"It’s my belief, and my girl Beyoncé's (she even has a song about it), that every lady should have a 'Freakum Dress'—an outfit you put on when you need to feel like the sexiest you that you can be. For this, B advises something short and backless. But for me, it's a yellow-green, stretchy, short-sleeved Phillip Lim minidress.
"I spotted it when I was still a Chuck Taylor-wearing college senior skulking around Bergdorf Goodman looking for an 'interview suit.' But I knew it was the perfect dress: Short enough to show off my gams, modest enough in front, with a slight dip in the back to keep it sexy. I think it says, 'You’re going to have to take me to dinner before you discover my tart-y side, and a taco truck isn’t going to cut it.'
"In my day-to-day wardrobe, I tend to favor A-Line, high-waisted, or baby-doll styles; basically, things designed to hide my huge ass. Anything too tight or too pencil-y and I could easily make a cameo in a Juvenile video. But when I put it on it this dress it was like, BLAM! Curves, tiny waist, long legs; I was the lovechild of Beyoncé and Tina Turner. Seriously. It was amazing. I finally owned my curviness.
"Not according to the BG sales girl, however, who replied to my excitement with an icy, 'I don’t think it’s supposed to be that tight.' So, mostly in a big eff-you to the salesgirl, I slapped down my debit card, overdrew my account, and left the store the proud owner of...not the practical Elie Tahari suit I had meant to purchase.
"Fast forward two years (and a few extra pounds), and the dress has turned me into a siren on the dance-floor. Whenever I wear it out, I’m no longer the awkward girl busting out the robot as my go-to dance move, but some kind of mystical ass-shaking siren (I owe taking second place in a soul-dance competition to the magical powers of the yellow dress).
"Unfortunately, that salesgirl was just a little bit right—the dress is snug. And zippers aren’t infallible. So, remember friends, when a dress is tight and gets a little tighter thanks to a grad school diet of pizza and hot dogs, you, too, might find yourself frantically calling a friend to come cut you out of your designated freakum dress the day after a Best Night Ever.
"RIP Yellow Dress, and thanks for the dance-floor makeouts."
Ed note: Allison has taken her dress to four different seamstresses; no one has been able to fix it as of yet. This piece inspired her to email Philip Lim's showroom to beg for help.