A few years ago, a friend gave me a $100 gift card to J. Crew for my birthday.

I found this extremely generous… and also strange. I give my nieces and nephews and kids’ friends the equivalent of cash for birthdays, but never a peer. I always buy a present, even if it’s misguided, because it’s the thought that counts. I also always get a gift receipt, and I absolutely mean it when I say “If you don’t love it, please exchange it for something you do!” Which I say every single time.

But this friend gave me cash, so off I went to spend it.

Well, you know how when you go shopping and all you need is, for example, a white t-shirt? And you can find everything else on the entire face of the earth except a white t-shirt? “Wow, look at this amazing green garden party dress!” your cerebellum will say. “Wait, no, check out these Madonna pedal pushers!” your frontal lobe chimes in. “HOLD MY BEER,” your occipital lobe says, holding up the most amazing shlong-sleeve tee you have ever seen in your life.

Well, it was sort of like that.

I had a hundy burning a hole in my pocket and I literally could not find one thing I liked. A normal woman* would have tucked the gift card away in her wallet, confident that she’d find something wonderful the next time… or the time after that.


In a panic, I tried on this ruffly, tiered wedding cake garment, which I was almost positive was a skirt. I didn’t totally hate it, so naturally I bought it.

Might be a skirt…

When I got home and put it on, though, it looked awful. Plus it was heavy and hot and drapey and I felt like I couldn’t breathe in it. “Maybe it will look better as a dress!” I decided.

I will not lie to you people. It did not look better as a dress. But I wore it that way, more than a few times, anyway.

Probably isn’t a dress?

And I know you’ll believe this part, too: I ALSO HAVE A DRESS THAT’S DEFINITELY A DRESS BUT I WEAR IT AS A SKIRT, I swear it. I haven’t decided if it’s going to make the cut or not, but if it doesn’t (or does?) I promise to model it at the end of this project. Spoiler: there are rhinestones involved.