My Yes/No Dress

The marks left on my studio from my Yes /No Dress.

I usually have my Yes/No Dress hanging on the front of my studio.   I made it years ago.

Yes/No Quilts was actually the name of my business when I first started it.  The name came from the dress.

It was a dress I wore once, to a wedding.  Maroon velvet, short and closer fitting than any dress I ever wore before.  I loved the style of the dress and how I looked in it.

But I didn’t like the way men looked at me when I wore it.  As if I was wearing it for them and it gave them the right to stare at me in a way that made me uncomfortable.

So I got some carpet tacks and stuck them through the dress from the inside, so the point of the nails were coming through on the outside of the dress.

At the time, I couldn’t explain the feeling I had when I wore that dress to the wedding, but  when I made the Yes/No Dress, it seemed to express  what I didn’t have words for.

I still love that dress and think it’s pretty relevant for our times.

I have it hanging on the outside of my studio, like one of those old signs that businesses used to have, to let people who  couldn’t read, know what kind of business they were (Like how a milliner would have a wooden hat outside the shop).

One day last week, when it was really windy,  my  Yes/No Dress got blown off my studio.  So I took it inside.  That’s when I saw the marks the carpet tacks on the dress left on my studio, from being blown in the wind for the past three or four years.

It’s as if the dress made a drawing of it own.

A photo of my Yes/No Dress that Jon took.


6 thoughts on “My Yes/No Dress

  1. One of the many reasons I love you. And what a cool design it made on its own. I totally got what you were saying about the way men looked at you.

    You are way past yes/no.

  2. Boy can I relate to that – I had a great red dress that I got engaged in. Even that night at a posh (for our town) place for dinner the men took their own sweet time saying hello. I got the slow eyeballs first and my boyfriend kind of got the wink. What a great way to even out the energy! That would never happen now even if I still had the body for it!!

  3. The smile and swingy ‘brush strokes’ that the dress left on the wood seem to indicate her sense of freedom – both physical and emotional. The dress itself was ‘then’ and it’s artistic expression is the ‘now’. Both are beautiful as there could not have been the one without the other. (I had a clingy pantsuit that made me feel the same the one time I wore it as an older teen. I wish now that I’d repurposed it instead of discarding/donating it for someone else to suffer continuation of the cycle. Useless regret. Maybe it got burned…)

    1. Amy you said it just right. It’s funny I was having a hard time finding the words for why the marks had such an effect on me, but you were able to write it. Thank you! And I hope that your pantsuit is long gone….

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