an ode to the boring summer dress

summer dressThe heat has returned to New York–the stifling, oppressive kind that makes me regret all manner of social and professional obligation. It’s the only time of the year I thank god it takes my apartment five minutes to get hot water because bless it, I just want to sluice that sweet and cold NYC tap water all over my fetid body. So hot that I say fetid and absolutely mean it.

This is the part of the season where I pull out a dress of absolutely no style and commit to wearing it, sweating in it, and otherwise making it a second summer skin, abused and unappreciated, until the temperature drops to the point where I no longer sweat through absolutely everything.

The dress is intentionally Not That Cute. If it were particularly cute, I’d be precious about it, and to be precious about a summer dress is to have a dress I’ll never wear in the summer. The moment I hesitate at the thought of my slick, sweaty body occupying a lovely garment is the moment I put on a shitty t-shirt instead. Instead, the summer dress is boring and basic and probably more than a little unflattering. I put it on as soon as I get home, stripping off my bra and any other layers that do little more than create dams of sweat. Underboob sweat is real and awful but with the Right Dress, it’s a problem quickly dispatched: just use the fabric of the dress you don’t give a fig about it to wipe away the reminder that your body and its functions are largely out of your control and we’re all just animals walking on hind legs.

Why not just wear the shitty t-shirt?, you might find yourself saying, as you sit in your own small pool of sweat, your window air conditioner sputtering out a meager breeze that could only be described as cool-ish. A dress offers the fewest points of contact, and in this world of 90 degree heat, points of contact = friction = heat and what the hell do we need that for, besides more sweating? A waistband in the summer is a personal comfort hellscape. Wear a boring dress.

Shop the dress you’ll essentially use as a sweat rag at Joe Fresh

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One thought on “an ode to the boring summer dress

  1. suzanne

    Ha! You have perfectly described my summer wardrobe; I’m a teacher but at home during the summer with a three year-old. All of my summer clothes are skirts and dresses that are fine but nothing to lose sleep over when they get sweated in or covered in peanut butter, paint, sunscreen, whatever. Here’s to cotton basics!


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