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I was on the train today noticing men and women coming back from work. I was going to a networking dinner, so naturally I was dressed in business attire. I decided to put on a dress that I’d gotten last summer from an aunt in the UK. It was grey and quite conservative overall, but also very shapely. It looked good on me, but even though I barely have a belly, I was self-conscious about how my tummy looked in the form fitting business dress.

I’ve spent a lot of time on this blog raging about how dresses are the best and we should all wear dresses, but having worn one today for the first time in a long time, I remember the pains that come with wearing a business dress.

  1. It doesn’t look good on you everywhere. It’s unforgiving to imperfections meaning that maybe your rear may look great but if you don’t like your thighs or arms or tummy, there’s basically nothing you can do to adjust or change the appearance besides put something on top, which isn’t always as cute.
  2. You get glances and stares from men you wouldn’t usually get stares from simply because you’re female and wearing a form fitting dress, which on the way to work or dinner, isn’t fun at all.
  3. You need a particular kind of blazer to throw on top of a dress. It has to hug your body, so your regular blazer that you wear with a shell or button down may not cut it. And that’s kind of annoying to have to buy a blazer specifically for dresses.

So takeaways I have from today: make dresses that work. They should be attractive, yes, but perhaps it’s not wise to produce more Sheryl Sandberg dresses. It doesn’t work for the imperfectly perfect female body. We need dresses that will hug but give space and material that is forgiving to imperfections. I’m not entirely sure what that would look like but I’m excited to get sketching and figure that out!