{Daily outfit} Compromise. 9.28.12

Theory blazer? Thrifted. Vintage tee? Thrifted. Skinny jeans? Gap Outlet. 
Marc Fisher loafers? Thrifted. Belt? Forever 21.

Say hello to my favorite outfit combination for fall: a blazer, vintage tee, and skinny jeans. Much like a tuxedo tee shirt, this outfit tells the world that I'm perfectly capable of wearing formal pieces if they're paired with something ridiculous. It also communicates my unadulterated obsession with vintage tee shirts, of which I have many. I am all about justifying my psychiatric issues.

On living alone.

for sale

There's a house for sale in my neighborhood. It has hardwood floors, granite counters in the kitchen, new carpet and a spacious backyard. I know these details because I've been inside this house. I stood inside the master bathroom shower. I planned what flowers I'd plant in the backyard - daisies, I think. I pictured my vintage overcoats hanging in the coat closet. It's a nice house, the kind of place neighbors congregate for barbecues and games of darts. The kind of place I can see myself living in.

Today I put in an offer for this house. If all goes well, I'll be moving in by October 31st. Just me and my kids, in a new house.

Just us.

It's embarrassing to admit that I've never lived alone. I've spent the last 38 years absorbing the soothing hum of another person cohabitating beside me. I don't even know what it's like to be totally alone, in my own space, with the freedom to do all those things you can do without another person around. Living alone means you have all the time in the world to do things that might be embarrassing if you were walked in on by roommates or spouses or boyfriends. Like cooking breakfast naked. And dancing around the living room to something really cheesy and embarrassing, like Britney Spears. And painting the bathroom pink in the middle of the night because you can't sleep. And drinking a glass of wine at 11 in the morning, just because you can.

The closest I ever came to being on my own was my freshman year in college, when I shared a dorm room with a mostly absentee roommate. She was on the soccer team and spent more time on the field than in her bed. When she was around, she stole my CD's and flung mud out of her cleats into the rug and left piles of steaming workout clothes festering in the crevasse between her bed and the wall. We didn't talk much. From observations of visitors she brought into our room, I knew more about her taste in men than her favorite pizza toppings or what she was majoring in.

I didn't like living in that dorm room by myself. In the rooms next to and above and below mine, roommates were making mix tapes together and gossiping about boys and planning road trips and sharing notes from psychology class. I wanted to do those things with my roommate, too.

During sophomore year I decided to transfer to a local university for the rest of my undergrad education, commuting to campus from my mother's apartment. Between student loans and the meager paychecks from my two part-time jobs, I had barely enough money to pay for my books, occasional bar tab and a $5 footlongs from Subway, much less rent. My friends who lived off campus hastily constructed walls in their bedrooms out of milk crates to divide space for roommates. We talked about when I'd be able to move out.

"Soon," I swore, eyes bright with false excitement. We made plans, discussed paint colors for my bedroom, studied Craigslist for cheap furniture. But I was lying. I was terrified to live alone.

During my senior year I met my husband, and before I knew it I was packing to leave my mother's apartment and move into his.

I wish I had been able to experience living alone before getting married. Living alone means the world becomes your independent playground. You can turn your phone off, get drunk on mimosas at brunch and then traipse around your neighborhood in a woozy condition without anyone finding out. You can make plans with yourself and only yourself without worrying about entertaining anyone else. Do you want to go to sleep at 7 pm and wake up at 5 am? Done. Feel like leaving the sink full of dishes for two days? Sure thing. Want to feast on cupcakes for dinner and watch episodes of Parenthood all night? Yup.

Living alone also means that there's no one to remind you to pay the electric bill. There's no one to  pick up light bulbs when the one in your lamp burns out, or coffee when you sleepily realize you forgot to buy some the day before. There's no one to take care of you when you get sick in the middle of the night. When something breaks, you're the only one there to fix it. There's no shoulder to cry on when you're sad and no one to complain to when you're angry. Living alone means your mistakes are private. You have the solitude to realize which decisions were destructive and which were opportunities for growth. This can feel desperately lonely. Your apartment or house yawns with a vast emptiness. The solitude can seem crushing.

The terror that I felt in college about moving out is still there. Despite the fact that I've managed to raise three kids, write a book and balance my budget, I still feel unprepared to live by myself. I don't know what I'll do if the garage door breaks. I'm not sure how to handle long evenings by myself. All newly divorced people have to survive this, and I will as well. Truthfully, I'm sort of excited about the opportunity to rediscover and redefine myself, as I've been defined by my marriage for so long. The thought of reclaiming my sense of self feels liberating.


Now I'd like to hear from you. Have you ever lived alone? What was this experience like? Do you think living alone made you stronger and more independent, or did it lead to isolation?

{Daily outfit} Temptation. 9.25.12

Neon tank? Gap. White tank? Target. Vintage skirt? Thrifted. Ballet flats? Thrifted. Pyramid bracelet? Forever 21. Vintage Coach satchel? Thrifted. 

I want you all to know that I am resisting the urge to type LEOPARD! LEOPARD!!! LEOPARDLEOPARD, LEOPARD!!" as the sole text of this post. I had a really great day at the Salvation Army last week, when I picked up this vintage skirt for $4. I also dug up a long sleeve 1950's black velvet and rhinestone dress, which I will debut as soon as I can find an occasion to wear it. That's the thing about the thrifts. You might not always find what you're looking for, but you'll always be tempted by something impractical.

{I Smile} 9.24.12

I Smile.

I share these moments with you.


The Dallas Flea was a couple of weeks ago, but I just can't resist sharing these photos. Tagging and setting up my space was a lot of work, but I had a blast. I managed to sell quite a bit of my vintage and made a few new friends too. The only downfall? I didn't have time to do much shopping myself. Sad face.

In the days leading up to the flea, I invited Jennifer of Blank White Frames to my house to do a little pre-flea shopping. Jennifer has been my best friend in my head for, oh, a while now, and it was a little thrilling to have her over. I tried not to be all fan girl while she shopped, but it was hard. I am just not that good at being cool.

Fall came to Dallas for approximately 9981 seconds last week, enticing me out of the air conditioned comfort of my house to a park nearby. I sat under a leafy tree, enjoying a cool breeze and picnic lunch. Why does food taste better when eaten outdoors? The world may never know.

Out of all the instruments in middle school orchestra, my daughter decided to learn to play bass. Because she's awesome.

And finally, a little vintage Missoni to close this post. That print and those colors are enough to make anyone smile.

What are some things that make you smile this week?

Share your smiles in the comments!
(All photos found on Instagram: @dresscourage)

Thrift Yo Self: Vol. 3

Well hello there. It's Thursday, which means it's once again time to Thrift Yo Self. I've loved these posts, love that some of you have been linking up, and super love the fact that I'm now assured I have found my people (that's you. The ones who love thrifting as much as I do.) I'm pretty happy with my recent finds, though I haven't been thrifting as much as I usually do because of work and general life stuff. But I'm pretty happy with what I've found lately. So let's take a look, shall we?

 Vintage bar cart. $10. Thrifted at Goodwill, McKinney TX.

Sometimes I like to pour myself a double of whiskey, watch old episodes of Mad Men, and lament the fact that I am not a sexy vixen in a wiggle dress making the men at my ad agency pant with desire.This 1960's bar cart will help keep my fantasy alive. And in case you're wondering, I drink for medicinal purposes only, because I am a lady. Stop looking at me like that.

 Early 1900's dress form. Thrifted at some random antique mall in Dallas, TX.

Once upon a time I planned to open at Etsy shop selling my vintage wares. I designed a cute logo for the shop, tagged and organized all my stuff, and thrifted this slightly wonky early 1900's dress form to display things on. Then I realized that hey, opening an Etsy shop is a lot of work. So I put it on hold until the fall. In the meantime, this dress form leans against a wall in my living room, naked, possibly tipsy, whining about being unemployed.

Leather and silver loafers. $3. Thrifted at The Purple Thrift Store, McKinney TX.

Last week I wore heels four days in a row. I wanted to die. I don't know how some of you waltz around in your four inch stilettos all the time, but I felt like I was being tortured and wanted to chop my feet off. It was that bad. So I was happy when I thrifted these comfy loafers last week. I love the stitching and silver tassels. And that fact that they're flat to the floor.


What have you thrifted lately? Feel free to leave a comment and share your favorite finds, tips and tricks, past scores, favorite places to go, etc. Or, even better, link to a post showing off your scores. There's no format to this link-up and no rules. Because rules are for fools.

(If you're reading this in Google reader, the code to link button might not be showing up. I do not know why this is. Click on over to my blog to see the full post.)

{Daily outfit} Typecast. 9.18.12

Vintage kimono? Thrifted. Black skinny pants? Joe's Jeans. White tee? Target. Wedges? Stuart Weitzman. Vintage Ruth Saltz clutch? Thrifted.

 If I were a completely different person, I would have worn something totally different to the Dallas Flea. That person probably would have dressed in green skinny jeans, a chambray shirt, brown knee-high boots and a gold monogrammed necklace - the apparent uniform of flea attendees. Sometimes I wonder if my camera wishes I were this kind of person, instead of the woman who wears thrifted vintage embroidered kimonos. But I'll never be the type who stick to a trendy uniform. You can count on me for that.

Come see me at The Dallas Flea!

Hey there Dallasites and Fort Worthers! Tomorrow I'll be pedaling my wares at The Dallas Flea. If you've never been to the flea, it's an indoor marketplace filled with booths offering antiques, vintage clothing, and designs from independent artists. A visit to the flea is the perfect way to begin the weekend and find that special piece you didn't know your closet was missing.

Here's a little sample of what I'll have to offer at the flea. There will be dresses from the 1950's through the 70's, vintage sequin blouses, high end designer pieces from Armani, Christian Dior, Ferragamo, Bottega Venetta, Burberry, Neiman Marcus, and Gucci, and everything in between. If you see anything you'd like for yourself and live out of town, shoot me an email! I'd be happy to ship anywhere in the United States.

Thrift Yo Self: Vol. 2

Happy Thursday! It's time to Thrift Yo Self once again. Let's bond over stories of treasures found, hand sanitizer and that time you found a vintage Coach bag in the bottom of the dollar bin. It's time for us to gather together and wax poetic about our thrift scores. Or at least show off what we've found.

Paul Simon, Morrissey, and New Order albums - $2 each. 
Thrifted at The Goodwill, Carrollton TX.

Back in July, my husband bought me a record player for my birthday. Naturally, this led to an obsession with finding records in the thrifts. Unfortunately, it's slim pickings out there when it comes to vinyl - unless you're looking for albums from Barry Manilow and classical orchestras and church choirs singing droning Christmas hymns. So I was super excited when I came across the above when I went thrifting yesterday. Morrissey on vinyl for two bucks? Yes and also please.

 1950's calf hair structured bag - $6. Thrifted at The Purple Thrift Store, McKinney TX.

This extra-large calf hair bag intrigued me as soon as I spied it on a display. I like how it manages to be simultaneously ladylike and yee haw wild wild west.


What have you thrifted lately? Feel free to leave a comment and share your favorite finds, tips and tricks, past scores, favorite places to go, etc. Or, even better, link to a post showing off your scores. There's no format to this link-up and no rules. Because rules are for fools. Grab a button too. That'd be awesome. And go visit your fellow thriftaholic's blog and say hello! We are all friends here.

Until next time! Which is a week from today.

(If you're reading this in Google reader, the code to link button might not be showing up. I do not know why this is. I am kind of a dunce when it comes to coding stuff. Click on over to my blog to see the full post.)

What does it mean to be angry?

 I used to live with a girl who was always angry.

"I hate you!!!" she'd scream, as she tossed a chair across the dining room.

"You're an ass!" she'd screech to her boyfriend on the phone.

"Screw you!" she'd sneer at her parents, who seemed perfectly lovely to me.

I remember being sort of terrified of this girl. She seemed to revel in her anger, moving through the house with a permanent snarl and a twitchiness that made me uneasy. She had long, thick blonde hair and a trust fund and the kind of body that made men turn their heads when we went out for ice cream. She was smart, and stylish, and wrote stupendously brilliant short stories that left me speechless. I could not figure out what she was so angry about.

Despite our shared living space, we never really became friends. I tried to talk to her. I tried to relax as we watched episodes of Law and Order and went out for pizza. But I was afraid of triggering her anger, of being at the receiving end of her rants and snarls and biting insults. And there was an irrefutable part of me that was jealous. I secretly wanted to be able to flip off the driver who cut me off in traffic and tell my mother exactly what I felt about her hair. I wanted to hurl profanities at my boyfriend when he didn't call as he promised he would.

Even today, when I remember my roommate's self-indulgent fury against whomever had wronged her, I feel a gnaw of envy.

It seems like everywhere I look, people are getting angry. On the highway, they tailgate and flip each other off and swerve chaotically between lanes. On television, reality stars throw drinks in each other's faces and talk behind their backs and flip tables over. Secrets and gossip turn friends of mine into frenemies, seemingly overnight.

I once saw a couple fight and break up in a frozen yogurt shop. They spit insults at one other as their cups of double chocolate swirl melted into sad heaps.

Sometimes I think I don't know how to be angry. Because I can't embrace it in the way everyone else can. Being angry makes me feel suffocated and nauseous and guilty, instead of superior and self-righteous. When I'm really angry I can't eat. I can't sleep. And I can't talk about it.

My husband and I got into a big fight over the phone last week. I had been angry for days,  employing the silent treatment in that ineffective sixth grade passive-aggressive way of being anger without showing it. Our fight escalated quickly, in the way only fights over the phone can. I called him an insensitive ass; he insinuated that I was a moody, unstable bitch. We went for each other's throats.

Eventually we paused, catching our breath.

"Why are we fighting?" he asked. It had been thirty minutes since we began.

"Because I'm angry!" I snarled. I was embarrassed. And frustrated. And confused. But I couldn't back down.

I was too far gone.

Later on, I felt terribly guilty about our fight, and the anger I experienced. Was I really a bitch? Did I overreact? The guilt was almost worse than my frustration about my inability to resolve the argument. It festered in the corners of my brain, tormenting me. I felt out of control.

Over the years, I've made concerted, ridiculous efforts to ignore the feelings I experience when I'm angry. I notice that bubble of hostility fester up and roll around in my stomach, but do nothing to relieve it. Confronting the source of my anger feels terrifying, like triggering a crazed monster lurking in my emotional closet. So I've engaged in all sorts of dysfunctional behavior to hide from it. Much of my eating disorder was a coping mechanism against anger. When I was sick, controlling what I ate felt less dangerous than getting into an argument. When I whittled my diet down to lettuce and fat-free turkey breast, I didn't worry about fights or being mad because I was only capable of concentrating on my anorexic behaviors. When I was starving myself, at least I knew what to expect.

The fact that this seemed totally rational at the time was enough for me to warrant a lesson in how to experience anger without hiding from it.

There doesn't seem to be a manual for learning how to be angry in a healthy way. Maybe it's just something you grasp as you get older. I want to learn how to be angry without turning into a scary angry person. I want to be able to tell my friend that his insults against my shoes piss me off without fearing the loss of our friendship and the fear of being a bitch and the guilt that inevitably follows after a fight. Because this inability of mine to be angry is embarrassing, and immature, and silly.

How do you experience anger? Have you ever had difficulty expressing it?

{Daily outfit} Gotta dance. 9.11.12

Vintage sequin tunic? Thrifted. Skinny pants? Joe's Jeans. Wedges? Stuart Weitzman. Vintage clutch? Thrifted.

There's nothing like throwing on a massive number of sequins to brighten up an ordinary morning. I feel a little guilty wearing this tunic to work, because it deserves a far more magnificent environment. Something like the wedding scene of Sex and the City 2, which is notable for it's flamboyant Liza Minnelli performance complete with choreographed jazz hands and gay choir and couture gowns that would make you weep. While I wasn't accompanied by Liza, queen of Broadway (as proclaimed on her Wikipedia page) while I hung dresses and spoke with customers at work, I felt her presence on my shoulder nonetheless.

{Daily outfit} Paint it black. 9.7.12

Vintage Hawaiian Tropic baseball tree? Buffalo Exchange. Vintage skirt? Thrifted. Banana Republic flats? Thrifted. Bracelets? Forever 21.

Last week I saw two women dressed entirely in black. One wore a complicated wrapped tunic with origami-like folds and a jagged hem over black leggings. I mention the tunic specifically because it resembled a chic straight jacket, the sort of piece that would take me 20 minutes to figure out how to wear. The other woman donned a simple black sheath dress and black belt with black ankle boots and black leather tote. It was 103 degrees out, the kind of day where all you want to do is stick your head in the freezer and shake your fists at the sky pleading for autumn to grace you with its presence.

I like this outfit not because it pairs well with my manic disposition. To those of you who thought that, well, that's not very nice. No, I like this outfit because it's not black. This outfit gives the finger to black, because it's colorful and bright and kept me cool and comfortable on a stifling hot day.

Do you wear a lot of black?

Thrift Yo Self: Vol. 1

Hello thrifters, cheapskates and awesome people! It's time to unite. It's time to bond over stories of treasures found, hand sanitizer and that time someone stole something out of your shopping cart. It's time for us to gather together and wax poetic about our thrift scores. Or at least show off what we've found.

It's no secret that thrifting is one of my favorite things to do. I hit up the Goodwills and the Salvation Army's and the many cavernous thrift shops that cover Dallas at least twice a week in search of cheap wares. Thrifting is my therapy. Give me a vintage tee shirt, a silk maxi shirt, or a weird piece of art and I'm in my happy place. I know lots of you love the thrill of the thrift, the gleeful feeling when you excavate the one perfect thing you've been hunting for from the depths of a rack.

I've been marinating over this idea for awhile now, and finally decided to get off my butt and do something about it. If you guys enjoy it and find it useful and fun, I'd love to make it into a weekly thing. Feel free to share your favorite finds, tips and tricks, past scores, favorite places to go, etc. There's no format to this link-up and no rules. Because rules are for fools.

So let's give this a shot.

1970's suede hat. Thrifted at The Purple Thrift Store, McKinney TX. $6

I am not much of a hat person. Mostly because my hair is short, and when I wear a hat I feel like my head shrinks down to Beetlejuice proportions. But I couldn't resist this bad boy. It's very Johnny Depp meets Dave Navarro with a dash of 70's honky tonk.

Sterling silver turquoise pendant. Thrifted at Plano Thrift, Plano TX. $4

I like turquoise. I like pendants. This is both. No brainer.

1963 Royal Typewriter w/ case and manual. Thrifted at The Purple Thrift Store, McKinney TX. $15

I have a thing for vintage typewriters. They harken back to a simpler time, before the internet and cell phones and laptops and The Jersey Shore. Before you go thinking I simply pulled this off a shelf, let me assure you that that's not how things went down. No, I snatched this thing off a display like a legitimate crazy thrift-lady, thankyouverymuch.

Me: "Hi, is this typewriter for sale?"

(Slightly terrified-looking employee): "Yes."

::Me, yanking baby blue perfection from display.

STLE: "We have more office supplies in the back."

Me, scampering towards the register with this typewriter: "NO I"M GOOD weeeeeeeeeeeee!"

End scene.

(If you're reading this in Google reader, the code to link button might not be showing up. I do not know why this is. I am kind of a dunce when it comes to coding stuff. Click on over to my blog to see the full post.)

Coming out of the dieting closet.

My mother enrolled me in Weight Watchers when I was twelve.

It was something we'd do together, she explained to me over breakfast one morning. I looked doubtful. It would be fun!, she proclaimed, a exaggerated smile of excitement brightening her face. A way for us to spend time out of the house one night a week. Just us girls.

I was overweight when I was a kid. I started putting on weight around the age of ten, when I became sick with asthma and pneumonia. While in the hospital, where I was pumped full of steroids for two weeks, my family brought food more enticing that those served by the nurses - pizza and candy and soda and sometimes even McDonald's. Between hacking and wheezing and breathing treatments, I'd share my M&M's with my brother, who was skinny as a whippet and spent most of his visits scowling jealously in a corner.

I gained weight in the hospital, and in the months afterwards, when exercise was restricted. Athletics didn't interest me, anyway. I was far more inclined to read Anne of Green Gables novels in the cozy nest of my room than throw a softball or run laps around a track. The seclusion was a comfort.

The fact that I was overweight didn't occur to me until my mother pointed it out. She's tsk as I poured my morning cereal, fussing over bits of Cheerios that sploshed over the side of my bowl. There were complicated diets concerning calorie counting and journals tracking everything I ate, diets that I mostly ignored. Until Weight Watchers.

Back in the 1980's, Weight Watchers meetings mostly revolved around the weigh-in. A scale loomed in the center of a room contained in the cave-like recesses of a musty church basement. The aroma of stale coffee permeated the air. Every week, my mother and I climbed onto that scale, often in front of a throng of people awaiting their turn on the gallows. I was the only kid there.

I felt sort of special, because of that.

When I lost weight, the Weight Watchers staff would make an announcement to the room. "Two pounds lost!" they'd squeal. My mother beamed. There was applause, hugs, nods of approval. When I didn't lose weight, a yawning silence prevailed. The lack of response humiliated me.

At home, between meetings, my mother and I would plan our meals. We'd pour over Weight Watchers cookbooks, dissecting the caloric difference between turkey meatballs and spaghetti squash and fat-free sauteed tofu. When I made a sandwich for lunch, I'd weigh single servings of turkey on a food scale as she hovered nearby.

"That's too much," she's declare, peeling off a slice. I'd stare at her glumly.

I lost thirty pounds at Weight Watchers. My mother was exceedingly proud of my accomplishment. She called me slim. To this day, I don't think there's another word I find more chilling. Slim was reserved for the emaciated models who stared vacantly from the pages of Seventeen magazines, deadened looks in their eyes as they gazed off at some point in the distance. Slim was the style of jeans I could buy at The Limited after losing weight. Slim slithers from your lips, serpent-like, a warning of the danger to come.

At Weight Watchers, I learned that I was good at losing weight. Counting calories and fat grams became an occupation. I enjoyed the mathematical simplification of determining what I could and could not eat. Food became either "good" or "bad." There were rules. If I followed those rules I felt powerful, in control, a teenager in size 0 jeans zipping through the day on a haze of flavored seltzer and saltines and fat-free turkey breast. When life became overwhelming I'd retrieve my calorie count book and methodically track what I'd eaten that day. That way, I could cope. I could distract myself from orchestra auditions and less than perfect grades and boys who wouldn't call and my parent's divorce and my brother's underage drinking.

I could cope.

Eventually, I became so good at dieting that it landed me in the hospital - this time, for anorexia. Ironically, it was the same hospital I'd stayed in when I was younger. Some of the nurses recognized me.

"Don't I look slim?" I crowed, to anyone who would listen. My clothes hung off me. My head was too big for my body.

They looked away.

For a long time I believed the only thing I was truly good at was not eating. While my mother attempted diet after diet, eating gallons of cabbage soup and grapefruit and miniscule Jenny Craig frozen entrees, I skipped meals entirely. As she battled against weight gain brought on by menopause and middle age, I got more emaciated. I entered treatment center after treatment center, "recovering" and getting discharged and relapsing again. Nothing made me feel as strong as starvation did. Nothing gave me as much confidence. Without it, I literally did not know who I was. Anorexia made all my decisions for me.

I'm coming up on the fourth anniversary of my last relapse and subsequent inpatient treatment stay. I am more than a little embarrassed and ashamed about the 20+ years I spent being sick. There is nothing glamorous about heart damage from laxative abuse and low kidney function and chronic dehydration. There is nothing admirable about missed holidays and birthdays and lost friendships because of time spent arguing with hospital staff over meals I had to eat. I actively don't dedicate much time to discussing my years spent languishing in treatment centers, gaining and losing weight and getting sick and better and sick again. For one thing, my psychiatric rap sheet is really nobody's business. After so many years of being known as The Girl With Anorexia, I don't want to associate with that identity anymore.

There are other reasons I don't like bringing up my eating disorder that are sort of the last vestiges of anorexic thinking. My worst fear is that someone will tell me that I look too fat to have ever been anorexic. Or "But you don't look like you have an eating disorder..." Which we all know is a load of bull. An eating disorder is a mental illness. It doesn't always come with a heroin chic look.

A lot of my real-life friends don't know about my anorexia history. And some of you, faithful readers of my blog, haven't know either. Truthfully, the creation of Dress With Courage was part of my recovery process. There is nothing more humbling (or terrifying) than posting photos of yourself on the internet for all the world to see. Maintaining a personal style blog keeps me accountable. It's an incredibly effective technique for staying healthy, humble, and out of treatment.

My daughter turns twelve this week. She's smart, and eloquent, and funny, and loves math and science and music and drawing anime and arguing with me about her bed time. She's also overweight, a solid kid blessed with the same sturdy eastern European stock that I am. She's not happy about her body. I know, because she's told me. But I'm resolved to teach her that there are so many more things that she can be good at other than dieting. Dieting is a bad word is our house. It always will be. And I'm determined to keep it that way.

What's your dieting history? Did you grow up with female role models who dieted?

{Daily outfit} You sexy thing. 9.4.12

Vintage dress? Buffalo Exchange. Vintage clutch? Estate sale. Shoes? DSW.

I feel like I've spent most of my life with a very narrow definition of "sexy." I'm not really comfortable with that word at all, to be honest. Sexiness seemed to revolve around wearing tight, short, cleavage-revealing clothes, preferably in an animal print, and towering heels. Red lipstick is involved too, and a mass of tousled hair, and an enhanced pout. I have no idea where I gleamed this cliche of sartorial sexiness from. Perhaps I read too many issues of Cosmo magazine when I was younger, and thus more impressionable. It's sort of stupid, this pinched definition of sexiness.

Somehow, when I put this dress on, I felt sexy. It's not tight or leopard printed. It doesn't reveal my boobs. And yet I felt sexy in it, and confident, and alluring, in a sort of va-va-voom secretarial Mad Men kind of way.You might not agree that it's sexy. Perhaps it isn't. But I like that it challenges my philosophy of sexiness. I like the bright green print. And I love how it flatters my curves.

What do you think dressing sexy looks like? Do you actively try to dress in a sexy way, or avoid it entirely?