You Used To Look Like S***

"You look maaahvelous."

“You look maaahvelous.”

When 4 people in as many days react to your appearance with shock and awe, you know you’re onto something. You also know that in the past, you probably looked like butt.

This is not news to me.

The last time I went clothes shopping was approximately 7 years ago (hmmm…Nick is almost 7….). Makeup turns my eyes bloodshot, which pretty much defeats the objective of improving one’s appearance. And perfume makes me sneeze…loudly and repeatedly.

A month ago, tired of always looking harried, sleep-deprived, and disheveled, I bit the bullet and dragged my rundown self to Macy’s to take advantage of their free personal shopping service.

The experience was transformative.

For starters, I’ve been wearing the wrong size pants…and shirt…and everything else, which is why I looked like a bag lady. Crystal Waters was singing about me, my friends. Lori and I started a new exercise regimen 6 months ago. The headline: Low rep, high weights to muscle failure, 2/week for 25 minutes.

Uh yeah, that’s it.

Result: We’re back to our hookup size in grad school…which is 3 sizes smaller than we were in 2012. Sweet.

In my 3-hour crash course in fashion, I learned that color, especially against dark skin, can be your friend. Really, those jewel tones that look so terrifying on the hanger can make you look hot. Apparently accessories – those baubles from my mom’s jewelry box that I used to dress up my stuffed animals – can actually improve your outfit. Also, the leggings-with-boots look doesn’t have to make you look like a hootchie mama if you pair it with the right top.

Who knew?

Mind you, the bill was enough for the credit card company to place a temporary hold until we called to confirm that yes, I was in fact spending several months of private school tuition. On the other hand, this is 7 years worth of clothing, so I’ll get over it.

Eventually.

While I took great pride in my devil-may-care capable lesbian mom look, as I approach my mid-forties, I accept that I am allowed to wear sparkly things, accessorize with flair, and let my outer self match the fabulous inner self that’s been hiding under performance fleece for the last 7 years.

//

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