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DSC_3658I took this OOTD photo straight after work yesterday. My lipstick had faded completely and I was feeling ready to throw on some joggers and a hoodie but before I entered wind-down mode I really wanted to get an OOTD photo.

First reason why, is that I really love this Oasis dress; the print is gorgeous. You can’t see it very clearly in the photos but it depicts a lovely pastoral scene; trees and water, it makes me think of a Japanese garden.

This is one of those rare things as well; a shirt dress that can accommodate an ample bust! There is also a tie at the back to pull in the waist which gives it a nice shape. I like wearing it with white tights so that you don’t lose that pretty edging, of course you could wear it with bare legs but probably not in February! Add to that little puffed cap sleeves, that tier along the hem and ruffles galore and you have got a discreetly pretty work dress.

DSC_3673There is another reason why I wanted to share this dress with you. Every time I wear it I remember exactly where I was when I first bought it.

It was the day before New Years Eve, 2010, I was shopping with my Dad in Preston and we were in Debenhams. We had split up so he could look at jumpers whist I browsed dresses.

In between shopping I was also texting. There was a boy who I had been talking with on Facebook. We had meet a few years ago and hadn’t kept in touch much but recently when our paths crossed there seemed to be a spark there. We began chatting very causally on Facebook and texting now and then, but we lived quite far apart. Before Christmas we had talked about New Years Even and as neither of us had any plans he said he would find out if anything was going on near him and would let me know the plan.

That was a couple of weeks ago and I had heard nothing from the boy since. Now the day before New Years Eve he had text me and invited me to go to a party and bonfire his friend was having. (I later found out he had been out of the Country since then which was why he had gone quiet, but I didn’t realise that at the time)

I was split in two! I wanted to go and see him, but it would mean driving an hour to get there and being at a party where I wouldn’t know many people. Plus did the fact that he hadn’t told me about it until the day before mean that he wasn’t really that keen on me anyway?

Insecure and unsure I texted another friend and asked for advice. Now, normally for these things you would probably text a trusted girl friend, but I decided I wanted some insight into the male mind. So I called on the most bloke-ish bloke I knew and asked him what he thought I should do.

His advice was phenomenal! He text me back and said:

If you want to go, go. If you don’t want to go, don’t go.’

It was profound! Did I want to go to the party with a guy I liked and was interested in and who might be interested in me or did I want to stay home and watch TV?

The question was pretty quickly settled in my mind. I told the boy that I would love come to the party.

Then I looked at myself in the changing room mirror in this shirt-dress dress and decided that I would take it.

The party was great. I had a fantastic time and spent the night meeting funny, interesting and lovely people. The spark between me and the boy continued to glow. Two weeks after the party we shared our first kiss, a year after that he proposed and now we are two years into our marriage!

And for the record I still love this dress! Every time I wear it now, I remember making that decision to go to a party, to say ‘yes’ when my insecurities said ‘no’. I wear this dress and remember that small risks can lead to wonderful things!

Be brave today Internet friends. Even the smallest steps of courage are worth taking!