The Thought Process of Wearing A See-Through Dress


This story first ran last summer, but given that August 2017 is SO WHAT month, what better time than the present to walk around in a see-through dress (this weekend in particular) as one big sartorial SO WHAT?! 


Good on him for defying the odds and recommending that I wear clothes instead of take them off. Is that even considered a cat call?

At this point, I actually would have assumed that all four women who passed me on my walk to Dean and Deluca this morning felt sorry for me and wondered how many times I’d been verbally assaulted. To their chagrin — or maybe delight! — I can veritably say none. There’s only been one comment as a matter of fact, and he requested that I cover up. Unless, that is, you want take into consideration some garbage an unassuming acquaintance (fine, it was Amelia) unloaded in my dumpster about Friday Night Lights. Sure, they could have been more polite, but I appreciate the sentiment. Not enough to reconsider what I’m wearing — a veritable style choice as far as I am concerned, which is about 108 miles east of New York City, which, by the way, is where I am right now, and it is hot-as-fuq. The Real Feel is like 102 degrees but guess what? It real-feels more like 85 because I have ventilation holes or the Artist Formerly Known as Lace Work on my side.

“I’ll have an iced coffee with almond milk and a pump of almond flavor.”

What? It’s been two weeks since I last added syrup to my coffee. Give the sweet tooth what it wants. Hey, I don’t know if the woman behind me knows that I can hear her but I really ought to turn around and let her know I know she can see my underwear through the dress. That’s kind of the point. I mean, the point is staying cool, but the other point is my high-ass underwear. Kind of amusing if you think about the fact that at least people who come across me today are probably thinking, “Does she know I can see everything through there?” Like they could sincerely believe that when I got dressed this morning, I put on this sheer-ass-like-naked-sheer dress, looked in the mirror and thought, huh! Full coverage!

I can’t believe I still come back here: almond milk as a substitute for cow’s milk should not cost an additional 75 cents. That is sidewalk robbery but I’m the only fool in this equation because I knew they were going to do that, and I still went ahead and ordered the damn thing. I’m pretty sure the two women who just caught sight of me from 15 steps ahead are slowing down so that they can get behind me to either ridicule or celebrate my second-degree nudity.

Second-degree nudity! Is that a thing? A story? The name of this story? Nah, no one will get what it means.

Let me just run ahead of them so we can play this game together.

There they go. I think I just heard one say, “What was she thinking?” This seems like my cue to turn around and say, “I’m out of paper fans.”

Hey! Firemen.

Did those guys just turn around to look at–

Yup. They sure did. Okay, this will be great.

Tap, tap, tap — I know this sounds unrealistic, but this is really the sound my mind makes when I’m walking down a flight of stairs. It’s weird to follow my thought process as I think it knowing that I’m going to publish the outcome in a story. Fuck. $2.30 left on Metrocard. The City of New York should make having odd numbers on this damn card illegal. What’s the thinking behind leftover change tied up in this thing?

“Great summer look,”

Victory! Someone appreciates my–

Oh wait, that’s my friend Lauren. Hi Lauren.

Shit, shit, shit, train’s here.

That was close. Hey, there’s a seat. I’ll take that one please and thanks.

If I saw myself, what would I think? Knowing what I know, probably that she looks cool. Maybe that it was a cry for attention. I’d hope she didn’t run into her husband’s grandparents, but that would be me projecting. Mostly, though, I think I’d be jealous, because there I’d be, presumably covered in clothes and shvitzing while she effortlessly read the newspaper with her dumb-ass basket by her side in the middle of the bench on an uptown-bound 6-train with the air conditioner broken, so taken by her magazine that she was not even aware an overheating pregnant woman was standing just above–oh fuck!

“Miss, would you like my seat?”

“Ah, thank you. Thank you!”

“My pleasure.”

Is doing nice shit selfish? I feel better about doing that than about anything else I’ve done to–

“Excuse me, miss,”

Hey, it’s my new pregnant friend! Maybe her ovaries can rub off on mine.

“… see …. dress.”

I can’t quite make out what she’s whispering?

Come again?

“I can see your underwear through your dress.”

Here’s my stop.

Photographed by Krista Anna Lewis.

Leandra M. Cohen

Leandra M. Cohen is the founder of Man Repeller.

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