The red dress that gave me confidence…
Do you believe in astrology? Apparently, I’m supposed to be an “egotistical douchebag”. According to Astrology.com: “Leos consider themselves indispensable and the centre of the universe.”
I never felt that the arrogant nature of the Leo related to me. I have struggled with low self-esteem since I was 12-years-old if not younger and with my weight being my biggest problem, I would attempt to avoid all social interaction and hide behind black clothing. This was an extremely difficult period for me because I never truly knew who I was. Instead of using fashion to express and find myself, I was too focused on concealing my body.
I despised going on nights out with my friends and I tried my hardest to avoid those that were not special occasions. I always thought that I looked horrible and that nothing suited me. All my friends would look cute wearing jeans with pretty vests and bodysuits and I’d turn green with envy as I just couldn’t get away with it. I’ve never felt comfortable in jeans not even on a day-to-day basis as I always felt that I looked like I’d made no effort and not in a cool Alexa Chung way.
In 2016, my best friend and I booked a 10-day adventure to the beautiful Indonesian island, Bali. When it came to shopping for holiday clothes I was completely stuck, I could not find anything that I believed would look remotely good on me. In a huff, I was ready to give up until I found a red T-shirt dress with a high neck on ASOS for £18 – I instantly fell in love and ordered it.
The dress arrived and as soon as I tried it on I felt so good – in that moment, all insecurities that I had, had gone. I adored everything about the dress from the colour to how the mix of cotton and elastane made it fit. It is super comfortable and above all, I loved how confident it made me feel, it never made me feel fat.
I scoured the internet to find more like it. My entire holiday wardrobe consisted mainly of T-shirt dresses.
I love the T-shirt dress. I love how it’s a blank canvas with which I can create numerous and effortless looks. The T-shirt dress is extremely versatile – I can dress it up with heeled boots and statement jewellery, or I can dress it down and wear it with my favourite trainers.
It is perfect for all seasons. I own so many now – I like to wear a T-shirt dress on a night out, I enjoy the freedom it enables as well as still feeling that I look like I’ve made more of an effort.
As journalist Hadley Freeman wrote in The Meaning Of Sunglasses: “A good dress will never make you feel fat, it can be worn with flats or heels, and everybody can find a style that suits them.”
As of today, I have lost 2st 7lbs and I am finally starting to feel good within myself. I even wore a pair of jeans recently on a night out and didn’t feel like crap. I’ve gained so much more confidence in this last year and even though I still hide behind black clothing, I have enjoyed experimented more with my style and occasionally don’t mind being the centre of attention.
But I will always treasure that red T-shirt dress and I don’t know if I’m happy or sad that it is now too big for me.