My Brief Love Affair With Cult Gaia's Scarlett Dress

She was perfect. Bold, but feminine. Sassy and sweet. A little raw around the edges, and a brilliant Miranda Hobbes Green. I had wanted her all year, and suddenly here she was - reaching out to me from the Moda Operandi banner ad in the corner of my screen. She shimmied seductively, and her sale price caught my eye - $174.


I had seen Scarlett as something unattainable, mere style inspiration and design board fodder, never imagining I would have a real chance to feel her against me, her ruffles playfully caressing my sun-drenched shoulders. In a dizzy daydream, I pictured how I would use her: white cowboy boots and oversized jewelry, satin mules and a giant velvet bow, heeled leather sandals and one of those oversized straw hats, and of course head-to-toe green. The possibilities were endless. I had to have her.

But I hesitated. I've never been good at making the first move. Once I actually ran from someone trying to ask me out - and I liked him! Scarlett beckoned me, and I put her in my cart, but I wasn't ready to commit. I had other mistresses, like groceries and rent, that demanded a lot of a newly-hatched freelancer. If she could wait for me until the paycheck came, I vowed to make her mine.

The next days were agony. I convinced myself she was the only dress I'd ever need again. I talked myself into and out of committing a hundred times. I checked on her each morning - still there, still there. She waited for me, but trembled with the urgency of "Only 1 left!"

I had given myself a promise to wait until Friday. If she couldn't hold out till then, it just wasn't meant to be.

Thursday morning she was still salsa dancing in the right-hand column of every web page. I whispered to her sweetly, promising we would be together soon, confident of her fidelity. But when I clicked on her image Friday night, claiming her as my own, I was met with a greyed-out box and those stomach-sinking words: out of stock.

Scarlett still haunts me, teasing from those banner ads daily. You can find me trolling The RealReal for my second chance at my perfect dress. I won't make the same mistake twice.

Update: The dress came back for me! Last night I found 1 small left on MO and snatched it quicker than my cat grabs her treats. Cue "I believe in Miracles" (Where you from? You sexy thing, you sexy th....)

Hannah Moseley