How moving to Australia with two suitcases helped me re-find the fun in getting dressed

I did not pack with the expectation that I’d still be living out of my suitcases nearly six months later. Which I am, because my container hasn’t arrived.

As Australia has come through the pandemic, there’s a sense of excitement and optimism emerging. My friends are dressing with fun in mind, with quirky print-infused outfits from local brands Gorman and Mr Zimi. They’re wearing brighter colours and making more of an effort when going out than ever before. I’ve felt underdressed and boring by comparison. 

All the anxiety I felt about moving bubbled over the night of that party. But then I found a dress – a dress that the movers forgot, and that I, consequently, had jammed into a suitcase at the last second. It was a fluffy, tiered Stine Goya dress. A shocking blue confection with giant bows over the shoulders that I had picked up in a moment of uncharacteristic whimsy (or boredom) during the end of summer sales. Dressing it down with a T-shirt, statement Aligheri necklace and trainers, I felt fun, if a little OTT. 

When I saw my friends, instead of talking about my plans for the future, I got to twirl and talk about the dress, to have my friends compliment the bright colour and the joyfulness of the giant bows on the shoulders. As I got tipsy, I stopped worrying if I’d gotten it right, the dress bringing out a playfulness I thought I had long since lost.

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