the neck, hem and sleeves. It was nipped in at the waist, with an A-line skirt, and my favourite part was the big balloon sleeves. I felt like a princess in it. I should probably mention at this juncture that the fabric had very small, faint teddy bears cuddling one another around the hem line.
Anyway, I got home to Australia, decided I was eccentric and childish, put the dress in the pile to go to the Op Shop and went out and bought a tie-dyed poncho. *Sigh*. Out of all the clothes I’ve ever owned, that dress is the one that floats through my mind from time to time, and I actually wish that despite the dancing bears, I’d never gotten rid of it. As much as I’ve tried in the intervening years to find anything that resembles it, I’ve never had success.
Fast forward 10 years and balloon sleeves are a “thing”. They’re everywhere, and I’m digging them just as much as ever before. I was in Zara, and I picked this dress up. Once I had it on in the fitting room, I realised the silhouette was almost exactly the same as my dancing bears dress! Could it be that I had found a more practical version of my favourite frock? In all honesty, I think it’s as close as I’ll ever come to finding something similar, and it’s not leaving my wardrobe any time soon.
I’m sure I’ll continue making fashion faux pas, and in another 10 years I’ll look back on photos and wonder what ever possessed me to wear the clothes I’m currently wearing, but then there are also the outfits you can smile at and remember fondly, and I think dresses like these belong in that category for me.