OK, so my closet was not in itself the unacceptable fact of my life, it was merely a symptom. I was newly divorced, struggling to balance motherhood with professional ambitions, and dressing in the past tense. In the course of the previous few years, I'd gradually forgotten what it was like to feel sexy, and then I'd forgotten that I'd forgotten. Dressing For Post-Divorce Dating Life
A friend had promised that she would notify the proper authorities if I ever showed up wearing Birkenstocks with mismatched socks, but that wasn't the problem. It was more that I'd become resigned to that thing called good taste; now and then, Vogue legend Diana Vreeland's great line would run like a song fragment through my head: "Good taste? So what."
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How did the moment of liberation announce itself? When did I start entertaining a fashion future—more playful, more confident, much sexier? It may be a truism to say that you're only as sexy as you feel, but where does that feeling come from—and how do you get past all the fear and self-criticism that prevent so many of us from expressing our desire and desirability? Another friend, an artist who doesn't own a piece of clothing without paint on it, said to me out of the blue one day that it was "always so important to pay attention to the green wood of yourself." I still can't claim to know exactly what she meant, but I sensed that she and Vreeland were soul sisters; the words captured perfectly the way I longed to feel. The unhappy state of affairs in which I found myself has a time-honored, all-purpose remedy: Get thee to the gym. Get in touch with your body. The hitch is, working out (at least in the beginning) brings to the fore all the things you don't like about your appearance. Plus, you may develop a tendency to hang out in lumpy sweats. So while I'm all for physical exercise, it would not be the magic bullet. I needed my body to get in touch with me. Loving A Post-Baby Body