March 26, 2009

A Dress a Day

I know next to nothing about fashion and up until I became engrossed in Project Runway, I had no interest in fashion either. I've tried to educate myself by reading the fashion coverage of the runway shows in the New York Times. I can understand the words in the reviews, but I can't figure out, when the words are strung together, what the heck they mean.

That's one reason why A Dress A Day is such a pleasant alternative. The site's creator, Erin McKean, had better have a way with words, as she's the former consulting editor of The New Oxford American Dictionary at a ridiculously young age (she was born the year I graduated college), and the author of several books about words.

A Dress A Day focuses on vintage dresses and fabrics, and is as playful as most fashion sites are annoyingly preoccupied with trends and designer names. Mostly, Erin muses about garments that appeal to her, sometimes enlisting her readers' help in talking her down from buying yet another pattern.

The readers are a big part of the appeal of A Dress a Day. The site attracts some of the sweetest and most enthusiastic commenters on the Net.

I love Erin's Secret Lives of Dresses, first person stories from the point-of-view of dresses. Some are funny, and some can make a grown man sad.

One of the best things about the Net is ability to peek into subcultures that you would never encounter otherwise. I'm not about to pick up a sewing machine, or even a copy of Vogue; but I sure value the time I spend at A Dress A Day.