October 28, 2009
My grandma wore a red dress when she was in school. She only had one dress and it was during the Great Depression. When she got teased about the fact that she wore it over and over, her brother lied at school, sticking up for her and said that she had FIVE red dresses that all looked the same.
I couldn't help but think of Mawmaw and her red dress when I agreed to 'review' this saucy Shabby Apple smock. I don't know what the one that my grandma wore looked like, but I sure loved the way this one looked on the model at the Shabby Apple website.
Sultry. Sixteen at best. Skinny. All things I am not at the moment.
Models make everything look great. Being in the midst of a recession myself, a free red dress to review sounded like a win/win situation. Free dress, something to wear to church, great review for Shabby Apple, and everyone's happy (mostly all the people having to look at my same two dresses over and over)... right? Well, I hoped it would turn out that way.
I failed to recall the fact that I am notorious for buying clothes that look GREAT on the hanger and not so wonderful on me. It isn't that this dress wasn't gorgeous or well-made. The style is hip, the bow is precious, the color is one of my favorites... but it just wasn't ME once I got it on. Those tell-tale words were the first to pop out: "Does this make me look fat?" Even my husband (who is very tactfully honest) said, "Man, Heather - that dress really makes you look top-heavy". Not something a nursing mama with a few extra pounds to lose needs to hear - but at least I know it wasn't just me that felt like the match (between me and the shiny new dress) wasn't made in heaven.
I fell in love with the Shabby Apple website after they contacted me. Seems they have a lot more to offer in beautiful clothing and accessories than just this one red dress. There are some classy outfits there (you can check them out by clicking their name in this post - I'm sure they would be thrilled). I wish I could exchange this red dress for one of these beauties below (which would probably hide a few more real and imagined flaws better than the one they sent):
I love a dress or skirt that I can hide in and wear tall boots with! Neutral colors and black are my favorites (along with fall colors). I look horrible in high heels, so casual, bohemian or long works best with me. Broomstick skirts are one of my favorite clothing items ever.
Even though it wasn't a match for me, I was impressed with the hand-sewn look and quality craftsmanship of the red dress. There are times when high heels are warranted; and some who don't shudder at the thought of wearing them (while carrying a 22lb infant around on your hip). I got a lot of compliments wearing the red dress (people noticed that there was a change in my wardrobe when dress #1 or dress #2 didn't show up at church). I have to admit that even if I felt frumpy, I know the dress made my frumpy a lot prettier. However... being a nursing mom, a picky clothes-picker, and a tad over-weight from this past pregnancy, I felt a little 'poofier' and more 'on display' than I would have preferred in it. I like to be behind the camera, so posing for the pictures was difficult. I still like to look nice even if I'm not having photos made, so it was nice to get compliments about how red was "my color".
I am my own worst critic... so I probably will not be wearing it again. You can likely identify with the reasons why. I'm sure that there's something in your closet that you THOUGHT was going to look great - but every time you put it on, you just don't feel like a movie-star in it? Well, that's how I felt in this dress. Such a sad 'free-dress' shame.
I'd gladly pass along this beautiful dress that I wore only once to someone who thinks they would shine in it. Do you know someone who wants a gently used amazingly cool Shabby Apple dress that just didn't look good on ME? I'm saving up so I can get a dress that hides all my real and imagined flaws better. I know that times are tight right now for a lot of folks, so I just want to share the love (and swag) with those who might not be able to afford a pretty church outfit themselves. I'd much rather someone be glowing in this dress than it collect dust in my closet.
Shoot me an email and stumble this post if you have a match in mind for my pretty red dress... and I'll pick someone who needs it and pass the red dress to someone who can truly appreciate it.