It is rare that the entire staff of Jezebel agrees on a singular clothing item, but the power of Instagram’s algorithm and I suppose, Busy Phillips, has brought us all to this point: We all must have a Farm Rio dress, and we must have them now. Specifically, I must have a Farm Rio dress.
Instagram’s algorithm has progressed to simply reading my mind, serving me ads for $300 clogs, rubber sandals, and brightly colored summer dresses for months now, and Farm Rio appears to be the top purveyor of the latter. Though it is not yet summer dress weather in New York, the copious amounts of pollen in the air is a harbinger of warmer times to come. I haven’t purchased new clothing that isn’t soft pants in a year, I am in the middle of deciding what my new vibe will be, and unfortunately, Farm Rio’s offerings have got me in their crosshairs.
Tropical prints for summer are hardly revolutionary, but there is something carefree about Farm Rio’s many offerings that are appealing—like if Lily Pulitzer had a less WASP-y sense of humor and did recreational mushrooms. Not every dress on the website is a winner, but most of them are. The ideal summer garment is one that is so good that it is the entire outfit, with no need for anything else fancy. As flip-flops are my preferred summer shoe, even in New York’s disgusting environment, I am drawn to Farm Rio like a dim moth to a very bright flame. Though the grips of the pandemic are loosening, I am still reluctant to spend big money on clothing, because, again, my only audience for a majority of the weekdays is the cat, who couldn’t care less what I was wearing, as long as she gets her sardine and her dusty kibble. However, the promise of a Farm Rio garment is that I would find the temerity within to go out and do some shit, resisting my natural inclinations towards light misanthropy and general activity.
Also, I do not like spending money. At all. But for some of these dresses, it might be worth it.
This pineapple print number appears to have straps wide enough to conceal the straps of a bra, which are a must-have, as I despise the feeling of sweaty underboob touching my ribcage, and also, could use the support. Though I will not be spending any time in a photo studio staring at a basket of fruit, I do like the carefree energy this dress communicates, and I want to feel a little bit like a retiree. My spiritual home is somewhere on the Gulf Coast, a place where I don’t need to wear real shoes and my nose is never, ever cold. This dress is a dress for those climates; it’s also a dress for a Tuesday afternoon sitting in front of my computer, clack-clacking on the keyboard into the abyss. I would love to wear this maxi dress literally anywhere other than my apartment, but for $265, you can believe that if I owned it, I’d wear it every day, or at least until I felt the cost per wear was reasonable. Farm Rio seems to bend to trends enough to offer some of the puff sleeves that are plaguing me at other retailers, but this fruit salad-ass midi dress passes muster.
Unfortunately for me and my breasts, I actually need this floral-print dress to do god knows what; truly, I have not figured out the event, but this dress is on sale, and it is in my size, and I am praying that the floaty nature of the beast will conceal gravity’s effect on my aging tiddies. It does not appear to be friendly to the bosom, but the price feels a little less barf-inducing, and also, it’s cute as hell. Maybe Farm Rio has given me a new lease on a new social life? Or maybe I am just now feeling ready to step out into the world looking like a regular person and not a sentient being constructed from piles of laundry and scrunchies. Either way, I’m ready for re-entry.