ELLE (Canada) - - Editor's Note - Noreen Flana­gan Edi­tor-in-Chief Fol­low me on Twit­ter and In­sta­gram @noreen_flana­gan We love hear­ing from you! Please write to us at ed­i­tors@ el­le­canada. com.

in­d­ing the per­fect sum­mer dress is a life­long search (a.k.a. ob­ses­sion) for many women. In fact, find­ing love might be an eas­ier task. I re­call spend­ing hours—or was it days?—scour­ing stores with my niece Caitie for a white cot­ton slip dress. We never found it. The colour was al­ways slightly off, the cot­ton was too rough, the ruf­fles didn’t move grace­fully and—the ul­ti­mate deal breaker—it was un­com­fort­able. If you make one “state­ment” with this elu­sive lit­tle sea­sonal item, it should be that you’re ef­fort­lessly chic—and com­fort­able. I’ve only found one sum­mer dress that comes close to per­fec­tion. Like any true ro­mance, it hap­pened by chance. I was in Paris, and I me­an­dered into a tiny shop a few blocks away from Opéra Bastille. There it was, wait­ing for me. It had the sil­hou­ette and light­ness of a lin­geriein­spired slip dress, but it also had a slightly or­ganic whimsy that made me smile. With­out look­ing at the price—al­ways a sure sign one is not go­ing to let rea­son in­flu­ence one’s pur­chas­ing de­ci­sion—I made my way to the chang­ing room. I went from fash­ion crush to full-on love in an in­stant. I al­ways tell women to no­tice how they feel when they try some­thing on. If Phar­rell Wil­liams’ lit­tle ditty had been writ­ten then, I would have been singing “Clap along if you feel like a room with­out a roof / Be­cause I’m happy....” I’ve flirted with other dresses since then, but this one re­mains my faith­ful go-to. Last year, when I was in Paris again, I de­cided to try to find that shop. I couldn’t make out the la­bel, and I couldn’t re­mem­ber which street it was on, but I was con­fi­dent that my fash­ion GPS would kick in. It didn’t. On my last day there, I hap­pened to be wear­ing my dress. I had been pop­ping in and out of shops with no suc­cess. On a whim, I showed a clerk in one shop the well-worn la­bel to see if she rec­og­nized it. This was a woman who un­der­stood my mis­sion; she con­ferred with her co-work­ers, and they went off to Google. Within a few min­utes, she had found the store. I had only hours to spare, but I set off. When I reached the ad­dress she had given me, I rec­og­nized the place, but the clothes were all wrong. Think Ste­vie Nicks meets Paris Hil­ton. It was like ar­riv­ing at a party and not know­ing any­one (and not re­ally want­ing to get to know them ei­ther). I did a quick exit, feel­ing slightly let down. Then I saw my re­flec­tion in the win­dow. To quote Mr. Wil­liams: “Can’t noth­ing bring me down!” I hope you all have an amaz­ing sum­mer—and that you find your per­fect dress—or fall in love again with the one you al­ready have.

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