FATshion: Put a Bird on It Edition

Maybe, at some point recently, you caught yourself thinking, “I want a dress with a bird or birds on it in some capacity!” I’m here to talk you out of it. Or into it. Uh, I have dresses with birds on them for you.

Jun 18, 2012 at 5:32pm | Leave a comment

Who doesn’t like a bird? Well, lots of people. Lots of people seem to think they’re dirty, and they kind of are. I mean, any animal that just poops whereever it happens to be standing -- or even in mid-flight -- is an animal that does not place a high priority on cleanliness. Why can’t birds poop in selected places anyway? Are they so freaking busy they can’t stop to do so? 

OK, did not mean for this post to start off talking about bird poop. Let’s start again.

BIRDS! They mean something to us right now, in this cultural moment, some twinge in our collective unconscious that makes us smile at their little silhouette forms on totebags and shower curtains and even clothing. What do they mean? I have no idea. I’m not doing that kind of research for a fatshion post. Here’s some clothes instead.

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Bird print skater dress, UK sizes 14-32, £45.00

I’ve never been clear on the when and where of us starting to call these really simple scoopneck dresses “skater” dresses. I mean, they’re a little reminiscent of the stretchy flippy dresses ice skaters wear, but so far as I know birds don’t ice-skate. Like pretty much ever. Penguins come the closest, but even then I’ve never seen a penguin pull off a triple axel. 

I guess if this dress had penguins on it, it would make more sense, is what I’m saying.

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Print maxi dress, sizes 8-28, $75

There’s something kind of muumuu-ish about this dress. I mean that in the best possible way. I had considered including an actual muumuu because damn if those things aren’t a good time, but decided to stick with dresses that people besides me might wear in public.

This print seems to feature genetically enhanced hummingbirds; they look awfully large, proportionally-speaking. Further proof I missed my calling as the person who writes the copy for catalog items: I would have called this the Genetically Enhanced Hummingbird Maxi, instead of Simply Be’s boring old “print maxi dress,” which tells you NOTHING about the bird situation.

ASOS has a dress for everything, and so of course they have a dress with birds on it. Their iteration defies the popular free-flying liberated bird print paradigm in favor of cages, however -- cages with tiny little birds trapped inside.

Is this a romantic gesture to the days when no self-respecting lady’s parlor was lacking some twittering fowl in an ornately curving cage? Or does it represent the confinement and misery of these delicate creatures imprisoned in nightmarishly tiny coops, only their songs able to pass through the bars and into the world? IS THIS DRESS A METAPHOR FOR YOUR SOUL, SUFFOCATING UNDER THE YOKE OF RESPONSIBILITY AND PROPRIETY?

Prrrobably not.

Ah, the bird dress for the person who kind of wants to BE a bird, albeit a bird with really depressing wings. What is up with those tiny little horizontal sleeves? I honestly like this dress a lot -- the drapey tulip shape and center zipper are great details -- but those pretend-sleeves just kill me. Are there large numbers of women only worried about covering the top part of their shoulders? 

I can’t speak for everyone, but my bingo wings live UNDER my upper arms. And I can’t fly with them. (Though not for lack of trying.)

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The birds who gossip dress, sizes 0-26, $70

Have you tried in your way to be free? Then this may be the dress for you, as it is covered all over in birds trying in their way to be free. As birds on wires always do. Leonard Cohen knew a few things about birds, man.

As a bonus, it’s a really swank 40s-esque retro style, and even if you hate every other dress I’ve shared here today you’re probably thinking about this one, just a little. Because it’s actually cute. Even with birds on it.