Fashion memoir: My princess dreams that could never come true 

When you are young people ask you ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’ An astronaut? A ballerina? A footballer or a firefighter? When you’re young nothing ever seems too far out of reach. Me? I wanted to be a princess.

People who don’t desire to be a princess have obviously never seen the films. Who wouldn’t want to take a 100 year nap to then be woken by a prince?

It all started on December 25th, 2004 when I unwrapped my first ever dress up costume. A baby pink, mesh, knee length fairy dress with built in wings completed with a wand, tiara and my favourite Barbie slippers. As I spent the rest of my day scooting up and down the hallway on my newly gifted scooter, feeling like I was the eighth wonder of the world, I knew I wasn’t ever going to be ready to return back to my old muggle life.

Image: Blue knickers purchased separately

My next encounter with a pretty gown was at my uncle and aunts wedding. This time it was a sage green, laced front ballroom gown. I wasn’t fussy about the colours, textures or style. For me it was about making a statement. ‘Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman’ (or in my case, girl). Although this wasn’t technically a princess gown, I felt the exact same way that I had felt on that crisp Christmas morning when I received my first taste of what royalty felt like.

Image: Proudly fulfilling bridesmaid duties

The collection grew and grew. All of my dreams had come true when I heard my dad begrudgingly mutter; “Oh go on then, pick which one you want,” as we walked into the Disneyland Paris souvenir shop. My heart was beating overtime as I panicked I wasn’t going to make the right decision. My eyes carefully assessed each individual organza skirt. My face was lit up like a Christmas tree.

Image: Face not an accurate representation of feelings

Every birthday, Christmas and trip to Smyths Toys Superstore after that was filled with golden glitter accents, satin shoulder straps and sequin brocade with metallic trims. Looking back, I’m not sure it was ever about ‘the dress’. It was the feeling I felt when I was wearing the dress. It was the sense that I was one step closer to being the princess I has always dreamed of being.

Image: Obviously did not have the same kind of love for hairbrushes

I grew older and realised I was going about it all wrong. Floating around the house in a £24.99, made in China, chiffon dress did not/ never was going to qualify me to be next in line for a Disney debut movie. It took me many years to finally pluck up the courage to fold up my collection and push them to the back of the loft. I could never permanently let go to what was such a significant part of my life.

Image: Another successful birthday by the looks of things

To this day they still remain in my childhood home loft in hope that one day I will dust them all down and maybe my children can experience what I was once able to. Escape, even if it was just for a brief moment of time.

Since then I have learnt that I am still able to be a princess. Maybe not by occupation, but by nature. It is not about looking like a princess, it is about acquiring the attributes of one. If you ‘have courage and be kind’ then I am sure you too can end up with your own happy ending.


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