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Embarrassing Fashion Moments: How My Favorite Dress Turned Me Into A Flasher

There are those rare days when you feel…sexier than usual. The gap between your thighs is, in fact, a true gap, your arms look especially lean, so that when you point at things a sinewy line of muscle all of a sudden manifests itself, and your stomach has those vague indentations on either side of your belly button that only yogis and Miranda Kerr can claim. I was having such a day this past summer and fished out a vintage, flowery-patterned, stretch-cotton Betsey Johnson dress (it’s so awesomely 90s…skintight…loud…questionably day-appropriate…straight up obscene to someone, say, like my mom, whose style verges on Victorian) from a box in my closet with the words “TO SELL” (euphemism for “TOO SMALL”). I shimmied into it and…it fit! Albeit snugly.

I grabbed my purse, stared at a half-eaten slice of pizza my boyfriend had left on the counter, imagined a snake digesting its bulging dinner, and resisted. I had a mere twenty minutes to meet my friends for brunch; the ride on the L train would take at least fifteen. As I hurried to the subway, I realized, slightly annoyed, that I couldn’t go two steps without my dress completely riding up. Still, my elation that it fit and that I was wearing it to brunch (Carrie Bradshaw would wear such a thing to brunch!) eclipsed all else. I scurried down into the subway as a surly woman’s voice barked over the loudspeaker about a delay at Broadway Junction and trains running infrequently. People were impatient and the oppressive heat fanned their discomfort into full-on fury, so that when the train finally inched into the station I pushed and elbowed and violently maneuvered my way into the car before the doors snapped shut.

Triumphant but disheveled and wedged between perspiring people, I scanned the car for the closest handrail. There was one running along the ceiling that no one else held on to because it was uncomfortably high. Suddenly the train lurched forward and I was forced to reach up and grab the ceiling pole. My dress did not simply ride up—it became a shirt and I realized, from the leering man next to me, that I was not Carrie Bradshaw skipping off to a chic brunch at all. I was a tawdry too-tall girl in a too-short dress. “Once I was walking behind a woman who practically had her rump exposed as she walked along…” My mom’s oft repeated precautionary tale of descent into sluttery throbbed in my head. “I’m afraid I had to cross the street in disgust…”

I still maintain that there is no cooler dress. Now I just wear tights underneath.

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