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October 9, 2007

Wardrobe Diaries: Style Swap

girl in orange dress with louis vuitton bag

Photo Credit: Perry Hagopian

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Julia, Day 2
Today, I’m the walking cross-pollination of Jackie O and Goldie Hawn circa Laugh-In — and I think I like it. When I first saw Michelle’s flannel polka-dot baby-doll dress the exact shade of Tropicana OJ, I described it as “clown pajamas,” but I feel so mod, so vibrant, I can hardly stand myself. Every store window and every shiny black car I pass en route to work presents another opportunity to check myself out. And I’m not the only one copping a stare. “Orange is my favorite color,” a loafer at an intersection shares. Against all odds, it’s becoming mine, too.

Sadly, certain coworkers don’t share my love of, well, me. People support the bright hue and my Sienna Miller-inspired black eyeliner, but the ruffles and polka dots get low marks. “I don’t like your new look,” one male coworker declares, his face scrunched up like he’s smelling rotten garbage. “All this says is ‘look at me.’ Your old look is more sophisticated.” Sophistication is a matter of opinion, but one top editor agrees there’s something not quite right about me in these clothes: “I mean, this is adorable on you, but you look like you’re in costume. On Michelle, it’s just Michelle.” The word “costume” stings a bit, but she’s right. I can learn to play with color, flirt with a shorter hemline maybe, but I’ll never be Michelle.

Fortunately for my inner attention whore, I get to pretend for a little while longer. Next up, eveningwear: hot pink-heeled Manolos, an iridescent off-the-shoulder cocktail dress, and a sequined hat (quite the departure from my usual Friday night uniform of, um, whatever I wore to work that day).

I’m a tad overdressed for the dive bar where Reed and I meet up with friends for chicken wings and drinks, but it certainly makes for lively conversation. Comparisons fly, everything from “You’re a flapper!” to “That hat is like the condom of a Russian czar.” Lucky for me, Reed has my back again. “Listen, no bullshit,” he tells our crew. “If girls dressed this way all the time, it would be hot.” No one disagrees.

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