Wardrobe Diaries: Style Swap
Photo Credit: Perry Hagopian
Michelle, Day 1
I bolt awake in my usual "what to wear?" panic, then I remember Julia has preselected today's black turtleneck and charcoal pencil skirt. (I call her style "ab drab.") I glance wistfully at my Chloé heels, wondering if (with Julia's glasses) I could make this into a sexy-librarian look. Alas, using anything of your own is against the rules.
Feeling like an actress playing the role of the town spinster, I headed off to my first fashion appointment. At the Hugo Boss showroom, I nearly die with envy when I see a Cosmo editor in a great Jean Paul Gaultier nautical ensemble. Blast this silly experiment! I feel like a self-conscious middle schooler destined to eat alone at the cafeteria. I have an inner battle with myself: Do I pretend to not know her, or say hello and reveal my fashion-swap secret? I choose the latter and she admits she hadnt recognized me. Super! Maybe I can fly under the radar and avoid fashion humiliation for the rest of the week.
Wow, you look ... different, the PR manager says diplomatically. I tell her about the swap and she says, I was wondering where you were going with this look. Fashion translation: Your outfit is inexplicably horrific.
Back at work, I check my BlackBerry. A former MC colleague has sent me an e-mail subject line: I saw you on the street today. I open it: What the hell were you wearing? it says. At lunch, the fashion department shuns me. My nightmare has come true: I am the girl alone in the cafeteria!
I'm scheduled to meet up with a friend visiting from Japan. We head for drinks and dinner on Manhattans Lower East Side. I meet a cute graffiti artist but am so self-conscious, I overcompensate with sarcasm. Feeling out of place, I text my friends: Someone stole my superpowers from me. One replies, Its like kryptonite and Superman! Nylon tote + flats + knee-length hemline = your power eliminator. Sadly, hes right. Can I really be this shallow? Does my clothing control my self-esteem?