It’s 4:13 am and I have a sudden urge to share.

If you subscribe to me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter and Instagram, you’ll know that I’ve been in Washington, DC for the last couple of days to attend the inauguration of our 44th president, Barack Obama. I not only went to the Hill yesterday morning to watch him get sworn in publicly (I’m proud to say that I didn’t lose any of my digits in the cold), I also got to see him last night at the official inauguration ball with my favorite First Lady, Michelle Obama.

Before I headed out to DC, I embarked on a quick trip to find the perfect inauguration ball gown. I was told that the ball is as official as it will ever get, and if there’s any time to go all out, this is it. With a friend of mine, I headed to the mall to find this so-called perfect dress.

Before we go any further, I have to tell you that I absolutely hate dress shopping. There’s something about the lights, the mirrors, and the cramped dressing rooms that just make me go bonkers, not to mention the skin tight, super short dresses that seem to be in nowadays. But whatever, it’s Barry and Michelle, so I sucked it up.

Initially I picked out a couple of gowns to try on, and nothing felt right. I started to think about plan b. Repurposing my old prom dresses at that moment seemed like a good idea. When I went to the next and final store (yes, I only went to two), my friend pointed out a purple gown to which I said, “nah it’s not really my style.” She insisted. “Just try it,” she said. So, I obliged. To my pleasant surprise, when I pulled on the dress, it actually looked, well, kind of nice.

However, something was off. I wasn’t sure what it was. I yanked the left and pulled on the right, but still I didn’t think the dress was for me. I was about the give up when my friend and the sales lady suggested that I try the next size up.

I panicked.

Inner monologue: Uh oh. Was it the mac ‘n cheese that I ate? Or maybe it was because I haven’t been back in the gym since the new year started. 

Then, I laughed in my head and reassured myself that I didn’t need to try a bigger size because this one is the size, and it fits. It just, doesn’t look fantastic.


I panicked some more.

My friend then swooped in and said, “This dress looks so great on you. Just try the next size and see.” Reluctantly, I listened. As soon as I pulled it on, I myself said, “Ah. There it is.”

The first attempt didn’t look right, because it was not the right size.

When I stepped out of the dressing room, my friend’s eyes lit up.

“You’ve got to get it.”

“Really? You think so?”



Fast forward a few days, I am now sitting here at 4:30 am, after changing out of said dress into my jeans. Leading up to the trip and throughout the trip, I never allowed myself to forget about the size of the dress, until last night. I walked into the ball in my ball gown and I felt like a million bucks. Yes, even with a dress that was one size up.

I really did feel beautiful.

Like many of you, I can imagine, I am guilty of rejecting items of clothing if my size didn’t fit. Why should I have to buy one size up? This is my size! However, in thinking more about last night, and this purple dress, I am reminded that our size is sort of like a box. It’s funny how we’re always trying to fit ourselves into this box, but life constantly tells us to live outside of the box. Who cares what size you’re wearing, as long as you feel comfortable, confident, and ready for the world?  

This experience left me with a deep impression. You’re more than a box, and clothes are made to fit us, not the other way round. 

- Lisa

Lisa Lee