International Wear A Dress Day 2009 — Today!

Today is International Wear A Dress Day (Observed) 2009! If you're wearing a dress today, feel free to upload a picture either to Flickr or as a Twitpic on Twitter with the hashtag #iwadd.

If you're not wearing a dress today, that's your choice (and I fully support you in it), but I thought I'd post about some reasons I've heard people give for not wearing a dress on ANY day, and talk a bit about them.

"I can't wear a dress to work, my co-workers will think I'm [too dressed up|snobby|looking for another job]." International Wear A Dress Day gives you the perfect excuse to wear a dress to work; you are celebrating the holiday! They wouldn't give you grief about a Christmas sweater, would they? (Okay, maybe they would …) The bigger answer to this is: what do you care more about? Their opinion? Or your happiness?

"I can't wear a dress, [it's too cold/I ride a bike to work/I have to move boxes]." I have done all these things in a dress. (Today I will ride my bike five miles in a dress.) If there's a will, there's a way. These last two excuses are really a coded "Oh noes! What if people see my UNDERWEAR?" excuse, which I believe I answered with this rant right here.

"I work in a male-dominated industry, and I don't want to look too feminine." Newsflash: I'm pretty sure they already know you're a girl. If you treat femininity as something to apologize for, so will they. Do they worry that they are "too masculine"? I'm betting not. Acting like a guy means doing whatever the hell you want whenever the hell you want until stopped by force (as far as I can tell). So if you want to seem less feminine to fit in, try that first.

"I feel uncomfortable in dresses." That's not the question. (Actually, that's not a question at all.) The question is: do you *want* to feel comfortable in dresses? Then you have to start wearing them, or start trying things on until you find dresses you DO feel comfortable in. If you don't really care, then there's no problem; IWADD is a completely optional event.

"I'm plus-size." Yes, finding attractive clothes that fit well when you're a plus size is not the easiest thing in the world. But if you are determined, it can be done, absolutely. I see plus-sized women in fantastic dresses every day, both in real life and on the internets. And there's always sewing for yourself, your sewing machine doesn't care what size you are, and it never gives you a snooty look when you walk into the sewing room.

"I hate pantyhose." I hear ya, sister. I don't wear them either. I would say that unless you are a corporate lawyer or work in banking, bare legs or tights are acceptable in 90% of workplaces.

"Dresses are too expensive!" Sales. Ebay. And most of all: sewing. I've made dresses for $10, including the cost of the zipper & pattern. (And have you seen the price of jeans lately? Sheesh!)

"I work on an oil rig." Okay, yeah, maybe you should wait until your day off.

Do you have other questions? Leave 'em in the comments, and I'll do my best to answer them!

Happy IWADD!

83 thoughts on “International Wear A Dress Day 2009 — Today!

  1. Although I love the dresses you post, Im mostly a skirt girl. They just fit my body better – Im more of an apple shape. Plus its cold here. Tights, boots, a skirt and a sweater are my choices for fall/winter on just about every day for work.I work in a male dominated industry, too. Eventually I just gave up on the boring black slacks. Im pretty sure they know Im a girl and prove I know my stuff through my work. I dont need to dress like a man – Id much rather have fun with my clothes. :)Happy IWADD!

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  2. As a plus sized gal myself, its not so much finding an attractive dress but rather, not ending up chafed. I used to buy cotton (t-shirt material) shorts to wear under skirts and dresses, but I have not been able to find these in stores in quite awhile, so I just wear pants again.

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  3. How about I work at home, while watching my kid, and today it was a victory to just switch from pajama pants into yoga pants. Still wearing the pajama top though. Sigh.There you have it, my true confession. Although, if I leave the house today, I will have to get into real clothes and will try and remember to go for a dress!

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  4. Ive finished reworking the old dress and Im happy to say my first attempt at using a sewing machine cut the time significantly.I just wish I could find a real person to give me lessons. Ive tried. Instead, I prop the laptop on the table with tutorial pages open and try to reproduce as best I can.Sites such as yours, Erin, are very inspiring.Long live the dress!

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  5. What about this one? There is two feet of snow on the ground, it is still coming down hard, and the winter storm warning is advising all travelers to being winter survival kits in the car.Could next years IWADD be earlier when it is warmer?

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  6. Like Stacey, I prefer skirts. I have a short body and dresses tend to make me look squat (Im 510). And as today is Halloween in my office, I decided to wear a bustle skirt I made with a black corset my good friend gifted me last year. Ive got a hot school marm thing going on…

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  7. Love skirts and dresses and they make up 90% of my work wardrobe even though I work in a male-dominated industry and often have to be out and about meeting with contractors, on job sites, etc. I wore pants yesterday and felt a little off all day!Jennylous projects, check Amazon for pettipants – they have a great selection of different vendors and the prices are great!

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  8. Terribly delighted that although I had forgotten International Wear a Dress Day- I actually did wear a dress today!If only I could master the full-bust-adjustment, I could make my own. But for now, Im delighted that sheath dresses with empire or princess busts are back in style and available in stores- they are so flattering on a slightly heavier hourglass figure 🙂

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  9. OK, I have one I dont think can be overcome. Mind you, I wear skirts and dresses when not in the plant, but most vehicle assembly plants dont allow you to wear skirts. So for the months Im at a build, I cant wear skirts and I have to wear steel-toed shoes. Hows that? –Karen

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  10. I just wanted to tell you that while I still dont wear a dress today (I only own one lonely summer dress, yeah, its a shame.) I have indeed turned to my one fitting skirt for today. And I found that when I think about it pants arent really more comfortable than that. (I had to pull on my jeans the whole day yesterday because they dont stay where they belong plus they pinch at the belly at the same time. I only needed to find comfortable tights.)So now you can find me buying fabric, zippers, new shoes and a coat.

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  11. Im wearing a skirt… please tell me that counts! Id clean forgotten it was today and it seems too late (nearly 4pm in the UK) to change now. Although Im going out tonight, so I could do International Wear a Dress Evening (with one Ive made myself and all…).

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  12. Doh! I forgot it was IWADD today. Theres my excuse, which probably isnt a very good one. Oh well.Jennylous Projects, I also have the chafing issue when wearing skirts or dresses, and I hate wearing hose or tights if its even a bit warm outside. Instead, I wear thigh-shapers, but I buy them in a size or two larger than Id need for any kind of actual shaping. This way, I have a cling-free barrier to prevent the chafing, but Im also not squished into uncomfortableness all day.

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  13. I forgot today was IWADD but I am wearing a skirt. As for the stay-at-home mom excuses, its not excuse! Ive been a stay-at-home mom for over 10 years and I wear skirts or dresses nearly every day. I only own one pair of jeans, one pair of trousers and no (ZERO) sweatpants, yogapants or pajama pants. The honest truth is that I sew everything I wear and Im horrible at fitting trousers. Oh, yeah, and Im plus-sized. Spanx or Assests (Targets knock-off Spanx) are great for preventing chaffing.

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  14. Well, I love dresses and skirts in theory but Im not a big fan of my legs. I have rather, ahem, sturdy looking ankles and knees. That said, I have class tonight after work (which I do at home) and I will endeavor to wear a dress for the occasion.

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  15. Im an, ahem, large size, but I almost always wear a dress or skirt. #1 reason? Vanity. I dont want everyone to see my big thighs. #2 reason? Charity. Why should I inflict the sight of my thighs and butt on society. #3 reason? My husband prefers the feminity of a dress. Its my part to promoting marital bliss. #4 reason? I feel like a slob in pants. Feeling more dressed up gives my a sense of power, even while milking a goat. Hey, if Caroline Ingalls could help build a log cabin in a prarie dress and bonnet, I can do anything in a dress too.

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  16. Yay, IWADD! I didnt even know it and Im wearing a 70s Leslie Faye Polyester shirt dress printed with big red mushrooms. But in all honesty, I find trousers uncomfortable, and since I work in an office, Mary Tyler Moore-era dresses are fun. But if I were a surgeon or an industrial welder, Id have to rethink this, thats true. In terms of warmth: tights, legwarmers and fuzzy boots or mukluks keep my legs warm all winter. And theres nothing warmer than a polyester maxi dress and a faux fur.

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  17. Yay all you IWADDers. Is that a word?Im confused. I thought UK tights and US pantyhose were the same thing. They arent? Thats not the only thing Im confused about, but Im not expecting help on the rest of my life here ;-)Cheers,AJ

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  18. Oh goody, a rant! Havent had one of those in a while. Theyre my favorite bit of this blog.I dont worry about the underwear problem when I ride a bike, but rather about the hem of the dress getting caught in the spokes of the bike. How do you avoid this?Today Im wearing a wool skirt that I sewed.

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  19. Another excuse Ive heard is oh, I need pockets, and dresses dont have pockets. Which just proves that youre not trying hard enough.My question is, what if I wanted a dress that sort of looked like I was wearing a little jacket over it, but not really? What would I do then?[Erin, the link you provided goes to the IWADD 08 Flickr group… are we piggybacking off of that one or is there one for this year?]

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  20. I didnt even know IWADD existed!I may have considered wearing a skirt!Dresses/skirts and I dont get along. Mainly because have long legs and a short torso, and dresses all seem to hit me in the lets make her look even stubbier! length. :PI can pull off an evening gown if I have heels, but nothing work-appropriate. :PI wear sneakers at work because I stand all day. Where can you get shoes that both look good with dresses and at the same time dont look like the stereotypical frumpy nurse shoes?I do agree that I really should get more comfortable in dresses. Hrm, gives me something to think about. Thank you.@xstpenguin – in North America, pantyhose are sheer stockings, and tights are a thicker, usually opaque material.

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  21. Winding Ways, you need to get/buy/make a skirt guard for your bike.I wear dresses all the time – everyday if I can. I love them. But I didnt wear them when I was breastfeeding! You can probably get dresses with strategic access points, but I never had one. And I didnt wear them when I worked in early childhood education, because I was climbing and crawling and god-knows-what.

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  22. ok, inspired by this post i pulled out a dress from the past, a little a-line thing i made out of red union suit thermal fabric. 😀 im a dress-a-day girl myself, i love them and wear them as much as i can, but they arent allowed when im on the deck (union rules).

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  23. I forget about IWDD09, but fortunately I am wearing a sort of stunt dress in a large zebra print. I am taking my costumed kids to my husbands company Halloween party. I love coincidences!

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  24. I didnt wear a dress today, because I worked from home and was wearing pyjamas all day. But Im meeting my mother for lunch and some shopping tomorrow and I think Ill wear the last skirt she sewed me (black and white polka-dotted half circle with a pink satin lining), partly in her honour, partly in yours :-)Jennylou, I also have chafing thighs, even though Im not really plus-sized (my sisters thighs chafed when she was a US size 4). I usually wear my dresses with tights, or spanx in summer, but Sloggi also do some longer length shorts that look pretty darn comfy. Ive yet to see them in stores but you can get them on the internet. Personally, I feel much more comfortable in a skirt or a dress than in pants. Its hard to find jeans to suit my hourglass-ish figure, and for the price of a pair of jeans you can get a whole outfit in one! As long as its not a pencil skirt, dresses etc; give you unrestricted freedom of movement, and Ive never seen uncovered knees and ankles as particularly immodest.Ive also worn a skirt while digging in my garden, and was quite miffed when my supermarket shelf-stacking job wouldnt let me wear a skirt. Thick tights and a pair of steel-capped doc Martens make a pretty formidable (and insulating) barrier. Trousers on the other hand are always falling down, and these days youve always got to worry about camel toe/muffin top. Re: with snow; dont other people find there is little worse in life than slush-soaked jeans hems, with the dampness slowly spreading knee-wards? Long boots and knitted tights all the way!

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  25. I wear dresses/skirts all the time for religious reasons. You seem to have forgotten that there are manywomen who prefer modest attire:dresses, long sleeves and knee-hisinstead of pantyhose. If you wear a longer skirt, you cant tell thedifference. I have been a sewer for40+ years and now make things for my teenage daughter. By the way, if you go to a religious neighborhood, you will find stores that sell lots of dresses, skirts,and large sizes. SJ from Efrat, Israel

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  26. I wore my brown paisley wool dress with the pattern matched at the seams and a camel hair jacket today. Im toasty.One can wear a dress or skirt for almost any activity. Pants are useful for repairing the roof, because ones tush might be higher then the neighbors line of sight. For gardening, home repairs, painting, skirts are comfortable and easy to move around in. The Utilikilts people are advocating pleated skirts (with lots of pockets) for men who work in the construction industry.-Shaun

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  27. Amen! I wear dresses or skirts every day except Friday (my boyfriend likes jeans, so I force myself once a week). They are just more comfy.As an almost plus size lady, Ive used deodorant to avoid chafing. It cuts down on the friction if Im doing a bunch of walking. Just thought Id mention my weird habit.

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  28. Good heavens I forgot! Im not wearing a dress, because Im 55 miles from home and dont have one with me.Tights in the US are colored and made of heavier fabric (cotton, wool, acrylic, nylon or blends of these). As a child I always wore tights in the winter, because I always wore a dress. It was the times; every female did. Now as to the underwear problem. Wear shorts under your skirts. Make them if you have to. We played on the swings, jungle gyms, played kickball, ran, jumped rope, rode our bikes, did cartwheels, etc. Grandmas yelled at us for being immodest, but we had on shorts. As to bike riding – I do recommend fenders on the bike. (That is just good sense. Keeps mud and dirty water from splashing up on you.)

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  29. The rant about skating in a skirt sent me back to circa 1965 when my sister and I went to the ice rink every weekend (aunt and uncle worked there)and skated in very cute skating skirts, thank you, which were worn with very heavy tights.

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  30. I did where a dress today even though I had forgotten it was IWADD. I wont be uploading a photo to Flickr though because Im not taking any pictures.Im plus-sized so I make my own dresses. I also make shorts to wear under the dresses. I just use a comfortable-fitting elastic-waist pants pattern and make shorts instead of pants. And since I do sew, I make sure I add pockets to all my dresses now!So far I have not gotten creative with my shorts/pettipants, but I am considering adding lace to the legs, or frills on the bum, or other such embellishments, just to surprise people if they ever do end up seeing the shorts. Gotta have some fun in life.

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  31. I actually wore a dress on Thursday, without realising it was IWADD. I wish I had taken a photo. Happy IWADD to everyone still in Thursday.

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  32. Sorry I missed today. Ill be celebrating tomorrow when Im in the office (instead of in the muddy field, gleaning) and can get all dolled up… Cant wait!!

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  33. Sorry I missed today. Ill be celebrating tomorrow when Im in the office (instead of in the muddy field, gleaning) and can get all dolled up… Cant wait!!

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  34. I wore my Power Dress today (a chic little shirtdress *with* pockets) because I was bidding on a painting at Sothebys, London… by telephone! My colleagues thought it was pretty hilarious that the Art Curator dressed up for a phone call, but I was so nervous (my first auction, other than personal shopping on eBay for parts for my Singer 403A) that I knew I couldnt carry it off without the emotional support that dress. And it worked!

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  35. Im a guy who crossdresses ~ Ill wear a dress to work tomorrow. Its almost Halloween. I do know Ill take a ribbing for the next five years, but Ill do it. 🙂

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  36. I wore a skirt today, which is a big change from jeans or yoga pants…….but there was a reason. I have this one leftover broomstick skirt that I can wear with a little camisole and a blouse……….today was my biannual Dermatology appointment. And being red headed and freckled (or what my Dr calls Celtic) skinned…….I am paying for the years (60+) that I didnt listen to my grandmother wear that damn bonnet and long sleeves, not to mention shorts and bikinis……so I have to wear something that doesnt touch most places when I leave there. And this old broomstick is just perfect. Ironic that it was on Wear a Dress Day. LOL

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  37. Off topic I guess, but I was wondering why tights would be unacceptable for a conservative workplace? I wear skirts and dresses most of the time and in the winter I always wear thick wooly sweater tights. Im pretty sure Ive never worn pantyhose, and I cant imagine why they would be more appropriate than tights in a neutral color. If anything I would think pantyhose would be less appropriate for work because I think of them as being slinky and sexy (and surely prone to runs?) whereas tights are more of a practical necessity. Anyway, can anyone tell me when and why I should be wearing pantyhose instead of tights?

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  38. i LOVE broomstick skirts, always were my favorite. Did not wear a skirt today, my springy runners dont go with dresses.. Re the pettipants.. I have a pattern and sure others do to for pettipants dated 1969 by the early Stretch and Sew company… that might be cheaper than buying them… This day is now marked on my calendar and next year will make a profound effort to wear something other than pants! 100 kilometre winds today so a skirt or dress would not be suitable in southern Alberta!

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  39. Although Ive been at home sick most of the day in my Jammies, I did have a meeting this evening and wore a dress with pride – Navy, Purple and Mustard floral-print Maxi Dress which I wore with Brown boots, a vintage broach and a smile!I wear dresses (or at least a skirt!)pretty much every day which probably has a lot ot do with the fact that I have a Romantic Style Personality, but believe me, nobody ever raises eyebrows at me wearing a dress as they are completely used to it. Hope everyone else enjoyed their dresses today!Oh, and help out an ignorant Brit – whats the difference between tights and pantyhose? US Vocab failure on my part!

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  40. I always feel happiest in a dress. Today I am wearing a black and white knit made from the much coveted pattern, Vogue 1610, a Dian Von Furstenberg from the 70s. It is a wrap dress and thus fits me in the fat and thin phases, which can vary day to day!

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  41. I walk dogs for most of my day. They are messy creatures, particularly when you live on a rain planet as I do. (Its been raining how many days straight in Chicago now? Ive lost count.)Therefore, no dress for me and Im a HUGE fan of the dress. I will wear one this weekend when I go out for my martini(s). See you at Wee Gees!

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  42. I can honestly say that I am baffled by people who say that they dont wear dresses because they dont flatter their figure. Arent there, like, eight million styles of dresses? I may not be able to pull off the slinky fitted sheath (my sister can, curse her) but I can work a duro or a shirtdress.P.S. Today its a duro.

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  43. Yay iwadd! I forgot too, despite joyfully reading your reminder the other day. I always wear dresses to work anyway, but I would have worn a specialler one if I had remembered. Today was a vintage black military styled number, with a black and white striped top underneath for patterning ( and thick-ish tights for the oncoming Canadian November).Oh, and I guess my black patent penny loafers would rate on the the Dress-a-day meter as well!

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  44. I would have loved to wear a dress but I got up today and stayed in my PJs. If Id left the house I would have dressed in a dress.

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  45. Im wearing a skirt, so do I get partial credit? Im nursing, so attractive dresses are hard to come by. To be honest, skirts seem to flatter me more than dresses, but I still love admiring all of your lovely dresses on your blog!

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