My usual clothing is a dress. Sometimes a skirt and t-shirt. Most of the dresses and skirts are jersey or knit– they stretch and bend and in general are as comfortable as a track suit, but they look better. I can throw on my Hanna Anderson dress– a black boat-neck, mid-calf, mid-sleeved dress; add a scarf and be ready for anything. As uniforms go, this stuff works. They’re not all stretchy– I have a few linen sundresses and a couple of velveteen jumpers. But mostly I want fabric that gives.
Until the new dress. Because I can just about bet a year’s wages that my favorite clothing company will suddenly start selling nothing but ruched polyster baby doll dresses in loud, ghastly patterns, or bat-wing short sleeve sweaters in colors like “dust” and “ennui” and “sahara,” I keep a running tab on what comes up in my favorite lines eBay.
Last week there was a listing for a periwinkle blue sleeveless linen dress with an embroidered placket in the same blue around the collar. It was pretty. It was not my size, but instead it was at least a size, maybe two, too small. As it turns out, I was the only bidder anyway, and the dress came cheap. It was new with tags and carefully wrapped in tissue paper.
This dress is a sheath style, cut to skim the hips and bust. But there’s no “give.” This is formal linen, lined with a zipper up the back. It’s linen for weddings, job interviews, lunch at the Four Seasons. I had placed it on a hanger and was about to put it in the closet, when I thought– “Well, what the heck. I’ll try it and see how far away it is.”
Unzipping the dress, I pulled it over my head, sliding my arms through, then head. The dress uncoiled along my body, dropping like a linen waterfall from shoulders to hem. Well, wow. That was much better than I thought it might be. I reached behind me and slid the zipper partway up, and then called my husband to see if he could do the rest.
Up the zipper went over the small of my back, the long railroad of my spine. Nothing gapped. Nothing pulled tight. I could sit, I could stand, I could do jumping jacks. The dress fits. If anything it might be a tad large under the arms. It’s okay, I can have it taken in. It rustles oh so quietly when I walk. It is perfect. I couldn’t bear to hang it in the closet, I wanted to go on looking at it, so it has a temporary home on the back of the closet door. At least a size smaller, maybe two. This makes me grin. Now I just need a place to wear it. And maybe some new shoes.
Target number 55. Steps– oh I had to work at a desk all day. I intended to go upstairs to the treadmill– and suddenly I was out of day. So only 1531 for today. Breakfast was yogurt and granola, a banana and a hard-boiled egg. Lunch I cobbled together out of a can of solid albacore, a little lime mayo and a little sriracha, half an avocado and another hard-boiled egg. Scrambled eggs with cheese and pico de gallo in a warm tortilla to round out the day. Oh and five little dried apricots.