Feeling stressed? Of course you are. On top of bills and deadlines and expectations, your closet feels like a dead end. It's not that you have nothing to wear, it’s just that you’ve worn it already.
But I have seen the light.
Journalist Caitlin Moran once explained, “When a woman says, ‘I have nothing to wear!’ what she really means is, ‘There’s nothing here for who I’m supposed to be today.'”
Personal stylist and designer Nicolette Lang-Andersen decided to create her new NLA Designs Summer’16 Swoon Collection with the intention of bringing versatility and comfort to a single dress that flatters all body shapes and is simple enough that it can be dressed up or down. The dress – especially the black one – could be, if you wanted, just maybe, worn twice a week in different ways.
“The dress is a crisp and timeless style enlivened by the use of two fresh prints (stripes and polka dots) and two versatile solids (black and white),” explains NLA. “Simply put - when someone is feeling stylish or put-together - it shows! They are more cheerful, confident, and ready to take on the world.”
If I were to ask you, right now, to name the major stresses in your life, you would probably say things like you aren’t getting paid enough, the house is always a mess, or you have a boss who never replies to your e-mails. You probably wouldn’t say, “these shoes are killing me,” or “I don’t feel comfortable in this dress.”
That’s because most women aren’t even aware that clothing is a powerful and pervasive cause of stress. Have mercy.
If you are halfway to work and realize your skirt is riding up kind of funky when you walk - yes, you still handle business - but you do it with that little voice wondering if you’ll be taken less seriously today.
(Also, why do we even own things that make us feel anything less than Xena the Warrior Princess slaying dragons in slow motion? A-hi-hi-hi-hi!)
When many of us leave the house early in the morning, we don't have a chance to change our outfit to suit our rotating roles throughout the day. The Swoon Collection’s fabric, fit, and style makes it appropriate for casual, corporate or any social occasion, so you can be all of the “yous” that you need to be in one day, in one dress.
NLA says the dresses can be paired easily with trendy sneakers, chunky jewellery, and a motor jacket for a walk around downtown. It’s also a perfect piece for the office, paired with pointy-toed heels and a cropped blazer, and can easily transition into an evening outfit straight after work.
With that in mind, I decided to style the dress as if I had a busy day ahead without a pitstop at home. Basically, loitering in coffee shops (I'm not homeless, I'm just a writer), weeping into my pay stubs (okay, almost homeless), chasing after cabs on Robson, attempting to look presentable on-camera, and attending an event with tiny food and fancy people.
First, I love a bold red lip because even if everything else in your life is falling apart, it gives the illusion that you have your shit together. Even my post-apocalypse checklist would be something like: Hand grenade, check. MAC Ruby Woo, check.
Secondly - and I know you're with me on this - the absolute worst thing that could happen in your day is getting chased by a psychopath. How does that saying go: poor preparation gets you chopped up into little pieces? Same-same.
The point is, proper footwear is a key survival tactic. Pairing sneakers with a dress not only begs for playfulness but I love being able to avoid death if necessary. You know, the simple things.
I'm not just saying I love this dress and the badass woman who designed it because they let me take pretty pictures wearing it in front of a polka dot Porsche, although it certainly didn't hurt.
As a supporter in fair-trade, all materials and help for NLA Designs is sourced in Canada and right here in Vancouver.
A huge shoutout to the team behind the official launch of NLA's Swoon Collection!