Instead of celebrating my birthday by sharing 20 things I’ve learned in the past 20 years, like lots of bloggers do, I decided to switch it up and post about the most memorable outfits I’ve worn in my life. Of course, I don’t have photos of most of them—only the memories remain (and sometimes even the clothing items, in a cardboard box buried in the back of my closet). I included everything from naughty Elvis costumes to wedding guest outfits to what I wore on possibly the best day of my life. So without further ado, here are the 20 looks that have remained engrained in my mind for years and will probably remain there for years to come. Click on the links to see some of the pieces/outfits in action!
1) One of the most memorable outfits stuck in my mind is a flowy skirt with dark purple and lavender flowers all over it and a matching white shirt embellished with a purple butterfly. I don’t even remember wearing the adorable set, I just recall bawling my eyes out when my mom said I had to give it away after outgrowing it. I was, I don’t know, five years old? Maybe? But clearly it was a traumatic moment ‘cause sometimes I still think about that little purple matching set. Sigh… it was just so cute.
2) For my First Communion, I wore the same dress my mother had worn for her own ceremony. At first I was displeased by its slightly yellowing color and its weird “old smell,” but once I tried it on it was gorgeous—shift style with ¾ length sleeves, completely lace and the prettiest standing collar detail. I hope one day my own daughter gets to wear it for an event, as I have it stored in my mother’s bedroom!
3) When I was very little, I went as a devil for Halloween for several years in a row (you can find the costume in this blog post). Boy did I love the red velvet onesie I wore for that costume, along with the matching horns. If I wore something similar now, though, it would definitely be categorized as naughty! Skin-tight velvet is a look…
4) I must have had a thing for red velvet (just like the cake—I love that too) because my favorite outfit to wear on Christmas for many years was a red velvet shift dress with white fur trim along the hem and the bottom of the long sleeves. It was seriously the cutest! I even wore it to an Andy Williams Christmas show in Vegas.
5) Another favorite dress of mine was a flowy, pastel yellow dress that had an asymmetrical hemline that went just below my knees. It was made of the lightest chiffon material and was covered in light blue flowers. It was sleeveless but had straps of rouched chiffon fabric with little blue flower appliques at the base of each strap. I danced the night away in this dress at my grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary when I was 6, but I also wore it to my cousin’s graduation and for several Easters until I outgrew it.
6) Clearly I remember dresses best because the next outfit was a T-length fancy dress made of an airy black and white floral fabric. It was underlaid with tulle so it had a pretty A-line shape and a black velvet belt at the waist. I got a lot of wear out of this dress for events like weddings and an auction (for which it was originally purchased). By the time I was done wearing it, it was knee length instead of T-length—ha! I kept this dress for my own daughter one day.
7) My family has a tradition that when you turn 10, you fly on a plane by yourself to Las Vegas to spend the summer with our extended family. On the day I flew out, I wore a sophisticated almost-olive-green dress that had dark brown lace straps, along with a matching brown velvet choker. Very chic for age 10!
8) On that same 10 trip, my uncle took me to see The Lion King, and I wore a green/turquoise plaid summery dress, with a ruffle at the knee and beads on the tie straps. The bodice was smocked, and I paired it with shiny lime green slip-on peep-toes. They used to be my favorite shoes!
9) Another favorite dress—more on the casual end—was a sweater dress I wore all throughout middle school. It was a salmon pink, dark purple, and white Christmas-sweater pattern, with the cutest capped sleeves. I always wore it with lace knee socks and high black boots, until my mother told me it had gotten too short and too tight…something about “a bubble butt”? Such a bummer. I do remember it was from H&M though.
10) Also in middle school, I dressed as Elvis for Halloween for a few years, teased my bangs into an Elvis hair-do, and raked in alllll the candy from old people who appreciated the costume. The funny part? It was a Sexy Elvis costume from Amazon that I wore a white tank top underneath. It didn’t matter back then because the costume was way too big and I had no ASSets, but now? No tank top could keep that skintight bedazzled white jumpsuit from being scandalous…
11) In 8th grade, my school always celebrated May Crowning and I bought this black and white pinstripe dress for the occasion, styling it with a pink belt and this green cardigan. I still wear all of those pieces to this day.
12) For my actual 8th grade graduation, I wore this black rouched top and black and white patterned pants—that’s right y’all, I didn’t wear a dress. I wore pants just to be a rabble-rouser and, well, it worked. Quite the scandal.
13) This black Calvin Klein dress I bought for a steal at a consignment shop was the first dress I ever wore to a formal dance, Homecoming of my sophomore year. I actually just got to wear it again on Friday for the surprise birthday party my friends threw for me!
14) One of the best days of my life happened sophomore year of high school, and I got to wear this fabulous flapper girl costume, complete with finger wave curls and t-strap heels. Still one of my all-time favorite looks, and I’m so glad I actually have photos to remember this one.
15) During my junior year of high school, I participated in an art show to showcase the collection of graphite drawings I had been working on the entire year. It was such an accomplishment and one of my proudest moments, so of course I had a super stylish outfit to wear to the event. Here’s the blog post with the purple patterned dress I wore!
16) For my birthday senior year of high school, my brother bought us tickets to the Dancing with the Stars Live Tour. If you don’t know this about me, I LOVE Dancing with the Stars and want to be on the show one day. Of course, I had to wear this red fringe flapper-esque dress and silver heels, just like the pros do when they dance the Cha-Cha!
18) For my high school graduation, I wore this vintage style polka dress that was a hand-me-down from my cousin. The photos in this blog post were actually taken the day after I graduated. Such special memories.
19) On my first day of college freshman year, I wore my favorite striped green t-shirt and an olive skirt (you can find the look in this blog post). Hey guess what! I wore the same thing for the first day of sophomore year too… Hopefully I can keep the tradition going for junior and senior year as well.
20) And lastly, I can only imagine that the outfit in this post—what I wore on my actual 20th birthday—will go down in my life history as one of my most memorable outfits. I’m obsessed with polka dots, and the gorgeous lace detailing of this blouse was a must for my special day.
And there you have it! Twenty of the most memorable outfits from my life, as well as a photo of me very awkwardly holding a spoon before devouring my birthday dessert. I love how sentimental clothes can become, but it makes it so difficult to get rid of them. That’s why my closet is bursting at the seams! What outfits hold special memories in your own lives? I’d love to hear about them.
And of course, I can’t forget to say thank you to all the Veterans who have served our country. Have a wonderful Monday, and happy Veteran’s Day!
Miles of smiles,