"Great things never came from comfort zones"

As a native Floridian, dresses are simply a staple in my closet; sparkly, short, flowy, maxi, tapered, the list goes on and on. Not just because of the simplicity and comfort in Florida heat, but because the perfect dress can take you from feeling blah to feeling like a queen. Looking for a change of pace after college, I moved to Chicago in the summer of 2013.  It’s only above 70 degrees for about three months out of the year, so I knew living in Chicago would mean that from now on I would probably be wearing jeans more than dresses. But, what I didn’t account for was how my everyday lifestyle would drastically change. Living in a big city, I would no longer have the protection of my car and I would be at the mercy of the elements when commuting.

I’ll never forget the moment I had enough, and decided to create what are now known as Dress Downs. About three years ago, after work, I was crossing a major intersection downtown to reach my bus stop. My hands were full and the dress I was wearing (one of my favorites, too!) could fly up with the slightest bit of wind. Typically when wearing this dress outside, my hands are always by my side holding it down, or grabbing the edges. I thought, “Its fine, I’ll walk fast and pray mother nature will just wait 20 seconds for me to cross the street.” Of course, she didn’t, and before I could even react my dress was up over my waist and every human on earth got a full view – or at least it felt like it!

This was one of my most embarrassing moments and I knew that I could not be the only women that this has ever happened to. I started to think of all the potential outdoor events I would be at that would require me to wear a dress ranging from weddings, festivals, parties to just walking down the street after work. If my hands weren’t quick enough, anyone could get a full view of my shapewear, undergarments – or worse, my bottom. Realizing there was nothing currently available to address this “Marilyn moment,” I decided to invent the perfect solution. So, I quit my full-time job, and decided to give this idea my all – not only for my sake, but for women around the world.

I'm a self-proclaimed morning person and cheer for both the Cubs and White Sox. Today, in between eating foods that are bad for me and singing off-key with friends at local bars, I run Dress Downs in The Windy City with the hope that my product will provide comfort and confidence, allowing women to wear skirts and dresses, no matter how the wind blows. 

Simone Magee

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