Baby Doll: Black laser-cut dress + bib necklace

My style motto for many, many years was "If I can't do pretty, I'll do cute."

Deep down, I am not sure I believed that I was pretty, so things that were overtly feminine were scary to me. What if someone caught me in the act of trying to be beautiful? I was sure I would be found out as an imposter.

But I knew how to be cute, and quirky. A-line dresses with combat boots; boy-short hair and red lipstick; Mary Janes and T-shirts. That was comfortable. That felt safe. That didn't feel like trying to be something I wasn't.

Over the last several years, though, I've been exploring not just "pretty" and "beautiful," but other things that were previously uncomfortable. Sophisticated. Powerful. Womanly. Sexy. (Kristina wrote a great post a little while back about the words she has chosen to define her personal style — it's an interesting exercise to really give some thought to the words you would choose.)

And while my feelings about doing/being/dressing "cute" now are tinged with a little bit of regret and anger over the years I spent hiding behind "cute" because I was too afraid to shoot for "beautiful," I do not thing there is anything wrong with "cute."

I think about all the conversations that flew around a few years ago about Zooey Deschanel (is she too cute/girly? What does it mean? Is being girly not OK? Why is it or isn't it? etc., which, in case you're wondering, is the kind of stuff I read/think about when I should be doing real work) and, you know, I think she got it right when she said, "I think the fact that people are associating being girlie with weakness, that needs to be examined. I don’t think that it undermines my power at all.”

So I'll go ahead and rock this baby-doll dress and bib necklace, and feel sweet, and cute, and pretty. It doesn't make me any less beautiful, or sophisticated, or strong.

Jacket: Vintage (Etsy link)
Bib necklace: Homemade, thrifted
Dress: Maggie London, thrifted
Leggings, booties: thrifted
Total cost to me: About $14


  1. Oooohh, super cute! I love all those pieces!

    1. Thanks Kira! This is the first time I've worn the necklace and leggings, and I am pretty excited about both of them :) I just realized the entire outfit (shoes, necklace and all) is from my local Salvation Army ... I seriously love that place

  2. You look absolutely stunning and I love everything you have said here! Rock that dress and that attitude!

    1. Thanks Justina! I gotta give myself a good pep talk every now and then :)

  3. That's a great perspective on being girly. I so often feel like I have to provide evidence of opposing qualities to prove my worth. "I like camping and Quentin Tarantino so, I'm not all THAT girly." But, why do we view this as such a weakness? To me girly-ness is the embodiment of delight, innocence, and positivity. These are great things to be and I think your outfit captures all of that!

    1. Oh, I can totally identify with that! For many years I was all about being "that girl" — you know, the one who drinks whiskey straight, and smokes unfiltered cigarettes? Yeah. I was soooo not going to be a girly girl! But I'm learning to embrace femininity on my own terms.


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