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October 9, 2007

Wardrobe Diaries: Style Swap

girl with glasses and bangs

Photo Credit: Perry Hagopian

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Julia, Day 4
I wake up on Sunday with a fashion hangover. What had been such an exciting, illuminating exercise at first now just feels exhausting. I’ve got calf pain, shin pain, and foot pain (not to mention blisters) from the assortment of heels I’ve shoved my feet into, and although I get a much-needed break from the high stuff today with a pair of flat gladiator sandals, they look nothing short of atrocious on me. I stare at the mirror — this time in horror — and all I see are thick calves bulging over and through the criss-crossing leather straps. The silk-printed tent dress I’ve been assigned for today — so lovely and prismatic on the hanger with its swirling pattern of jewel tones — only highlights the dumpiness of my legs. I hate it.

True, I’ve hit a low point with the gladiators, and I’m looking forward to wearing my own clothes again. But I also don’t want to fade comfortably back to black. If I’ve learned anything from Michelle, it’s that fashion should be exuberant, life-affirming, and adventuresome. I’m not a postmodern canvas, but I’m also not a black-and-white movie still from the 1950s. I want to find the happy medium.

Before bed (gladiators and tent dress safely packed up to return to Michelle), I pull a red dress out of my closet that I’ve never been brave enough to wear before. I decide it’s the perfect back-to-work-as-myself look — because I can be sassy on my own. I’ll just be wearing it with ballet flats and a black cardigan.

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