Justin surprised me with a proposal to take a ferry, visit our favorite town, have a nice dinner and go back home late. Not that it was something unusual for us, we have little trips to places we love quite frequently, but it was in the middle of the work week, in the evening, and that made it unusual. So my outfit also had to be unusual - maybe not for some women who are 100% confident in their bodies (do such women even exist?), but for me. I'm braver when I'm with him. I knew this dress would be out of my comfort zone - I wore it before, what can I say, the looks from men I get when I wear it, are much more favorable than the looks from women. I understand. I also used to be so freakishly self-conscious about my shape, even when really, there was absolutely nothing to freak out about, that I know exactly what's going on in those women's heads. Don't worry, ladies. I don't consider myself so perfectly perfect that I can wear dresses like this one. But the difference between your and my outlook on such dresses and my shape is that I'm not looking for anyone's approval. Not anymore. I know who I am, I know what I want, I know that if I never do things that make me just a little bit uncomfortable, I will never grow. I'm not saying I never worry about what others think of me. It's probably nearly impossible to never ever think such thoughts. But I don't let those thoughts stop me. If I like something, if it seems like fun, if I want to try it and see how it feels - then I'm game, with or without approval.
I was not the only one who set her sails that evening...
I couldn't decide which of my long line cardigans to wear with the dress and grabbed both, my old white waterfall cardigan and my new cocoon one, thinking that photos would tell me which is best. I must admit I still can't decide - I like them both. I love the way my old cardigan falls upfront and how it works with the narrow skirt. And I also love how the cocoon cardigan frames the dress. What's your vote?
Typically, I would wear shape-wear with body-conscious dresses, but in Summer, I can't even think of it, even though it was not a hot day. Wearing shape-wear, though uncomfortable, gives you a slightly better shape and therefore, more confidence to wear such clothing. But I think, in the end, only one thing truly matters, and it is... do you really accept yourself the way you are now, or not. And to me, nothing matters as much as my capability to accept and move on - to accept myself, a particular situation in life, or my own body. It all boils down to acceptance to me. I think we all master acceptance in some ways, while feeling wobbly in others. I think it's all just fine, it's only human. Sometimes we make big leaps, but mostly we move gradually, one step at a time. And I do make a choice to accept more every day, little by little, step by step. Wearing a dress like this one, even though it still makes me quite self-conscious, is also at the same time strangely therapeutic and liberating.
Whatever you're struggling with in life, make an attempt to accept it, set your sail and set yourself free.
Dress - ASOS Curve
Cardigans & jewelry - LB, Chico's
Shoes - Born
Hat - Old Navy