I grew up reading Victoria magazine. And some of my favorite images were the romantic ones of women and girls in white dresses at the beach.
As an idealist, when I started planning our much-anticipated trip to the ocean, I began to imagine all of us walking on the beach in white. The girls in white dresses, and the guys in white cotton shirts and khaki shorts. And everyone barefoot.
And so my hunt for the perfect white dress began. I optimistically headed for the mall (which is a 1 1/2 hour drive) with one of my older daughters. I just knew the mall would be full of white dresses to choose from since it was still summer. It turned out not to be quite that simple.
After looking in almost every store in the mall, I was still empty-handed. Finally, we found ourselves in J.C. Penney, where they were having a dress sale. There were several white dresses, but they were either too short, too tight, or too low-cut.
I was envisioning white cotton or flowing white chiffon, but nothing I saw was right for my body type. None of them worked!
Finally, my daughter shoved this lace dress in my face and said, “There’s your white dress! This one will have to do!” She had very patiently followed me from store to store, but her patience was wearing thin by that point.
I looked doubtfully at the dress, but I took it into the dressing room anyway. I loved the lace, but it had little thin straps and the sides of the bodice gaped, and it was too long. I thought it was kind of weird to have a shorter lining under the lace part. And I usually avoid styles that accentuate my lack of a waist. But I was desperate, and it was only $22, so I bought it.
I took it home and shortened it and took in the sides, which only took about fifteen minutes. After trying on many different layering tees and none of them looking right, one of my daughters remembered this shrug she said I could borrow. It was a miracle that it actually matched the dress, since it’s an unusual shade of white (not pure white but not exactly off-white). It worked perfectly!
Honestly, this isn’t the most flattering dress on me, but it photographed well, and my husband said I looked pretty in it, so I was happy! And it felt very romantic to be walking along the beach in a flowing white lace dress. I loved it!
I found this hat on sale at Kohl’s earlier in the spring. I wasn’t really sure I how much I would wear it, but I wore it often while we were at the beach, and now it’s one of my favorite hats! It’s a travel hat that can handle being crushed a bit in the suitcase, and that’s one of the things I love about it.
It’s going to be a great tea party and gardening hat, too! 🙂