I have this thing about me where people perceive me to be very strong, and therefore impervious to insults.  There is a confidence in me that other people see that I am still learning to see for myself.  This perceived strength has somehow emboldened people to feel really comfortable saying things to me that are very painful, because it seems like I can take it.

On one such occasion a few years ago, one of my friends had recently been proposed to.  I took to Instagram to congratulate them with a post, like we tend to do these days.  I mean if it doesn’t make it to social media, then did it even really happen?  (Insert heavy sarcasm here).  This was one of like three separate, consecutive engagements.  After the age of 25 they seem to roll in one after the other.  Meanwhile I was in the midst of a serious love drought that has continued until this very day.  Seriously I think I may be going for some sort of record, but I digress.

Beneath my caption expressing excitement for my friend on her new journey, two dudes decided this would be the perfect opportunity to berate me for being single.  Makes sense, right?  If a woman is single, then she must be a terrible person and therefore worthy of scorn and ridicule.  Quick someone craft me a bedazzled scarlet letter ‘s’ for single so that I may go about town and have iced coffees and bagels thrown at my head.

Who the hell do I think I am to have standards and enjoy my own company?  Now I am paraphrasing here, but I think the comment went something like, “Damn, what is this like the third one of your friends getting married?  You better start settling, or you gon be Miss 27 dresses.”  (This is a reference to a rom com starring Katherine Heigel wherein the phrase “Always a bridesmaid, never a bride,” was played out).  To which the second dude replied, “Yeah you better find somebody or you gon be up in New York living alone with a bunch of cats.”  To which I replied that as long as all 27 of those dresses are designer, and expertly tailored, and said house in which I would live alone is a brownstone in Brooklyn that I own, and we change the cats to dogs, then I don’t really see a problem here.  That shit really hurt me, and for a while I thought about how I could get back at those guys, but God is real.  One of them gained a massive amount of weight and the other one’s hairline was taken so far back that he finally had to go bald, and he is nobody’s Common, so I felt vindicated.

Anyway, I stand by my statement, because I actually quite love dresses.  They are the bee’s knees.  They’re so easy to style, and such a declaration of unapologetic femininity.  Honestly when people say to dress comfortably, I assume it means to wear a stylish dress.  Comfort is subjective people.  I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that all most bridesmaid’s dresses are truly abhorrent.  What better way to show your appreciation for the women you love most in the world than for you to obligate them to wear an unflattering, ill-fitting dress in front of a crowd of people who will be photographing them constantly so that there is lasting proof?

At any rate, the notion of an extensive collection of dresses of my own choosing and styling is a dream that I aim to realize every pay period.  However, as I was “shopping my closet” for a shoot, I noticed that most of my dresses are black.  Most of my clothes for that matter aren’t as colorful or vibrant as I would like for them to be, so I came up with a few shopping rules to update my wardrobe:

  • For every one piece that I buy, I have to find something in my closet to give away.  This is an easy way to curate your closet, and not end up with a bunch of useless pieces that render you in a constant state of “I have nothing to wear.”
  • Anything that I buy has to have color, texture, and/or patterns.  These requirements will enable me to stay true to my aesthetic, but also shake things up a bit.
  • Stay the hell away from fast fashion.  Fast fashion is problematic as hell.  Sure it’s great for a trendy new look when you’re in a pinch, and it does make fashion accessible, but let’s be honest here.  Most of the things from those retailers don’t last past one season. Not only do you end up going out and having hella twins, because you’re all shopping at the same three stores, but you also end up with clothes you have to throw out.  I do mean throw out, because the quality is so trash that these items can’t be given away or donated.  Then you have to buy more clothes to replace pieces that actually become trash, because they’re unwearable.  Fast fashion creates actual trash.  That’s not to say I’m not going to get rid of everything I own from those stores, but I am going to expand my shopping to other retailers, and invest in more quality pieces that last, and/or can be recycled.

I put these rules into action when I was selected to moderate a panel at the Ladies Who Brunch business conference, resulting in the purchase of this dress by Delfi Collective.  I discovered this collection on the Instagram page of one of my favorite rising style stars, Nia Jervier.  Coincidentally, her Dear White People co-star Ashley Blaine Featherson (another rising style star) owns this same dress, which I found online.  I truly hate shopping online, especially when I’m not familiar with the designer and how their pieces fit curvy bodies.  I had to make an exception in this case because, the dress not only met my updated style requirements, it was marked down to 80% off.  The catch is that it was final sale.  Not to be defeated, I discovered that Saks carries Delfi Collective in their stores, so I went in to try on a similar piece.  To my surprise, it fit, so I ordered the one on sale online.  I paired it with a pair of Aldo sandals that I had been saving for months, and voila the look was a big hit.  In summation, people are sometimes terrible, so buy great clothes.