That blue dress.
That Billy Joel song.
That moment that almost was.
There's a story that unforgettable dress tells. One of a woman who's found herself inexplicably enamored by a modern day gentleman who is just out of reach, and her ill-fated attempt to win him over.
The blue dress is an outlier in the Shane's wardrobe. She wears none before and only wears them on special occasions after---at least until "The Treasure Box."
So why is the blue dress so important? For starters, it's one of the first times Shane really lets her guard down during the course of the regular series.
As I discussed in her house rule, Shane erroneously seemed to think that Oliver was ready to move on in "The Masterpiece," and she learned of her error the hard way.
Notice that it's the last time she wears a dress as a professional attire choice until "The Treasure Box." I say this because I know there's someone out there pointing at the screen and wondering what Shane was wearing to Rita's first Miss Special Delivery competition or to their Dark of Night ceremony---yes, they were both dresses---but those were also in the category of "special occasion."
So why did Shane stop wearing dresses for so long? Because it was a defense mechanism. Just like Oliver has his suits, which signal his level of comfort and vulnerability, Shane has her skirts and dresses.
In the early phases of navigating her relationship with Oliver, she maintained her assertive and in-charge pant suits and zippered jackets.
She thought being his dance partnered signaled a shift in their relationship, and that found her deciding a dress might not be a bad idea. She was letting her guard down. But when the circumstances surrounding that decision changed, she reverted back to her suits and skinny jeans, taking a step back in her own defense.
In "The Treasure Box," Shane's guard was back down. She and Oliver had navigated past their rough patch and won Dark of Night awards. They laughed, played word games and read those ridiculously beautiful letters with each other in mind. Their time in the vault only served to strengthen their connection. Things couldn't have been going any better. Oliver and Shane didn't have to tell you verbally that this was the case, however---their wardrobe did that for you. When they went to visit Jonathan and Katherine's fourth great-grandson, Oliver's tie matched Shane's color-block dress. Talk about being in-sync!
Shane's wardrobe has always been a bit of an obsession of mine, but I never realized just how much of an underlying marker of her psychological state it could be! Thanks to the blue dress, the pattern becomes undeniably clear, and from that we can clearly see that Shane is moving in a more open and vulnerable direction as the canon continues.
Moving forward, it will be interesting to watch her transition to dresses---could it be a function of her transition into role of girlfriend/very significant other? It won't be long until we find out!
Imitating Her Wardrobe On The Regular,
Wardrobe Week: Introduction | Norman | Oliver | Shane | Rita