A Statement Piece: The Dress

Half of my closet consists of dresses, and I am nowhere near ashamed to admit it. Fortunately, my closet isn’t a walk-in because that would encourage the dress obsession I’ve developed since I was a little girl.

Dresses are more than a piece of clothing.

Like every other outfit and article of clothing, a dress–the style, pattern, colors–can speak volumes about who you are and how you’re feeling.

Personally, when I am mentally drained, it shows in my physical decisions, starting with whether I decide to put pants on or let my strawberry legs run free. If I’m down bad and really stuck in my brain, I don’t have the physical energy to wear pants (unless I absolutely have to, like for work).

If I had to categorize the dresses in my closet, it would be: incredibly casual, church ready, & easily transitional.

Incredibly Casual

My recent dress obsession is a 3XL men’s t-shirt. If styled correctly, you can serve a look without looking like you rolled out of bed. I would totally have a picture of this, but all my 3XL shirts are dirty (time for laundry but trying to hold out since it’s now $4.50 per load). We’ll have to go with this instead:

Details:
Dress – H&M
Bucket Hat – Amazon
Tote – ATL Hair Show

Most worn:
When I know I’m going to have a fun productive day (as in sitting behind my computer for hours editing and/or blogging) or when I know I’m going to have a lazy day that will result in me sleeping in whatever I’m wearing.
When I have errands I have to do, but really don’t want to because I’m not in a good headspace, and I couldn’t care less who sees me.
When I am out of town and only utilizing a carry-on.

How I feel:
Free. Somehow, I’m not scared of being judged when I wear this dress or my 3XL t-shirts. I’m comfortable and happy with my comfort, and that’s all that matters.

What it says about me:
I will steal the clothing of whatever man ends up being my life partner and turn his clothing into a fashion statement (hahahaha).
I value feeling comfortable in my own skin, and to feel comfortable in my surroundings, I need to feel comfortable in my clothing first.
I am so self-aware that I know when I will have a lazy day, and I think so far ahead (sometimes too much) that I prepare for when I’m going to sleep before the day has even begun.

Church Ready

Details:
Dress – Secondhand from relative
Hat – Target (trying to cover those roots)

Most worn:
No lie, church. The only time I frequently dress up is for church.
Sometimes, I dress up when I’m spending the day at home just to feel something.

How I feel:
A weird combination of sexy, confident, and scared.
Normally I only feel scared when I am in the presence of other women who are dressed up but actually know how to do their makeup. Yes, I am like everyone else and can’t help but compare.

What it says about me:
If the assignment is to dress up, you bet your bottom dollar I will do everything I can to understand the assignment and stand out.
I rely on my clothing to disguise the insecurities I consistently feel about my bare face and, sometimes, my body shape.

Easily Transitional

Details:
Dress – Secondhand from relative
Outerwear – Goodwill
Bucket Hat – Amazon
Sneakers – Weren’t supposed to be worn with this outfit so pretend they’re not there

Most worn:
When I start the day with a pointless Target trip where I might see someone I know and end the day having dinner with opinionated relatives.
When attending an event where a lot of walking, dancing, or standing is involved (like a concert).
On an after work or after church date with myself.

How I feel:
I don’t know how to explain it. Like, nobody can say anything to knock me down.
Not quite confident but also not quite insecure.
Kind of numb to everything.

What it says about me:
I am always prepared for whatever may happen or come up throughout the day, especially if an alteration in dress code is necessary.
I am versatile the same way my curated outfits are versatile; you never know which state of Jamilah you’re going to get. Is she in her head and chaotic? Is she in her head and about to cry over shoe laces?


Photo at the grocery store taken by Jamilah with a self-timer
Final two sets of photos taken by ADM
Photos edited by ADM

about the author

Jamilah is a college graduate in her early twenties who wants to live and learn and love herself while fighting the anxiety fight.

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