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The Power of a Good Dress

The Power of a Good Dress

by Nicole Phillips

How the Iconic DVF Wrap Dress Kick started my Love of Fashion

Back in my early 20s, flipping through fashion magazines, I would search endlessly for the one blurb dedicated to plus size fashion.

How to Dress Your Curves, The Dos and Don’ts of Dressing Your Full-Figured Body, What Patterns to Avoid if You’re Plus Size, What Kind of Giant Tent Dress You Should Wear if You Have a GIGANTIC Body. Every time I’d find those blurbs, I’d come away feeling defeated and hopeless because the outfit featured usually only sized up to 14 or the designer was out of my price range. Then one day I read a blurb that stuck, Wrap Dresses Look Great on Everybody. Pictured was a beautiful curvier (not plus) woman wearing a floral printed wrap dress from Diane von Furstenberg. I was in love and embarked on a hunt for a wrap dress.

I quickly learned that Diane von Furstenberg was out of my price range and that, she did not carry my size. But that didn’t discourage me — Wrap Dresses Look Great on Everybody. It became my mantra and I was going to find one to wear on mine.

That weekend I went to every fast fashion destination that designated a corner of poly/span dresses for my body. Nothing. I then went to a few stores dedicated to plus size women and went through every rack. Fail. I asked the sales associates if they had anything coming in that resembled a wrap dress. They instead showed me their collection of banded bubble dresses and empire waisted, floral baby doll tops. Next up, the department stores. Out of the three major department stores in my mall, only one of them had a plus size section in the store. I gave up.

A few weeks later while browsing a local store, I found a rack consisting solely of wrap dresses up to a size XXL. There were floral wrap dresses, hounds tooth wrap dresses, solid colored wrap dresses and I bought them all. The XXL was a bit too small but I made it work and wore them as often as I could, feeling amazing because after all — Wrap Dresses Look Great on Everybody.

One day while out and about in one of my beautiful wrap dresses (a black and white abstract floral print), a woman stopped me in the street and commented on how beautiful I looked in my dress and asked, “Is that DVF?” I looked at her and hesitantly nodded my head, “Uh huh. Yes!”— a blatant lie.

Over the years, I learned that so many different styles looked great on everybody and that my body was not limited to only wearing wrap dresses. Still, whenever I saw one in my size, I usually bought it and would lust after DVF’s iconic dresses from afar.

The Power of a Good Dress

When I started my career at 11 Honoré, having this new access to designer fashion was a complete thrill to me. Seeing every new designer launch brought me so much pride, not only for this company but for the community that trail-blazed and fought for more representation and inclusivity over the years. I remember when I first heard that we were going to be carrying DVF— and up to a size 24. I was ecstatic. Looking over the line sheets and helping pick which prints we’d carry on the site put me on a fashion high. The young 20 something, fashion obsessed woman was now jumping out of her skin that she would finally be able to wear the wrap dress of her dreams.

Our collection launched on October 1st and immediately I made sure to get one of the dresses. When the box arrived I stopped everything to try it on, hoping it would fit perfectly. It did, and I fell even more in love with the designer and wrap dresses. For a moment, I didn't see 36 year old me. I saw the sexy, vibrant, confident version of myself that sometimes gets lost in the day to day. And isn’t that what a good dress is supposed to do?

I can’t wait to go out into the world in my new dress. And I hope that some woman stops me on the street to ask if I am wearing DVF, and this time when I nod my head and say, yes — I won’t be lying.

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