It is only since January 2008 that I have found my own personal style. In high school, when fashion began to matter to my peers, I was tall, overweight, and uncomfortable in my own skin. Proclaiming my detest for anything fashion was my way of consoling myself when articles of clothing didn't fit. I fell into the tshirt and jeans rut that so many Americans become accustomed to and it wasn't until my last day of a year-long in France that I began to pull myself out. While driving me to the airport, my boyfriend at the time suggested that I try to lose some weight and gain control of my body. He said: "Do this for you. You will feel so much better." I knew he genuinely hoped that I become healthier and gain more confience and that was all I needed to kick start the transformation.
Less than a year and 46 pounds lighter, I have finally begun to find my style. I walk taller, wear heels with confidence, and scrutinize every potential wardrobe find. Rather than having to choose from a few items that barely fit in a dressing room, everything fits and I am able to choose what I like best. I am able to walk into any store with confidence rather than returning to the few boring staples I know will fit.
Loosing so much weight required me to buy a whole new wardrobe and thus to make a new beginning for myself. I left no stone unturned. In the process I have acquired a new black classic winter coat (Anne Klein), new everyday purse (black Longchamp Le Pliage), short peacoat (black double-breasted Banana Republic), and evening clutches (great great aunt's old Gucci). With the exception of tennis shoes I created an entire new footwear wardrobe including black and white flats (Tahari), low classic black pumps in leather and patent leather (AK Anne Klein), light blue kitten keel peep-toes (Linea Paolo), and fun pumps in a red and white pattern (Arturo Chiang). I have added dresses to the mix and streamlined my skirt looks.
I choose classic, streamlined looks that flatter my figure and add interesting pieces to lighten them up; a multi-colored necklace my parents gave me for my birthday, a ring found in Dinan, or a pashmina from Budapest. In general, I stay away from trends unless they can be easily integrated into my style and worn for some time to come.
It has taken almost 23 years for me to feel confident, stylish, and chic, and I am embracing it whole-heartedly. It is true that we feel better when we look better and I feel amazing.