This quotation exemplifies how the red dress has absorbed into a meaning far deeper than simply as a physical object for Antoinette. She doesn't just observe the red dress, but rather makes the effort to "(take) the red dress down". An act such as this alludes to a desire to have the piece of clothing closer to her persons. This want is then further highlighted as she "put(s) it against (her)self", portraying not just a physical but emotional connection. She finds comfort in the garment's contact with her skin. The fact that the dress color is "red" also provides some attribution to it's significance. Red is a color that in certain cultures, such as Chinese for instance, is associated with passion, lust, and power. This choice of descriptor serves as a contrast to the world that Antoinette currently finds herself living in, one that is dull and lacks excitement as she is a prisoner in her own home.
This quote can also be read as a small act of defiance and self indulgence on Antoinette's part. As a prisoner in her own home, she has been left with little to no freewill and ability to indulge in her wants. She compensates for this lacking by enjoying smaller victories. Rather than having one of her keepers do so, she is the one to take the dress down. Here, she maintains what little individuality and self-reliance she is able to keep given her circumstances.