“Your wardrobe is much too corporate,” said my stylist Elizabeth as she looked through my closet to select clothes to pack for my trip to the 2013 Type-A Parenting Conference last week. I had asked Elizabeth to help me pack because I was so impressed with her packing skills during our stay together at the 2013 BlogHer Conference in July. (Check out my packing blog post in case you missed it.)
I agreed with Elizabeth that my closet was full of black – black tees, black pants, black suits, black a-line skirts, black belts. “You need to put more color near your face as you age,” she said.
I tried on a few of the new items I had bought at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale for review. I had noticed that my skinny jeans were rather baggy and my leggings were a size medium instead of small. “If I can fit two fists inside the back of your pants then they are way too large,” said Elizabeth. I put all items back in the bag ready for return.
“I think you need to spruce up your wardrobe for your new lifestyle,” said Elizabeth. These corporate clothes are no longer appropriate attire for JudiBoomergirl. You need to be more trendy and casual. All eyes are on you now, not the corporation. You need clothes that fit your petite figure.”
For a few minutes, I felt like a fashionista failure. I had always been known for my outfits at work. People usually admired and imitated my style. But now, I was no longer the same person. Elizabeth was right. It was time to change my image.
“What about my new leather moto jacket?” I asked with bated breath. “Keep the leather jacket,” said Elizabeth. “However, take off the collar, since it zips off. The collar is too large for your face.” (Whew, at least one item I had purchased at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale was a positive pick.)
“I’ll meet you on Friday at the mall. Wear clothing that is simple to take on and off. No jewelry. No dark underwear either. We don’t want any underwear showing through any light colored outfits. Eat a healthy breakfast, as we’ll be shopping till we drop,” she added.
Ooh, ooh, ooh! I was so excited for my fashion makeover.
FIrst stop was Ann Taylor Loft. Elizabeth pulled a ton of clothes for me to try on in different shapes, sizes and colors. “Always buy mix and match outfits. The same for accessories. It’s easier to pack by the outfit,” she said.
“These pants feel tight,” I ranted as I slipped my body into a size 4P pants. “They’re not tight, they fit you perfectly,” said Elizabeth. As I looked in the mirror I saw she was right. No bags or sags on my skinny legs or on my ever-shrinking frame.
“This skirt is a size 2, it will never fit,” I ranted as I pulled up the leopard a-line above my hips. She added a caramel-colored sleeveless top. Zip, zip and I looked hip, hip.
“I don’t like ruffles on my tops,” I ranted. “Ruffles don’t look good on me.” I tried on the sleeveless blush colored top and added a cropped maroon sweater with maroon slacks. OMG! OMG! OMG! Everything looked great! Elizabeth struck gold again. Pure magic.
We left the Loft with bags in tow and headed to BCBG to exchange prior purchases, that were according to Elizabeth, “not appropriate for my petite figure.” Since BCBG only allows exchanges, there was more shopping to be done.
Elizabeth selected a bold-print knit dress with a silver collar necklace and wide beige belt to accessorize for day and evening occasions. “You look MAH-VE-LOUS,” said Elizabeth and the saleswoman chimed-in too, “Simply MAH-VE-LOUS.” I was smitten and soft as a kitten when it came time to pay the bill. The new trendy me was fast emerging.
“Just a few more items and you’re all set,” said Elizabeth. We went to Macy’s where I bought two pairs of Nine-West Mela wedges – one pair in black patent and one in beige. “These shoes will work with all your outfits,” she said.
Finally, I returned to Nordstrom where I switched my size 4 skinny jeans for size 2 (note that these jeans are loaded with spandex – I bet they can stretch around the world and back) and my medium leggings to small. All items were given to the tailor to be hemmed.
“This is where I leave you,” said Elizabeth. As she waved good-bye, I felt like my fairy god-mother was being whisked away. It was like magic. In a matter of mere hours, Elizabeth had transformed me into a fashionista for the future.
“Just remember to buy a pair of SPANX for your dress. And if you wear a statement necklace you don’t need to wear a statement bracelet. Also, never, ever wear stockings. Put some powder on your feet before you slip them into your shoes. If you need to cover your legs when it gets cold outside, buy some tights in black and brown. Your legs are fine, don’t worry about your varicose veins. They are not as bad as you think,” said Elizabeth.
To finish my look, I stopped at the Bobbi Brown counter where the team was doing beauty makeovers. I hopped on the pedestal chair for a complete makeup redo.
OMG! OMG! OMG! How could I forget to tell you that I also had my tortoise shell frames that I bought in Paris made into new prescription eyeglasses. They totally upped my fashionista face. Oui, oui, oui.
When I stepped out on Friday evening for a party – all eyes were aglow. Same applause at the conference last week. “We love your new look,” said my mid-life blogger friends.
LMK what you think of my new look. How are you reinventing your style during your life after 50?