Posted by: Viviana M. Rueda Image | November 30, 2007

For The Women: To Dress Or Not To Dress

So the other day I was at a local, swanky watering hole in Los Angeles and I was doing one of my favorite things of all time – People watching.  Something that has been perfected through careful and studious training on the part of my Colombian relatives – It’s a sport to them…But I digress.  What I noticed that evening put a really big smile on my face.  About 95 percent of the women in the lounge were wearing dresses.  Hallelujah, praise the Lord!  I’d been predicting a trend away from the “cute top plus jeans” for about two years now and apparently it has now reached the Westside of Los Angeles.

It was so fabulous to see women of all styles and shapes and sizes wearing gorgeous dresses.  And so it got me to thinking about why women don’t wear dresses.  Hmmm…let’s see, there is a dress that makes EVERY woman look good.  In fact, you can hide more imperfections in a dress than you would ever realize.  So why wouldn’t women naturally reach for a dress?  Could it be because women are scared to be perceived as being too feminine?  Are they worried that they’ll be noticed too much? 

Truly, I’m confused.  The other day I was out with a client and we were discussing first dates when the topic of what to wear on a first date came up.  Now a disclaimer, obviously you dress accordingly for the activity and the occasion but in this conversation we were talking about a first dinner date and it wasn’t at McDonalds or the local Pub.  So I asked naturally, what did you wear?  And she said Jeans and a cute top…you know the drill…the standard issue uniform that’s been getting tossed around since 2001.  When I asked why she didn’t wear a dress or a skirt she looked at me like I was bonkers and said “That’s too formal”.  Hmmm…when did wearing a dress become too formal?  This, people, is evidence of the truly stellar job that the jean companies have done in the last 6 years in terms of marketing.  Jeans have become the “safe” and “fallback” solution to dressing.  By the way Ladies, looking good in a pair of jeans…harder than looking good in a dress. 

But there’s hope because this recent evening out revealed that women are reveling in a newfound freedom with dresses.  There was a time in history when dresses did indeed keep women in their “place”.  Between whalebone corsets and petticoats not only could you not breathe (which probably was very effective in keeping you quiet too), but you couldn’t be very active.

Victorian Dressing

Then came the glorious 20’s.  Say bye-bye to the corset and hello to the higher hemline.  Say hello to Coco Chanel’s Little Black Dress otherwise known as the LBD. 

The Little Black Dress - Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina

Ahhh…and then there were the 60’s and the mini-skirt hemline.  Now that trend has inspired a long line of Fashion Wows and Fashion Disasters!

The 60’s Mini-Skirt

So, while dresses started out as somewhat restrictive, these days they are liberating!  Nowadays most women are relegated to wearing Business or Business Casual so the dress actually gives you the opportunity to be creative and to savor your femininity. 

And to those who say it’s too formal.  A. Who made that rule and B. Rules are made to be broken.  So pfshaw I say!  The answer to the question, “To Dress or not to Dress?” is YES, please do! 

 Tip Of The Week
For inspiration, just look to your latest “Best Dressed List”.  Glamour women such as Nicole Kidman, Penelope Cruz and Reese Witherspoon know how to work their dresses!

Nicole Kidman        Reese Witherspoon      Penelope Cruz

Happy Dressing Ladies,

Viviana M. Rueda

Viviana M. Rueda
Creative Founder
Vivendi Fashionista

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