Fuck you, Little Black Dress. You cause women so much stress. Here we are, going about our comfortable, black-yoga-pants lives when all of the sudden we’re faced with a formal event and there you are, and we hate ourselves for needing you. So many of you and your Little Black Dress colleagues are already in our closets. We keep you around because we figure we’ll need you again one day, that we’ll be prepared when the next cocktail attire event arrives. But you are never the one for us, and we know it.
You’re so needy that an entire complicated, costly process has to exist around just dealing with your presence. Hair and nail appointments, waxing, the acquisition of shapewear and nylons and additional miscellaneous undergarments… all these have to be scheduled, endured and paid for so that all the focus can be on you and your drama. And the shoes in the closet are never enough for you—like a spoiled teen, you always demand a new pair. The jewelry isn’t right either; you insist on new matching accessories every time. You’re extremely high maintenance and never just right: either too short or long, too tight or loose, too fancy or not dressy enough. We talk about you so much that women have given you a nickname, LBD, like you’re some kind of rapper instead of a pain in our asses.
We spend our lives looking for our Little Black Dress, only to be disappointed, settling for dresses that aren’t exactly the right match for us, but that we buy and wear anyway because it’s better than one we already wore last year to a funeral. Why do you stretch yourself so thin with your demands of being worn to not only tragic church events but also important corporate and fundraising gala functions? There are other colors, you know. Such a narcissist, you cling to the fact that through the power of optic illusion you make us appear thinner when you know as well as we do that the cut of the dress is far more important in determining how we look.
Then at events you’re as completely judgmental and whiny as a bratty middle school girl, comparing yourself to others. You whisper: “Her black dress is more formal: look at all those sequins! See, I told you everyone’s wearing sleeveless in winter. Higher heels would’ve looked better, who cares if they kill your feet! That one is from this season Nordstrom, not last season from Nordstrom Rack.”
There really should be an LBD match.com or grindr where we can spend time scrolling through our potential dress mates and schedule meet-ups before we commit ourselves to let you put yourself on our bodies for an entire evening. Speed LBD dating; it would be quicker than traipsing to every different store in a mall and getting frustrated in our search when you’re just going to let us down anyway, ending up cast onto the floor like yesterday’s jeans.
I’m ending our dysfunctional, toxic relationship. Fuck off, Little Black Dress. Next time a formal event comes along, I’m wearing red.
Follow Mary McCarthy on Twitter @marymac.