Monday, December 03, 2007

What Not To Wear; or, a Fashion Intervention

I have no sense of style. It's not that I don't long to be stylish. Although perhaps I could honestly say that I'm not really "INto" fashion. I can't read those Cosmo-esque magazines about how to simplify your morning beauty routine, or how best to pluck your eyebrows. I refuse to do the latter (who came UP with that idea, anyway?) and as to the former... my morning routine is as follows:

Towel Dry
Brush Teeth
Comb wet hair
Get Dressed

After that, chaos ensues and we shuffle the kids off to school. Really, CAN you simplify that morning routine? There's nothing there I feel comfortable skipping.

All that said, I also am tired of being frumpy and old. I'm neither of those things inside, and I'm tired of it not being apparent from the outside. Worse than that, I am starting to resemble that librarian stereotype that I detest so much. So I decided to start addressing my wardrobe, a few pieces at a time. At first, I was doing this by going to Target and trying to find some things that were hipper... cooler... not knit shirts from 1992 (the bulk of my former wardrobe).

And I did find a few things.

And after one washing, nothing fit right anymore... assuming it really fit right to begin with, which is questionable. And therein lies the problem. I am not a fit model. Everything is short on me, or I can't possibly squeeze into it. Because apparently, if you are short, you have really long legs for some reason, and if you are tall (like me) you have stubby little legs. Consequently, a size 16 will not fit over my thigh, but will be long enough, but an 18 hangs off my waist and stops at my mid-ankle area. So attractive.

When I was in New York, I was talking to my sister (who IS a fashionista) about these problems and mentioned how much I wish designers would design for "healthy" women. She took me to Eileen Fisher.

My mom bought me a pair of pants there. My sister bought me a sweater, and I bought myself a tunic that was on sale. I wore them to work at various times after that, and I ALWAYS got compliments on them. Every time I wore them. One person I work with actually told me I should wear the tunic every day. Well! That's addicting, ain't it?!

So I mentioned to my sister and my mom that I was going to start investing in REALLY nice clothes, a piece at a time. I can't AFFORD to dress designer, but apparently I can't afford not to. Either I spend $15 on a shirt I can only wear three times before it tugs around my chest, or I spend $80 for one that will last forever.

So I resolved to buy only things that are well-made, comfortable, and designed to fit. Tailored even. And in ten years, I should have a whole new wardrobe and won't look like a frump. In response, my mom and sister... both so elated that I was suddenly showing a sliver of concern about my looks... staged an intervention while we were in San Francisco. We returned to Eileen Fisher where mom bought me a new wardrobe. Then we moved on to Cole Haan, where my sister bought me two pairs of shoes (black and brown... since they were so "reasonably priced.") I felt like Stacy and Clinton were just going to pop out of the wordwork and throw out everything in my closet. (My sister DID make me promise to get rid of the jeans that I was wearing that day. Believe it or not, they were too short.)

The result is, I now have no excuse. We had most of the stuff shipped back except for the jeans (which I bought myself) and the shoes. Everything arrived today in one box (13 pounds of clothes) and I've got it all in the closet. My "New Me" project officially started today, when I wore the sweater I bought back in August, along with the new jeans and the new shoes. Sure enough, I wasn't in the building more than ten minutes when the sweater scored a compliment from a coworker. Just after lunch, the jeans got one. The JEANS!

Watch out, world... here comes Yummy Mummy Librarian!


Anonymous said...

I need an intervention too! I have a tiny waist in proportion to my hips, and thins just hang off my butt. I did get a pair of pants taken in at the waist recently. . .umm, I'm not sure she did such a good job, because now there's just a pooch on top of my but from where she sewed it together. But I guess pooch is better than falling down.

And my morning routine is exactly like yours, except that I brush my teeth before showering, and add "contacts, lotion" after towel dry. And sometimes, SOMETIMES, I curl my eyelashes, although that is hit or miss, and done only to try and make myself look more awake.

Now I'm going to have to go waste time on the Eileen Fisher site.

eaf said...

For the record, number of compliments today thus far? 2 on the shoes, 3 on the tunic, 1 on the ensemble. Although one of the tunic compliments was from someone who reads my blog, so she knew of the intervention. Might not be fair to count it.

I want to know what drugs Ms. Fisher puts in her clothing to elicit so many compliments! Wacky!

eaf said...

Oh, and one on my haircut... which I didn't get. Same hair, different day. I'll take it, though.

Bern said...

Eileen Fisher.. I thought I saw them in Belk. Maybe, maybe not.

If Stacy and Clinton were to sneak up on me one day, I'd be elated! I've been joking with Jason that he should nominate me for "What not to Wear".
I have zero fashion sense. Clothes that I "think" looks good, looks funny on me.

Hey, you should take a picture of your new look. We wanna see too!

Sophie said...

Cole Haan has the BEST shoes ever. I love them. They are by far worth every penny. I have one particular pair that I break out each summer, well, two so far, and each time, I get compliments. They're sexy and comfortable. Trust your sister!

Brant said...

You realize that if you start going too 'yummy' you're going to start attracting an entirely new clientele to the library... and then Chris needs to amend his latest blog entry. :P