Grab a comfy chair and the beverage of your choice, dear reader, it’s story time.

Eight or nine years ago, I met my first real life style icon. I was a fashion noob, only recently graduated from the Suzy Shier/Forever 21 school of dressing. I had never heard of, much less read, a single fashion blog. My idea of fancy dressing was Banana Republic, and, yes, I would have called it “fancy dressing”. She was … the woman I wanted to grow up to be. Beautiful. Smart. Funny. Warm. Impeccably stylish. She was only a few years older than me, which kind of blew my mind because I couldn’t imagine ever getting to be so cool. (I’m still not.) We became friends, and she took me under her wing, style-wise. She introduced me to a ton of designer brands I’d never heard of, and taught me how to score the best deals. She took me to my first (and still my favourite) consignment store, which was a game-changer. She pushed my style horizons beyond polyester and bad denim.

She also gave me my first Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dress. What? Yes. Yes, she did. My budget at the time did not stretch far enough to cover the sleeve off a DVF dress, much less the whole thing, but – oh, how I wanted one. And one day, without much fanfare, my friend gave me one of her finds. It was like Christmas, and my birthday, and winning the lottery, all in one lizard-print wrap dress.

diane von furstenberg vintage lizard print wrap dress
Back in my size 4 days … before the invention of blush and lipstick, evidently.

Over the years, I haven’t worn it very often, usually just for special events (because I’m a weirdo who “saves” her favourite clothes, and then complains about having nothing nice to wear). I’ve since bought other DVF dresses, but this one retains its sentimental value. Still, I don’t wear it as much as I should, probably by force of habit. And that means that, in the scheme of things (being my major wardrobe overhaul), it’s probably time to let it go. Yet, for a while now, I simply couldn’t. It didn’t feel right. And then, recently, it hit me.

tage lizard print wrap dress
More recently, at my 5-months-pregnant size … still fits!

It might be time for me to pay it forward. Time for this dress to find its next owner, someone who will love and be inspired by it. Maybe someone who needs a little pick-me-up. Or a dress for a special occasion. If you think you, or someone you know, might be that person, drop me a line in the comments. The dress is a size 8, but can comfortably fit anyone from a size 4 to 10. I would be happy to mail it out anywhere in Canada and the U.S. Guys, the sisterhood of the magical wrap dress – let’s make this happen!

(I don’t know if anyone will be interested, but if there is more than one person, I will probably resort to my time-tested pull-a-name-out-of-a-hat routine. Unless y’all want to do a round of “rock, paper, scissors”, or arm wrestle for it, or something.)

[Edited to add: thank you for your responses so far. I really appreciate each one, truly! I will leave this post open for a week (until Saturday, April 26) and will draw a name thereafter. I’m toying with the idea of doing a little video, but god knows, I hate my speaking voice so this might be a cute idea in principle only. Stay tuned!!]

12 Comments on Paying It Forward

  1. I am not wanting your dress (wrap dresses tend to look off on me and I firmly believe there are “just the right” people for certain items and I want you to find that “right” person for it), but I do want to say that I think it’s interesting how clothing in our closet can tell a story.

    I recently was looking at a Style Through the Years for Mary-Kate Olsen and it was almost like you could tell when things changed in her life. When she became her own, etc based on what she was wearing. As we evolve and change it’s interesting what pieces we carry along with us and which ones we let go of when the time is right. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me….

    • I think you’re absolutely right. But, for me, every piece of clothing (or near enough) represents something more than a piece of fabric. A story, trivial or important. And many of them are like little works of art. So my closet is a physical manifestation of my own evolution and growth. I know that will sound ridiculous to anyone who has a more pragmatic attitude to clothing, but I do understand where you’re coming from.

  2. I was struck by what you said in your post here. I am, at 33, just now seeing fashion as something I could possibly participate in. I love that you had a spirit guide–I don’t really have one, just every single fashion blog on the interwebs. I would, of course, love to inherit your DVF dress. But more I just wanted to tell you that it’s nice to know that someone else started without a clue and now looks AWESOME. Thanks for your blog!

    • Haha! Thank you! Some days, I still feel like I don’t have a clue. Fashion blogs can be a bit of a double-edged sword, I find; on one hand, I get tons of inspiration from my favourite ones. On the other hand, it’s easy to fall into the trap of wanting something because it looks amazing on someone else … even when it’s not really your own style. With that said, I do hope you will keep reading here 😉

      P.S. I originally started this blog, almost 4 years ago, because I was just starting to believe that fashion was something that a plain, regular Jane like me could participate in – and I wanted to encourage others who felt as excluded as I had felt in the past. Since then, I’ve learned … that I still have a lot to learn about fashion. And, more importantly, about what my personal style is all about. But that’s what’s fun!

  3. What! You are way too generous!!! What a beautiful dress and I know how hard it is to let go of things that hold a lot of sentimental value. It’s not quite my style though so as much as I love free clothes, I will refrain from putting my name in the hat. I hope you’ll be sending it off to someone who will get a lot of wear out of it!

  4. Wow! This is amazing and so generous. I would love to put my name in the hat for this dress! It’s so stunning. I currently work at a job without a dress code, but I’m going to graduate school in the fall for a more professional career and I’m building up my closet, one special piece at a time. I’m definitely in the beginning stages of building a personal style, and I have yet to find my “style icon” outside of the blog world. Having this piece, which I certainly cannot afford on my own, in my closet would be phenomenal.

    • Good luck in your future career!

      Personal style is ever-evolving, I find, because it’s a reflection of who we are … and we change all the time. I’m still working on my own style – even though I thought I knew what it was before! But that’s the fun part 😉