Stepping Out My Comfort Zone In A Paisley Dress

Stepping Out My Comfort Zone In A Paisley Dress

You might have guessed from my multitude of overexcited Instagrams that I was visiting my grandparents the other weekend. They even took me to this incredible restaurant called 1921. I could not quite believe that such a restaurant existed in sleepy, little Bury St Edmunds. Fortunately, I always like to dress up when I’m going out for lunch with my grandparents and had packed with that in mind. It might have been bought from a charity shop, but my gorgeous paisley dress definitely hit the right note for a delicious lunch out.

Eating Out in Paisley

Now, I know what you are all thinking. What am I doing wearing something with so much colour AND pattern on it? It is true, I do tend to stick to geometric patterns, stripes, checks or occasionally spots, and normally they’re in a darker or more monochromatic colour scheme. The only black on this dress is the black used to outline the pattern. Yet from the moment I spotted it in the British Red Cross shop, I knew I had to at the very least try this dress on for size. With a little bit of encouragement from my mum, Jayne and Emma, I found myself buying a dress that was both patterned and colourful! 

There are three reasons why I found myself stepping out of my comfort zone:

1) The High Waist

Okay, I admit it doesn’t do my chest many favours but the high waist slims me down (so long as I keep that stomach under control) and make me look that little bit taller. Yes, I am already pretty tall but even in flats this dress doubles the length of my legs. My lower legs are one of my favourite bits of my body but I’m still working on my thigh confidence. That means anything that slims and/or lengthens them is going to go down well with me.

2) The Modest Flare

Look at the bottom of the dress. You might notice that the bottom section is slightly pleated and flared in comparison to the rest of the “skirt” section. Not only is it a fun detail – who doesn’t love a bit flare on a dress? – but it keeps the dress feminine and modest. As much as I love a good full circle skirt, they do have the tendency to fly up in wind and show everyone your knickers. Not great. But the way this dress is made, with a straight skirt and flared trim, means that it is a “Marilyn Moment” free dress. A fact which can let my knickers do their job in peace.

My Paisley Dress


My Paisley Dress

3) It’s Fun To Be A Bit Different

I bought this dress during summer last year. The same summer when I had a rollercoaster-not-quite-there-summer, three weeks off work due to tendonitis, and emotions all over the place. Suffice to say, I did not feel like being myself very much. It’s at these points when I can go one of two ways. I can surround myself with favourite black skirts and tops or I can be bold and take a step into the unknown. This dress was part of making those steps forward and exploring who I had become over that summer. Because if you’e going to explore who you really are, the wardrobe is one of the best places to start.


Writing this post has taught me a lot through one dress. It’s a blessing that a few not so fondly remembered weeks have resulted in me stepping out of my comfort zone, switching off the autopilot. If a misplaced assumption can encourage me to embrace the satorial unknown, who knows what is next!


Style Notes || Dress and Bag: British Red Cross || Cardigan: Peacocks || Shoes: New Look

The post Stepping Out My Comfort Zone In A Paisley Dress first appeared on CounterCultural. CounterCouture.

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