What inspired this outfit?
Natasha Wornette: Honestly, I hardly ever wear polka dots and don’t own anything else in that print so I think that my laundry situation probably inspired this outfit, but it’s a nice change from what I usually wear!
Casie Wornette: I felt like showing my tattoo (on my back) and what you don’t see in this photo is that this dress has the most adorable back cut-out that ties in a big bow.
Tell me about one of the items you’re wearing?
Natasha Wornette: These were my very favorite sandals, which I thrifted in Barrie for only three bucks, and sadly I broke them in half biking a few days after this photo. Total bummer.
Casie Wornette: I bought this dress on my way to work last summer, because I didn’t like what I had originally put on. Many a frivolous dress purchases later, I have learnt to make double sure I like what I’m wearing before leaving the house.
What’s the best book to read in this outfit?
Natasha Wornette: Vampires Don’t Wear Polka Dots. (Please say someone remembers those from their pre-teen years; Werewolves Don’t Go To Summer Camp… Anyone?)
Casie Wornette: The pattern on this dress really reminds me of a country picnic, so probably an author from the American South. Something by Flannery O’Connor maybe?
What style icon would wear this outfit?
Natasha Wornette: Mini Mouse.
Casie Wornette: When it comes to plaid dresses, the one that first comes to mind is Charlotte York attending the Highland Fling on Sex and the City.
Natasha Wornette: Dress from H&M and sandals thrifted.
Casie Wornette: Dress from Winners, and shoes from Philistine.
This week Serah-Marie forwarded me a press release from a company called Cakewalk Designer Dress Rentals. It’s a simple concept: the company offers Canadian women the chance to rent “the latest designer duds” at a “serious fraction of the cost.”
Aside from the ill-considered use of the word “dud,” it almost seems like a good idea. It makes elitist fashion accessible and, as the PR points out, it “greens” fashion by recycling a garment that might otherwise be worn only once or twice. Sounds great, right? So why does this leave a bad taste in my mouth?
When I was in high school, most of the kids in my classes wore Ralph Lauren and Bass Weejuns. Our family couldn’t afford that stuff. I remember feeling like a country bumpkin in my cheap, blue-white Bi-Way shirts. When mom and I went to the Salvation Army, I would scan the racks for secondhand Polo and LaCoste. (To this day I can spot a Ralph Lauren button-down Oxford by only a square inch of fabric on the shoulder.) I quickly learned which eras mirrored others and how to approximate styles. In my painfully insecure teenage years I learned to fit in without being rich.
After high school, I realized my skills could help me “make” runway looks, too. I learned to mix and alter, and to skew a season’s lines to suit my body type and liking. I could spot the quality garments on secondhand racks. My tastes matured and my personal style evolved. I stopped trying to fit in and started having fun. When it came to fashion, all that scrounging had cultivated my imagination. I didn’t have the option to rent a designer dress – and I didn’t need to.