About the Author

Hi! I’m Erin McKean. I write A Dress A Day. You can find out more about me here and here.

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Tess Frost March 27, 2013 at 12:06 am

I just wanted to say thank you for your statement about “You don’t have to be pretty. You don’t owe prettiness to anyone” It is one the the most liberating statements I have heard in years. I have stopped expecting it of myself or of others, and it enables me to let go of judgement by looks so much more easily.

Thank you thank you thank you. Many times.


lara January 11, 2014 at 7:26 am

i agree -such amazing words-you wrote it- someone had it as written by diana vreeland-


Peggy April 18, 2013 at 1:57 pm


When I saw this dress, I thought of you immediately. You may have seen it, but here it is anyway.


Tae Watson April 20, 2013 at 5:59 am

I just finished reading the secret lives of dresses
And I would just like to say Thank you for this wonderful story
And I am also a little sad that it is over and can’t wait for your next novel I love this book yay
Ps and also this blog


carolkinch June 16, 2013 at 3:17 pm

love this site! Inspirational and enjoyed the secret life of dresses


Shae June 26, 2013 at 7:02 pm

I recently came across your post “You Don’t Have to be Pretty.” And I have to say: Thank you Thank you Thank you! That was really inspiring and made me think a lot about my own ideas of womanhood. Great Article! I was so inspired, I wrote a post about it on own my blog about the pressure to be pretty.
Thanks again :)


Susan July 15, 2013 at 9:40 pm

I have just finished reading your book The Secret Lives of Dresses; absolutely loved it and didn’t want to turn the final page. Thank you


Jeanne July 17, 2013 at 3:39 pm

Hi Erin!
I read your book, “The Secret Lives of Dresses” at the beginning of June, and I just loved it! The interesting thing is that I was focused on the whole “vintage” theme the first time I read it. When my dear mother passed away from a stroke just one week after I finished the book, I realized that I was meant to read this book so I could grieve right alongside Dora! Thank you for putting your pen to paper, and for the encouragement and inspiration you have given so many of us through this fun and endearing tale.
My most recent blog is about your book and what it has meant to me. I hope that you will take a moment to wander over there and read it!
Blessings to you,


Sam Zalutsky August 4, 2013 at 2:50 pm

Hi Erin,

I thought you might get a kick out of this episode of our webseries, The Go-Getters. It’s about two 40-something harebrained friends who are always looking for new activities to screw up. Here’s the episode about making the “perfect dress.” Maybe it’s something your readers might enjoy.

Starring Clea Lewis (Ellen) and Joey Slotnick (Nip/Tuck).


Thanks for taking a look.

Sam Zalutsky
on twitter @zalutsky


Linda S August 5, 2013 at 10:27 pm

Hi Erin, I am seeking help on altering a homecoming dress for my daughter. I am a grandmother of 4 and have been sewing for some time but not doing many alterations. I am not even sure this is the correct way to communicate, but hoping to get some help of ideas here on how to do it correctly. People seem excited about your book. Now I’m curious!


Amanda September 15, 2013 at 4:23 am

I checked out wordnik and like it. The site has a simple, easy look. I often used dictionary to find word ideas while writing. You get inundated with ads. I will be switching to wordnik.


Lektor November 7, 2013 at 3:39 am

Hello, I log on to your blogs regularly. Your story-telling
style is witty, keep it up!


Laura March 15, 2014 at 4:08 pm

Hi, Erin-
Thank you so much for the “pretty” piece. Deeply inspiring. I teach dance at a private school in Los Angeles and in one of my classes (all teenage girls) we are choreographing a dance about the impact of societal pressures to be “pretty,” and how it actually makes girls feel “unpretty.” This amazing group of young women is hoping to inspire our community to see past appearances and to appreciate women for who they truly are. I’m going to share your writing with them for further inspiration.


Tina March 30, 2014 at 11:47 am

Hi Erin,
Your book ‘The Secret Lives of Dresses’ is beautiful. Thank you.
I hugged it when I finished it. I felt shivery and happy and I felt like you were writing for me.


Octarin May 14, 2014 at 1:58 pm

I would like to thank you too, about this post. In fact I’m gonna save it, print it and stick it on my wall, cause all my life I’ve been battling with what’s “proper” and what I “ought to”, and a mother who is so overly stylish, classy and judgemental that you can’t ever live up to her standards. Especially now that I’ve grown older and fattier and less pretty cause if it, I’m plagued by all this guilt, daily. So, thank you, oh, and someone made a quote from your article and attributed to Diana Vreeland, and made a meme circulating facebook, thought you might want to know. Thank you again. Puts all my life into perspective.


Doris Chang May 16, 2014 at 7:06 am

Hi Erin,
yet another comment on your post ‘You don’t have to be pretty’ – those words really resonated with me and I quoted you on a recent post on my blog (http://www.somethingsomethingblog.com/2014/05/a-remindersome-words-from-erin-mckean.html)

Thank you!


Lori June 27, 2014 at 12:57 am

Love this! Just love this!


Lulu Winslow September 17, 2014 at 4:23 am

I just learned about Rob Ryan’s work today through an old post on sewing kits (ClothKits).

Wow. Once again, my hair is blown back. Thanks for all the stupendous information and connections, Erin!


Adam Kennedy January 26, 2015 at 12:37 am

I am looking for the Free Pattern from the V&A!
by ERIN on SEPTEMBER 20, 2007

I can’t find the couture pattern, would like to make it for my wife.

Can you help?


Tomoya Kanno January 28, 2015 at 2:16 am

Hello,Professor Erin. Nice to meet you.

It’s me Tomoya Kanno from Japan. I just watched your video on TED.
“Go ahead, make up new words!”


Heather Schechter January 29, 2015 at 1:12 am

Erin, I know these dresses are NOT within the price range about which you normally blog but look carefully at the print on the short dresses….alphabet prints!



Connie February 15, 2015 at 6:08 pm


Are you familiar with the british TV show “The Hour”? It’s a great show, set in 1950s London, with absolutely fabulous clothes. There’s a dress in Season 1 Episode 5, worn by Romola Garai, that I think is fantastic; but I can’t seem to find a pattern or actual dress that approximates it. I wondered if you’d ever come across something. It’s got a wiggle skirt, empire waist, loose v-neck bodice, and is a gorgeous shade of purpley-navy blue


Chisako Takeuchi February 16, 2015 at 2:36 am

Hi ,
I am Chisako Takeuchi. I am e-mailing you because I have found articles about Nippori and 2 familiar fabric store in Nippori just now !!
I saw your TED Talk several months ago. Your lecture on the program was really fascinating, of course and I was just obsessed with your dress as well. Since then I’ve read your blog and A Dress A Day encourages me to start my project to hand sew my dairy clothing. Actually I am very slow on my project – I just sewed a summer night dress, some pillow cases ,,,. For a beginner like me , making a dress with a vintage pattern seems to be such an imprudent attempt but now I am eager to try !!
In your blog on August 5, 2008, you mentioned about the Liberty fabric printed in Japan. Well, I am sure that was printed in Japan. Many Japanese Liberty fans tend to prefer little flower motifs when it comes to Liberty fabrics. At many fabric shops here, it’s not so easy to find Liberty prints that you can see on Liberty UK or other foreign internet fabric stores.
I am looking forward to your new lectures on TED Talks and updates on A Dress A Day. I really enjoy them both!!
Thank you very much .
Chisako Takeuchi


Rick April 25, 2015 at 7:41 pm

I heard your linguistics talk at the Fluent conference. Loved your jokes! So subtle!

And I recall admiring your outfit. I didn’t know at the time you were into dresses.

Regards, Rick


Erin April 26, 2015 at 4:26 pm

Thank you!


Moya Gibb Smith August 3, 2015 at 12:25 am

Hi Erin,
You don’t know me but I’ve just watched your excellent TED talk about how we make new words.
My mother made a new word “glaumy” to describe a food or a taste that was a bit thick and uninteresting. For example this soup/porridge/ sandwich is a bit glaumy and not worth eating.
As far as I know she just made this up and it was used in our home when I was young. I’ve continued to use it with my own family and it was only later that I discovered it wasn’t a word known outside our kin.
I think it’s a handy word.
She didn’t use any of the methods that you mention in your talk, ie stealing, squishing etc when she composed this word. Is this unusual that people just create words?
Anyway just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your talk and to hope that you don’t have to eat too much glaumy food in your life.
kind regards,
Moya Gibb Smith


Britney October 17, 2015 at 3:18 pm

I just wanted to say I loved your book, The Secret Lives of Dresses. You have to write another one, seriously, it’s a keeper. Reading this book made me see fashion in a new light and gave me a better appreciation for clothes. For someone who loves the dresses of the 50’s era or clothes from the 20’s-30’s, but never dresses in them, it was a kind of eye opener- that I could if I wanted too and not feel weird about it.
So here I am, checking out the website.
Really cool!


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