I’ve heard about sartorial test drives for all sorts of styles that slowly became mainstream but still seemed goofy in their early stages of attention: super high waisted-jeans, metallic leggings, and even beach bling belly chains. This past month I test drove my new closet addition…a perfectly normal dress. A short cotton dress (black top with plaid bottom) paired with kitten heel loafers and a thick black belt. Not too risqué, not too conservative, and certainly not extremely eye-catching. I did not stand out from the crowd, but actually due to (a not yet disclosed) catch, I stood even less apart than you would expect… which is actually what drummed up so much attention. See, I was not the only one wearing this dress. I was in the clothing company of my two sisters, as well as my mom.
We’ll pretend this heinous action was a dare and not my mother’s obsolete dream of sporting mother daughter dresses. We went to a restaurant, shopping mall, and grocery store as a family, all in the identical dress. The idea was absurd but easily doable. My sister had recently purchased the dress for all four of us. The difficult part was the actual execution which required confidence, a sense of humor, and family spirit from all participants. Spending time in the restaurant was fine, it was mostly family present and relatively empty besides our party attendees. The waiters barely thought twice about it, except for the mix-up of handing out my order to my sister. The throngs of people skating though the mall brought about a different degree of attention though. If anyone seemed to be freaked out or amused, it tended to be men. Waiting for someone to return, or contemplating which store to visit next, they stopped in their tracks and followed our footsteps with their eyes. Sometimes they found it fascinating, possibly even cute, and other times they seem plain appalled.
By the time I was at a store where the chance of knowing people (past high school cronies, neighbors, or co-workers) was great, I wanted to duck. Longing for any sweater that was left at home, I rushed to the fruit aisle, bought blueberries and a frozen necessity, tart yogurt, and got the heck out of there as quick as my feet could carry me.
As weird as it was to be with three others who dressed alike, there was a safety in numbers that was more assuring than when the group divided, two and two. You feel better knowing there are more weirdos who are willing to follow you, more laughter, and of course, more swagger steps. Though please, reserve the twin dresses for Halloween!