friday feast: dress to please

“The body is the shell of the soul; and dress the husk of that shell; but the husk often tells what the kernel is.”
~ Anonymous      

I want a red dress.
I want it flimsy and cheap,
I want it too tight, I want to wear it
until someone tears it off me.

So says Kim Addonizio in her poem, “What Do Women Want?”

I also want a dress. 

More like, I need a dress.

For a wedding I have to attend in August.

I’ve looked and looked and looked, but can’t find one.

Here are the reasons:

I’m too old.
I’m too young.
I’m too short.
Someone stole my waist.
Too stiff, too flimsy, too clingy.
Itchy, ugly, fluffy, frilly.

No, I’m not picky.

I know exactly what I want — a dress that’s me, really me.

A dress that’s modest and cultured.

That won’t show too much of my foolish pride.

Something comfortable enough to lounge around in.

That will make me feel light and carefree.

A dress like Cinderella wore to the ball.

That’ll allow me to roam at will.

And give me a chance to stop and inhale the poppies.

A dress that won’t make me feel like a house slave.

But a hip, sassy, minx who turns heads.

How I wish for a simple little number for when I receive gentleman callers!

Why, I ask you, should it be so hard?

Friends, this fruitless search has driven me to despair.

Maybe because people see me as Pollyanna.

When deep down, I’m really someone else.

Or wish I could be.

What does your favorite dress say about you?

Clothe yourself in “What Do Women Want?” here, and feel the power!

Today’s Poetry Friday Roundup is at Cuentecitos.


“Be careless in your dress if you must, but keep a tidy soul.”
~ Mark Twain

“Women dress alike all over the world: they dress to be annoying to other women.”   ~ Elsa Schiaparelli

46 thoughts on “friday feast: dress to please

  1. I like the poem, and LOVE your post! I’ll be smiling all day over this one…
    (My favorite was a light blue suit with a fake fur collar when I was 8.)


  2. Wouldn’t it be cool if you were looking for a dress, and you found one, and looked at the label, and that poem was there??? Seriously, I’ve always thought clothes (and shoes) go well with poetry. I want a line of T-shirts that have poems printed on the inside, close to your skin, like armor. And dresses that make you feel like a poem when you wear them.
    Any chance a dressmaker could make you what you want?


  3. I love the idea of poems on (or in) clothes, too! It’s similar to my obsession with words on dishes.
    Thanks for your suggestion. I’ll keep looking for now, and also check into who makes dresses around here.


  4. LOVE this post and all the great pics!!
    It is hard to find a great dress these days. I don’t know why. I don’t even have any dresses these days. Occasionally, I look, but nothing ever jumps out at me.
    But I wish you luck – you’ll have to post the one you end up getting!!!


  5. TadMack says: 🙂
    Look at how cute you are! I like the Dress of Six. I had a dress that was like the polka dotted one, only it was navy blue and white with gauzy sleeves. I thought they’d bury me in that one, too, but alas. Good luck with the dress. I hate shopping so much that the idea of having to go to any weddings this summer fills me with deep dismay. I have nothing to wear either, but I really now feel an odd urge for a red dress…
    Thanks for all the work on this post. The photographic essay speaks volumes!


  6. Karen Edmisten
    I love this post! And I love that little red number you’re wearing at the end. 🙂
    I have all the same problems with dresses. Maybe I should stop shopping for chocolate, and other things will fall into place.


  7. I agree!
    I have no dresses in my wardrobe. A few flouncy skirts, but other than that, slacks.
    I so loved this post. It’s whimsical and so relatable. When you find that perfect dress, I hope you’ll give us a fashion show. 🙂


  8. Loved this post!
    I like the poppy dress. If I was young and thin. I’m not much of a dress person. My body wasn’t made for dresses either. Too short.
    I had one dress when I was 25. It was black and fit like a dream and I was slim and it looked great and I felt like a princess. I don’t think I could put it on my thigh now.


  9. LOL! Oh, to be 25 again. It really isn’t our fault. The dress manufacturers have always catered to the tall, thin demographic. Lots of the petite styles don’t suit, either, making me look like Mrs. Munchkin.


  10. Your six-year-old dress is so cute! The last time I needed a dress for a wedding, I ended up buying a long skirt and pairing it with a solid colour top and the good jewellery.


  11. That picture you used for “lounging around in”? That’s just what I look like lounging around the house! However did you guess?
    (Time out for hysterical laughter.)
    During all these years when I’ve actually had a waist, dress manufacturers were making these stupid dresses where the waistline is right under the bust. Like a maternity dress. Now that I’m getting older and my weight is inevitably creeping upward, I predict the return of the dress with the real waistline.
    There were years when I couldn’t find anything without shoulder pads. I hate shoulder pads. And don’t even get me started on mini-skirts.
    Now I only have 3 goals for a new piece of clothing:
    It must look good.
    It must feel good.
    It must not need dry cleaning.
    You wouldn’t believe how hard it is to find clothes that meet all 3 criteria. Or maybe you would.
    No soup for the dressmakers!


  12. I thought that WAS you in the lounging around picture (that’s why I chose it)!
    I’d settle for 2 out of your 3 goals at this point. The dry cleaning bill wouldn’t bother me since I probably wouldn’t wear the dress very often.
    Shoulder pads? I used to cut them off. I collected a garbage bag full of them, thinking there MUST be a way to recycle them. But no, they wouldn’t even work for breast enhancement :).
    I’ve also been seeing a lot of strapless dresses. Believe me, I admire women who can fill those out and keep them up!


  13. My favourite dress … will you take a skirt/shirt combo?
    I picked up a gauzy, floor-length blue patterned skirt secondhand, and I love pairing it with a t-shirt of some sort; a long, vibrant scarf in my hair; dangly silver earrings; little to no makeup. And red-and-white-and-black sports sandals. That right there is pretty much my favourite outfit right now. I adore it.
    (I don’t remember the last time I wore a dress. Probably around the time I hit double-digits.)
    *hums ‘I feel pretty’ and twirls about the room with Jama*


  14. Ooh, the blue gauzy skirt sounds like my cup of tea! I like more freeflowing/bohemian stuff vs. tailored stuff. But then, I can’t always carry it off. Love your dancing user pic!


  15. SUCH a fun post to read! This speaks to any woman who has ever agonized over finding “the” dress! I am currently searching for a little black, post-pregnancy, number to wear to an event. The search can be maddening. Let us know what dress you choose!


  16. You really outdid yourself with this post! VERY funny. GREAT poem.
    I want one of Sara’s poetry t-shirts.
    Mary Lee


  17. Red Dress
    Elaine M.
    Great poem…great pictures…great post! Funny thing–now that I’m a “sixty something” I never wear dresses anymore…but if I did, I’d wear a red one–my husband loves me in red!!!


  18. Love your post, Jama. Clearly, you need a fabulous red dress. I am the world’s worst shopper, but I wish you luck and hope you’ll show us what you find!


  19. Thanks, Laura. Lately shopping for clothes hasn’t been my thing at all.
    BTW, I saw A Visitor for Bear the other day at Borders! Very exciting! It was prominently displayed at eye level!


  20. This is a beautiful beautiful post! And in 2008 at that! Resonates with me a great deal. I love clothes and having my odd fashion style kind of show a glimpse of who I am. I love the pictures, the poetry, everything! 🙂


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