I know a few of you are thinking Ray Orbison's song, or maybe even the Van Halen cover, but if you’re a woman of my generation you probably are thinking Julia Roberts and the classic movie of a Hollywood hooker who changes her life with a shopping trip on Rodeo Drive. Well, Richard Gere wasn't drinking champagne while I tried on clothes (thank goodness!), but I left my recent fashion makeover feeling as wonderful as Julia Roberts looked in that movie.
My fashion makeover with Michelle LeDrew of High Maintenance Image & Fashion Consulting is my reward for losing 100 pounds over the past 10 months. Michelle is the Fredericksburg Parent Fashion Blogger and I started following her blog and Facebook posts after we met in May. At this meeting, she asked me my goals for the makeover which I told her were to 1) help me find clothes that flatter my new smaller body and 2) add some fashion forward/trend to my more classic/conservative wardrobe. Michelle also had me complete a questionairre that included requests for my budget and favorite colors, which helped her in planning our trip.
We met at Marshall's (I thought there would be more variety there, rather than at some of my favorite haunts). When I got there at 10 am, she already had a rack of clothes in my size range! She had paired some items into outfits, and our first order of business was to review what she had pulled to see if there was anything that I really didn't like. Then I started trying things on, modeling after each outfit was on. This was helpful in letting her see what was working and giving me confidence in trying some “new” looks. As we continued to work through the rack, I was more vocal about what I liked and we started mixing and matching items. When I left at 11:30, I walked out with eight tops, six pair of pants, a cardigan, a skirt, a scarf and an adorable pair of shoes, all under budget!!!
I've included pictures of my top three favorite outfits. First, by far is the black pants and zebra print, peplum top. It's my favorite because it is black (a color I usually try to avoid), the top is animal print (which I've never worn) and the peplum is new for me (not only trendy, but flattering). Second, the navy pants and ruffled top. These are colors I really like, but I would never have thought of putting polka dot pants with a print top. Also, the bloused top is a very different look for me. This combination is definitely out of my comfort zone, which is what I requested. Finally, the yellow paisley jeans with black t-shirt rock my world! I think the pants are really cool and who knew I could look good in skinny jeans?! The shirt has a leather pocket and trim, again trendy, but doesn't fall too far out of my classic look.
One of the keys to making this a successful adventure was keeping an open mind. It was hard initially. I really liked the yellow paisley print on the rack, but thought skinny jeans – No WAY!!! Also, I didn't get hung up on size, some things I bought were a size 6, others a 10. When I'm on my own, I realize size is a block for me. I decide on a size and if it doesn't look good in that size, I won't go up a size and try. The last piece of the successful shopping trip was two parts: time and planning. By answering Michelle's questionnaire in advance, I planned to move out of my comfort zone and knew I was going to look for some trendy items. Having an appointment to shop, sans children, gave me time to try different things.
I loved it when Michelle brought in the perfect scarf to tie this one outfit together. The outfit went from being pants and a sweater to something you would see on Pintrest. When I mix and match the various pieces, I have more than 20 different outfits. So I will be looking sharp for months to come! Thank you, Michelle LeDrew, for helping me with this most recent stage in my evolution from fat and frumpy to fit and fabulous!