Gap Striped Dress, Loafers,White Belt, Red Boater: All Thrifted.
We used to have a Gap in our local mall several years ago that eventually went out; since then I haven't stepped in a Gap since. I remember as a pre-teen girl thinking it was the most spectacular place. The racks of pristine clothing, the variations of jean styles on the walls, neatly folded cardigans in every color laid on rounded tables. It was a place for older girls, cooler girls than myself at just 13 years old. For Easter though that year my mother and I were looking for a dress and our usual hotspots of JcPenny's and Kohl's had us empty handed, so we slipped into The Gap.
I remember picking it up and being so in awe. This strapless, a-line dress that came down to tea length on my short, youthful frame. It was made in a mint green plaid poplin of sorts, with a nipped waist and lining to boot. I begged my mother to let me try it on and I went back to the dressing rooms, feeling like a hot shot at only 13 to be trying on such an adult dress. I loved it. I loved every bit of that Gap dress and it was the first time I can remember feeling a garment change who I was. It made me feel something; it made me feel powerful and older and beautiful. A true feat for an insecure pre-teen girl who'd grown up feeling incredibly ugly. Even though the dress was expensive, my mother bought me it and I was the happiest girl in the world to see the hip, striking cashier girl wrap my beloved dress in fine white tissue paper and slip it into an iconic Gap bag.
I wore that dress for Easter that year and for many more events in the years to come. Every excuse I could get to wear it, I did. Eventually as I grew older and more "fashion forward" the dress became dowdy to me and embarrassing...I realized it was too big in the bust, the length overwhelmed me, and it really wasn't that flattering at all. I think I gave it to good will or something, I can't be even entirely too sure, but I know I gave the dress away and I wish I hadn't. It sounds silly, but I wish I'd kept it because it was the first piece of clothing that made me feel something. And that's exactly what clothing is supposed to make you do-- make you feel. It could remind you of a memory you had in it, of a person, of a place...It can make you feel happy, sad, angry, or peaceful. It can turn you into a confident style maven or a lady of the past. But a garment should make you feel something and if it doesn't, in my eyes you're doing it all wrong.
It's all a round about connection to the dress I'm wearing in these photos. Just a thrifted, striped dress I picked up over the weekend. But it's from The Gap, and I haven't slipped into anything from there since my strapless, plaid, sundress. I couldn't help but remember that little thing when I tried this one on; funny how some things come full circle.
With much love, Lauren.