Like many children of the 80s and 90s, I grew up in hardy denim and flannel, saving dresses (usually in too-warm velvet, rustly tafetta and itchy chiffon) for family weddings, birthdays, engagements, naming ceremonies, pretty much any gathering of more than 4 people… (ah, Nigerians!). So of course, I hated dresses, and all that they stood for. But now? Now, in a predictable Hollywood-style twist, I LOVE DRESSES.
I have at least 30 dresses – some I’ve never worn before (Hello, strapless black & white checkered puffball! Seriously, was I in a sugar coma when I bought that?) and many of the well-loved variety too. I have slinky – check out my avatar for the fringed wonder I wore to my school reunion – and I have work-appropriate – thank heaven for the always reliable Zara Basics range. And then come summertime, I have many wispy, lighter-than-air confections that do the bare minimum – protect my modesty, flirt with public decency laws and little else.
Dresses are the ultimate wardrobe item. I wear them when I’m feeling good, when I’m feeling bad, when I’m *delicate cough* ’between commissions’ and when I’m raking it in. I wear them when I’m angry, sad, celebrating, on nights out and on the quiet ones in. For the most part, they hide a multitude of sins when I’m bloated/PMSing/well-fed after lunch, but crucially show off my best assets when I’m not. Look, I’ll be frank, a large part of my love for dresses stems from vanity. With no false modesty, I declare that I have fabulous legs. I like to show them off (where appropriate, of course), ergo, I wear dresses. There is an appropriate dress for any occasion – just ask your mama.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve gone through a proper period of binge purchasing, and the vast majority of the clothing I bought was of the dress persuasion. I have not experienced buyers’ remorse with a single one of them. My next step is to diversify my dress options. So far, 99 per cent of my dresses are short – knee length or higher – but I intend to experiment with floor-skimming lengths when the weather warms up a notch. Last year, I bought a stunner from Sika Designs and then when I visited Nigeria in the summer, I had a seamstress make me one in ice blue. I. CANNOT. WAIT.