Wear The Damn Dress

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While I’m pretty much a jeans-and-a-sweater girl all winter long, once summer hits, I love a pretty dress. In years past, when I was in the absolute thick of mothering two tiny little boys, my pretty dresses were mostly just those stretchy, black jersey numbers. You know the ones: they’re stretchy, comfy, and (usually) easy to nurse in. But as the boys got older, my sartorial choices started expanding.

So let me summarize my breast cancer life lessons thusly: Wear the damn dress.

dress (s) also at Nordstrom | bag also here | bracelet | heels

Then, of course, I got breast cancer.

I wore the damn dresses --- I remember feeling, for the first time in a long time...like myself.

dress (s) also at Nordstrom | bag also here | bracelet | sunglasses | sneakers

It’s a funny thing, breast cancer. Once I fully recovered — and I did, in fact, fully recover; it’s been ten freaking years since my diagnosis — I spent a good amount of time deliberately not thinking about it. My life is full and complex and I hate labels because even good ones are limiting — and I needed (need?) my life to be about more than just being A Survivor.

If I’m honest, there are a zillion ways that breast cancer has impacted my life — my choices, my outlook, my perspectives, my parenting, my relationships. But that’s a story for another time, it can easily veer into maudlin territory, and right now the sun is shining, the waves are crashing, and my now-big boys are getting ready to go surfing (happily, they still like Mom to come and watch). So let me summarize my breast cancer life lessons thusly:

Wear the damn dress.

While putting on a dress is a physical act, it's also a bit of a mental trick and helps me be in the moment whether we're walking around Sicily or hanging out at home on a random weekend.

dress (s) also at Nordstrom | bag also here | bracelet | heels

This concept of Wearing The Damn Dress first dawned on me while I was packing for our little family’s first-ever “big” trip. Up until that point, all of our family vacations had simply been to visit other family, so this was the first time we were going somewhere all by ourselves. I had been dreaming big dreams of going overseas, but that felt daunting. So we started with five days in Puerto Rico (which I fully documented), and, in a fit of pique over my chemo-short hair, I packed a bunch of dresses, despite the very casual/outdoorsy itinerary.

Turns out, I happily wore the damn dresses. With sneakers and whatever sandals I brought. And I remember feeling, for the first time in a long time…like myself.

There's nothing that helps me transition into vacation mode faster than donning a truly beautiful dress.

dress (s) also at Nordstrom | bag also here | bracelet | sunglasses | sneakers

Now, our boys are older, I’m feeling healthy, and we’re traveling more than ever. And I’m still getting so much joy out of really special dresses. There’s nothing that helps me transition into vacation mode faster than donning a truly beautiful dress. While putting on a dress is a physical act, it’s also a bit of a mental trick and helps me be in the moment whether we’re walking around Sicily or hanging out at home on a random weekend.

I don't know, guys. Maybe just wear the damn dress.

dress (s) also at Nordstrom | bag also here | bracelet | heels

I don’t know, guys. Maybe just wear the damn dress.

If you're in the mood for a dramatic, gorgeous dress that is also immensely practical, I highly recommend a black midi or maxi dress in 100% natural fibers (cotton, linen or silk).

dress (s) also at Nordstrom | bag, also here | bracelet | sneakers

Make Way For Gorgeous, Glamorous Long Summer Dresses

If you’re in the mood for a dramatic, gorgeous dress that is also immensely practical, I highly (highly!!) recommend a black summer dress, midi or maxi length, in 100% natural fibers (cotton, linen or silk). I’ve found, time and again, that this sort of dress is my top choice for all kinds of city adventures. It’s cool, hides stains, and looks cute with sneakers. If interested, I wrote a whole article about this concept: What To Wear In NYC In The Summer.

If you just want to shop for some gorgeous black dresses…Voilà.

Midi & Maxi Dresses in Black

But if you’re in the mood for a dramatic dress… here are a few more that caught my eye:

Midi & Maxi Dresses In Colors, Prints & Whites

xo,

S

photo credits: Redfield Photography