As I wrote yesterday I’m getting ready to turn 40, and so back in January I decided to approach this year a bit differently. Normally I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions, but this year I picked some specific areas of my life I wanted to focus on, and some specific goals I wanted to achieve in each of them.
One of those areas has to do with my appearance. I don’t know what happened, but somehow I missed the part of high school where you learn how to do clothes and hair and makeup. Probably I was off somewhere by myself, reading a book and writing some angsty, emo journal entries. So I sort of gave up, especially when I got sick 5 years ago.
But this year I have been feeling a bit better, and a bit stronger, with a bit more internal energy and resources, and so I’ve started to care about these things a bit more. The only problem was that it was sort of like I went to sleep for 5 years, and then woke up with this completely different body. The body of a stranger. Not my body. And I had no idea what to do.
For a long time I just hid, either in the house, or in my clothes. But a couple of months ago I decided that I’d had enough of that, and that I was finally ready to figure out how to make my outsides match my insides.
I threw myself on the mercy of my sister-in-law E., who always looks fantastic, and she agreed to be my fashion mentor. She (along with many others) suggested that I start watching the show “What Not To Wear“, so I did, and now I study the crap out of that show, as if I were preparing for some kind of fashion exam. I treat each episode as if it is a class lecture, and I take notes on the things I really need to remember. There are also (text) books! With pictures! And glossaries! My Inner Eternal Student is thrilled!
And as if that weren’t enough excitement, I also discovered (through FlyLady) a stylist named Missus Smarty Pants. She has created a system of 5 Body Types (I am “E”, for elegant-so much better than “Plus Size”), and then every week she writes a style article on subjects like how to wear a belt to flatter your body, or how to dress to look 10 pounds slimmer, and then she goes shopping at one store and puts together a style guide for each body type. Each guide contains pieces she found that flatter your body type-shirts and blouses, pants, accessories, etc.-and then at the end she puts together a suggested outfit you could wear using a piece from each category, along with notes about what things to look for when you go shopping by yourself. I LOVE this. It is AWESOME.
Meanwhile, I was also taking action on my hair. I think the last time I changed my style was back in 1991, when I was a freshman in college, and then a few years ago I grew out my bangs. I’ve varied the length a few times, but that’s pretty much been my look for the past-wow-20 years or so.
Then a couple of months ago I decided that I was finally ready for a change, so I went off to my hair stylist with a few pictures and a vague plan. Here I am, before The Big Change, long and curly:
To be continued…