On Finding The Perfect Dress

My Response to a Group of Survivors of Domestic Violence.

Alexandra Stacey

--

As part of a program to help my adopted 4-year-old daughter some years ago, I was required to join the moms’ group. I spent sixteen weeks with eleven mothers who, with their children, were struggling to escape the violence they’d suffered at the hands of their partners.

I learned so much, not the least of which was a profound respect for the strength and determination of these women. It was an amazing experience.

As the interloper in the group, they asked me about my marriage. I enjoyed a solid, loving, and respectful relationship with my husband, and had shared many insights with them over our months together.

What follows is a piece I wrote for them that was most positively received. They all asked for copies to take home with them.

woman looking in the window of a shop that sells clothing and books
Photo by George Bakos on Unsplash

On Finding The Perfect Dress

Last week you asked how you would know that you’ve found the perfect dress, and when that was going to happen. I have given this a great deal of thought would like to share my experience with you.

The first dress I ever tried on was at my eighteenth birthday party. It was the worst dress you could imagine. I thought I liked the dress, but in the end, the zipper ripped wide open and, after trying to fix it back up, I ended up spending the rest of the party with the back of it caught in my pantyhose, feeling exposed, confused, and humiliated.

Most women, I think, would never want to wear a dress again after that. Understandably.

But I went out and tried on every dress I could, looking for the perfect dress, one so perfect that it would make up for that first disaster of a wardrobe failure. Most had one or two obvious flaws the moment I pulled them on. Some dresses were a decent fit. Some were even a little fun to wear. (A couple I never should have even thought about, you know, way too short and low cut, but exciting and liberating, but not ones you’d wear in front of your mother, if you know what I mean.) I remember two that were pretty good fits. I wore each of them for quite a while before I grew up a little, and they just didn’t suit me anymore. Nothing really wrong with the dresses. They just…

--

--

Alexandra Stacey

woman, mother, publisher, designer, artist, potter, builder, inventor, writer, voter, widow ~ so many stories, so little time. http://alexstacey.com