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Which Outfit Makes You Feel Your Best?

Real Simple readers share the looks they love, the ones that give them confidence, comfort, and joy.

Shirt with heartAaron Dyer



My wedding gown, made by Priscilla of Boston—from the first time I wore it in 1975 and nearly every June 28 since then, when I try it on to remind myself of my wedding day. I feel pretty good that I can still get into it after all these years—well, mostly. Sometimes the zipper doesn’t quite make it to the top. I suppose many brides preserve their dresses in special, sealed boxes, but I’m glad I still have access to mine.

Celeste Bertges
Cameron Park, California


A purple Empire-waist sundress from the Gap. Purple is my favorite color, and the dress is incredibly versatile. I class it up with a cardigan when I have dinner out with my husband or throw it on with a hoodie when I am barbecuing with friends. But the best thing about this dress is the size. I recently lost 40 pounds when I spent three months teaching English in Peru, and it’s the first thing I’ve bought in 10 years that wasn’t considered a plus size.

Ashley Petry
Indianapolis, Indiana


I recently had to attend a gala and silent auction. On the day of the event, I scrambled to T. J. Maxx in search of something appropriate. After trying on no less than eight dresses, I found the one. It was a sleeveless dress with a ruffled collar in a rich mustard yellow. It took attention away from my protruding midsection and toward my toned shoulders. Who knew deltoids could be so sexy?

Chatice Yarborough
Germantown, Maryland


I completely agree with the saying “The shoes make the outfit.” I usually pair a cocktail dress with black Manolo Blahnik slingback pumps that I received from my husband as a wedding gift. My husband is American and I am Argentinean, and he traveled to Buenos Aires to marry me and brought the shoes with him. I am lucky to be with my soul mate (no pun intended).

Marissa Bruzewski
Brighton, Michigan


I have a turquoise wrap dress from Express that I wore for my college graduation in 1999. In May 2009, a decade later, I put it on twice in the same week—for my graduation from business school and my wedding-rehearsal dinner. Every time I wear this wonderful dress, I stand up straighter and smile more. It’s my milestone dress, and it makes me proud of all that I am and all that I’ve done.

Kaelyn South Phillips
Wayland, Massachusetts

My late grandmother’s crimson red Valentino gown. She never got around to wearing it but kept the dress for its beauty. (The tags were still attached when it was passed down to me.) Last year I had it altered and wore it to a black-tie event. Every time I put it on, it reminds me of her elegance. I only wish she had been able to see me in it.

Elizabeth Tuke
New York, New York

Nothing beats a crisp white or blue oxford shirt with khakis. It’s a timeless style, something that Katharine Hepburn could have worn. It’s funny, because my husband favors a similar look. We once showed up at an event wearing the same button-down and Dockers. It was priceless.

Glynis Buschmann
Yuba City, California

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