Jacket: Old Navy; Dress: Zara; Shoes: Manolo Blahnik; Clutch: Vintage; Watch: Daniel Wellington; Bracelet: BaubleBar
This dress and I have quite the history.
Admittedly, the dress itself isn't anything remarkable really. It's from Zara, circa 2006 but I distinctly remember the day I purchased it. I was studying abroad in Turin, Italy for a semester in college and was having the time of my life -- bouncing around Europe on the weekends with my classmates, taking full advantage of the afternoon siesta life and generally experiencing that pinch-me feeling every time I stepped out my small apartment to cobblestone streets, the air buzzing with Italian from nearby vendors and passerby on their way to work.
I remember roaming around the downtown shopping district on the weekends, admiring just how naturally stylish everyone was -- both women and men. Of course, I lingered in front of the glossy window fronts -- Prada, Miu Miu, Valentino -- feasting on their latest sartorial confections, shiny and far beyond reach (the curse of champagne taste on a beer budget, or rather a student budget in this case).
But then there was Zara. And this dress.
It was toward the end of March, with the promise of spring weather around the corner and I recall seeing this particular dress in the window display. I immediately fell in love with the oversized floral print, the slightly retro flare and the fact we were going to Rome soon for the Easter break, where I wouldn't want to be wearing anything aside from this dress. On a Vespa. Eating gelato on the Spanish Steps. Preferably with Gregory Peck in tow.
Of course, I rushed in, tried the dress on. And proceeded to wear the dress all over Italy. To Rome. Later in Venice. A road trip through Florence. And lots of train rides over to Milan. It was my fool-proof, feel great dress -- with notes of Audrey and Grace -- and, as funny as it is to admit here in type, I felt invincible in it.
Flash forward 9 years, and it's one of the few Zara pieces that's survived countless closet clean outs and multiple apartment moves. It has one strap that's slightly busted (I have it very precariously sewed on right now), with more coffee stains on it than I would like to admit, but I can never seem to bring myself to part with it. Why? Probably because it reminds me too much of gelato breaks, the pizzeria we lived upstairs from, the butcher down the street who found our English intriguing and our attempts at Italian adorable, and sitting in piazzas during siesta breaks to purely take in the sunshine and silence of the afternoon over an espresso. So many vivid memories in just one dress that I happened to spot in a window on a random afternoon.