While some people consider white button-downs with a good pair of jeans the key ingredients of a well-stocked capsule closet massive, extravagant pink puff sleeve dress taking up spaces are my personal the essentials of a wardrobe. If I can picture that a dress is knocking makeup on my vanity as I'm walking by in the morning, I'll know that I'll need it. Even better if it prevents people from getting too near me. takes up multiple seats, or can't fit through doors without hitting walls.
My obsession with frothy clothes actually began out of finding it difficult to find clothes I liked that were comfortable for me. Though I'm not keen on labeling myself "plus-size" or any other title (I personally believe these labels prey upon people's insecurities) I've never considered myself "skinny," and I've dreaded shopping for jeans and trousers for the majority all of my existence. Dresses, for me, served as one-and-done dresses which could fit my different sizes and fluctuating weight. (At this moment, I'm likely to wear jeans only once or twice a year.)
Over over the years, I've built collections of large dresses. I began with maxi dresses while I was in college and high school, before moving to '80s vintage prom frocks (I enjoyed finding vintage Betsey Johnson secondhand) and puff sleeves I would layer over T-shirts or under cardigans. Both offered equal amounts of statement factor in different ways: the maxis with their long, elongating shape, and the puffy prom concoctions for their tiered tulle skirts.
And while many people might not consider large dresses to be a versatile style staple, I find these dresses offer so many styling opportunities that I'm constantly creating innovative ways in which to dress them.
One of my favorite examples of this is a white gown I own. The dress was designed as an iconic white button-down, with cascading ruffles at the top along the waist. it is transformed into a gigantic satin skirt that has lace on the bottom. This is paired with a sequined bra top from the Simone Rocha collection x H&M collection on top of it (think: gothic wedding inspirations) as well as a wide the front, like a duster jacket that has an underskirt dress. (Of obviously, I believe it is stunning when worn on its own.)
One of my other favorite ways to shake up the style is to pair a T-shirt underneath an eye-catching dress. One of my favorites is an upcycled item by Taylor Dorry that is made out of an actual quilt. I frequently pair it up with an asymmetrical tee that I like, such as this one with a cat's face by 3 Women, or a t-shirt from a tourist outfit reconstructed with big puffy plaid sleeves that add extra dimension, also by Taylor Dorry.
A big reason I enjoy big dresses as a wardrobe staple is their all-in-one function. I'm a maximalist who loves color, prints and unique silhouettes. It truly seems like there's nothing that makes dressing up much easier than selecting a large frock. Prints are especially stylish and take on an entirely different look based on how you style them. One of my favorite options is to pick 2 (or greater) prints in different sizes (the more different they appear the better) and then pair them. I recently wore a huge Marimekko maxi dress with blue flowers from the brand across. I then put a long painted Marni jacket over it , with smaller florals and it gave the dress new life, plus an entirely new design.
Therefore, while a lot of people will shop for their favorite T-shirts made of cotton or vintage Levi's to wear every day I'd rather purchase massive smocks , and then reinvent them in a series of fashions over and over again. A few of my favourites that lend themselves to new ways of dressing are Chopova Lowena styles with smoky designs and metal accents, Selkie puff dresses which have a very different look when paired with a cardigan than when coupled with elbow-length opera gloves and a Comme des Garcons dress made out of plastic, which I love to wear with detachable collars and small cropped jackets.
Nothing makes me feel more "me" than wrapping myself with as airy, billowing material as possible , and gliding in a cloud across the world. That's what the ginormous gowns offer.