The Story Of Dress Downs

As a native of Florida 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 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.  I knew living in Chicago I would be in jeans more than dresses from now on. 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 would now be called Dress Downs. It was about three years ago,  I was crossing a major intersection downtown after work to reach my bus stop. My hands were full and my dress, one of my favorites too, would fly up with the slightest bit of wind.  Typically, my hands are always balling up or grabbing the sides whenever I had to wear it outside. I thought “its fine, I’ll just 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 (it felt like) every human on earth got a full view. It was one of my most embarrassing moments and I thought I am not the only women this has happened to.  I started to think of all the times I would be at so many different outdoor events, weddings, festivals, parties or just walking down the street and if my hands weren’t quick enough you could get a full view of my Spanx or bottom. Realizing there was nothing available to address this “Marilyn moment” I decided to create the perfect solution. So, I quit my full-time job, and decided to give this idea my all.

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. Coming up with ways to reach more women and make Dress Downs even better. 

Simone Magee