Striped Shirts and a Truly Unfortunate Dress

Let’s get this out of the way: this post will have little to nothing to do with pop culture. Actually, to humor you who are used to that kind of thing, here’s a rundown of my current interests: I’m reading a lot of John Green and David Levithan, two truly remarkable YA authors who have a knack for memorable characters, snappy dialogue, and writing about high schools I sincerely wish I’d attended. I watched The Descendants last weekend, and it’s slow paced and Hawaii-based and full of good performances, and I’d recommend it. And I think Hannibal is one of the best dramas to happen to TV in a long time.


One of my favorite things to do on a Saturday is get a soda at McDonalds and meander over to 59th and Lex. Right around there, you have New York & Company, H&M, the Gap, Victoria’s Secret, the Container Store, Dylan’s Candy Bar, Urban Outfitters, and Bloomingdales–so, basically, retail paradise in all its forms. (Even its container form.) Then I buy something hyperspecific (a candy bar with Jessica DeWent’s first name on it, a wallet that clasps shut with an elephant, or a single work shirt that is most likely striped) or buy nothing at all and wander back home, tending to pick up cupcakes along the way.

It’s the little things.

Today, I was looking for something not so specific–Grown Up Clothes–and that, in my mind, always circles back to striped shirts. I have a very uncomplicated, loving relationship with striped shirts. I’ve never bought the “horizontal stripes make you look fat” conceit. I think I look just fine in them, even better than fine, and they’re easy to find and the Gap has them in spades. So after combing through a couple other stores, knowing full well I would find nothing, I got to the Gap and found a striped shirt with polka dotted elbow patches (!), in addition to a few things I’d try on without buying: a striped dress, a checked oxford shirt, and something I’ve come to refer to as the Cat Dress.

Now, the Cat Dress is one of the most unfortunate pieces of clothing I’ve ever seen. I pass a Gap on my way to and from the gym, and for a couple weeks, it was proudly displayed in the window for all onlookers to see. Now, it’s been relegated to the sales rack, and you know what? That’s with good reason.

Here, I have proof.


What? The print and color aren’t enough for you? OK. Then get ready for this, what is likely to be the least flattering picture of me to ever pop up on the Internet.


Now, I am not a skinny person. I haven’t been skinny since about third grade, and I’m comfortable with that. This dress, however, is not. That’s why it’s cut like a tent and wildly unflattering. Scott actually questioned my willingness to show the world this photo, but I couldn’t deprive you of the ghastliness that is the Cat Dress. The color! The cut! The should-be-cute-but-totally-isn’t pattern! I didn’t leave it on for long, but I left it on for long enough to know that no matter how poor my clothing choices have ever been or will ever become, nothing will be as bad as the Cat Dress. And that’s comforting, in some sort of way I haven’t pinpointed.

Oh, here, to cleanse your clothing photo-related palette, this is me looking way too proud of myself for also finding something I don’t look terrible in.


(You can’t see it very well, but I’m wearing striped socks, too.)

We’ll be back to your regularly scheduled unordered list format shortly.


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