grrrlz in white dresses with blue satin sashes

It’s hard to believe May Day is in a week! May Day is absolutely my favorite holiday, it’s just a wonderful day to sit in the sun. In case anyone is still seeking a dress, here’s a little shopping guide of strategies for dress-finding, especially if tried-and-true methods like the King of Prussia Mall or Suburban Square haven’t been fruitful or aren’t appealing:

(disclaimer: I wear dresses pretty much all the time so I don’t know how well I can speak to other festive May Day options)

Option 1: look online!

Here are some good options, which represent a pretty affordable price range (I’ll go approximately low to high): Rainbow, Forever 21, asos, Ruche, LuLu’s, Modcloth, and Shabby Apple all have dresses I really like. I also have a Pinterest board for May Day dresses, which is kind of embarrassing but potentially helpful.

Option 2: thrift stores!

Thrift stores are my favorite and probably source 70% of my wardrobe. My favorites around here are the Bryn Mawr Hospital Thrift Shop, which is right across the street from Wawa and is seriously a great place. Philly AIDS Thrift is also great if you’re in the city. You can also find great vintage stuff on Etsy if you look around!


thrifted dress. photo by allie levitan.

Option 3: sharing is caring!

I think this is a very underutilized option. Hopefully y’all are already keeping tabs on your local free boxes, but the thing about Bryn Mawr is that so many people around you get a new white dress every year. There is a real surplus of May Day dresses that I believe is untapped. Check in with your friends to see if someone has a dress they could lend you or perhaps one they don’t want anymore. If you don’t want to be someone else’s twin, you can modify a dress in fun ways. A dear friend passed on a lovely strapless white eyelet sundress to me and there just wasn’t enough going on for my taste, so I recruited a pal from the Art Club to help me give it a little ombre flavor. It was a lot of fun

ombredress from audrey. photo by prianna pathak.

May Day can feel like prom with all the dress panic, but no matter what, you’ll have so much fun/cry forever at the step sing!

Any shopping sources I missed?

Dali Parton

Happy Halloween on Wednesday, everyone! Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday, mostly because I love getting dressed so any event centered around putting together an elaborate outfit is an event I love. I also love all the millions of options on Halloween. You can, as my sister did, simply part your hair on the other side and go as das Unheimliche, or you can be as elaborate as this guy. I took something of a middle road and combined all my favorite things: puns, art history, country queens, and fake facial hair. I was Dali Parton!

My two influences, of course, were this lady and this gentleman.

Now for pictures!

The dress and wig took inspiration from Dolly’s wardrobe and her love of pink:

(sadly I didn’t have any lasers or a bedazzled cowboy hat)

But also with lots of inspiration from Dali, especially his most famous painting, The Persistence of Memory (or, since we’re Dollifying it, The Persistence of Mammary?)

Salvador Dali, The Persistence of Memory, 1931Inspiration taken from this painting include a melting clock I crafted from felt:

A party of ants made of sequins (because, you know, Dolly) marching up my leg:

And some eyelashes, though I couldn’t figure out a way to incorporate a pile of skin (is that what that is? I don’t know. Surrealism, man.)

And, of course, one of Dali’s most iconic signifiers was his mustache, which he sometimes decorated with flowers:


But of course mine needed to be pink, and because it was artificial I wasn’t able to cultivate the same gravity-defying effect Dali’s mustache was so well-known for:

And finally, because right after my Halloween party I went right to the media lab to work on formatting the college news and some wonderful friends came to visit me even though it was late on a Saturday night:

Me, Kelly, Edie Sedgwick, and a historical getup via the 1990s.

What I Wore: Parade Night

All day on Friday, people kept saying, “What a lovely dress you’re wearing!” To this I would respond by showing them that I was in fact not wearing a dress, but a romper gifted to me by my hellee, perfect for climbing trees and riding bikes:

Making an extra creepy face to show off my increased sartorial dexterity.

It’s daisy printed and has a dark blue background, which I thought would be appropriate because daisies are the official flower of Bryn Mawr and dark blue is my class color (evens ’til we’re dead!). The romper format seemed useful because sometimes it’s hard to sit on the ground for a long time in a dress. Also, this is a goofy enough garment that I thought maybe I should wear it first in front of people who are feeling the Parade Night spirit and will be forgiving about my silly clothing choices. My aforementioned hellee, Anna, is set to graduate in 2014 as well (she is extra ambitious and planning on graduating in 3 years, which makes me want to say weepily, “My little baby is all grown up!” and plant an embarrassing lipsticky kiss on her forehead like a good mom) so we were matching in our dark blue:

Me and my babygirl.

Isn’t she the cutest? Also, am I the only person who absolutely loves being matching with other people? My grandma used to buy me and my older sister matching fluffy dresses and frilly socks for Sunday School and I absolutely loved it.

On Parade Night, it’s the Sophomores’ responsibility to gently sprinkle water (via water balloons and squirt guns) upon the first-year students as they run through campus. As their sister class, we juniors are expected to shower the new students with flowers and candy. I threw a combination of rose petals I foraged (I’ve noticed the rose bushes shedding, I was able to gather a generous number of petals from the ground beneath them) and bread crumbs because, you know, Bread and Roses. I tossed in a little glitter too, for good measure. It felt so great to be back in the traditions spirit, sitting on a blanket with my friends and singing songs with my fellow Mawrters, sprinkling rose petals, glitter, and bread crumbs like a fairy princess flower girl Gretel, and of course frolicking in Taft under the warm night sky after we finished singing a lullaby to our sister class.