Preface: If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you might remember a particularly emotional (aka word-vomit) post I wrote a while back about the challenges I’ve had with body image, self-esteem, and weight loss. It’s been a rough ride since then and I’ve made some pretty drastic changes, including one of the biggest for me, which was giving up caffeine completely (!), going from ~3-4 diet Cokes a day to ZERO, and no coffee/tea either. Thankfully, with some major life changes like giving up caffeine, eating better, actually working out on occasion, and the added bonus of help from my doctor, I weighed in at 131lbs this morning, and myhealthy ideal is probably ~120. It’s been a hugely difficult experience and I still have a long way to go; it’s definitely a lifelong process, but I’m feeling and looking better and healthier already, so there’s something to be said for that. YAY.
The LBD Story: In a couple of weeks, my parents and I are flying back to Boston for my cousin’s Bat Mitzvah- events I normally dread because, of course, I never have anything to wear. I drove out to my mom’s on Friday for some shopping and to celebrate my 24th birthday. We almost passed by White House Black Market because I normally can’t afford their clothes and, truth be told, didn’t think I’d find anything I liked there. But Mom thought it’d be a good idea to check it out anyways, so in we went.
This is the point in the story where I admit that my mom was totally right, at least about liking what I’d find.
They didn’t have too many dresses, but they ones that they did have were adorable. Think Mad Men silhouettes, unexpected accents like purple lining and keyhole cutouts. Just did it for me. But then, the moment of reckoning happened: the sales lady came over, looked me up and down, and asked what size I was. “Um,” I stuttered, “probably at least an 8?” I think she might have actually laughed at me then, and then said, “Let’s try a 6.” Of course, I figured she was nuts, but went along for the ride (and assumed we’d need to get a bigger size in a few minutes). I browsed for a few more minutes, then went back to the dressing room… and I turned to my mom in what can only be described as “neophyte shopping shock.” The salesgirl had gotten shoes in my size to match the dress and other dresses in similar styles for me to try on. Yeah, I definitely could get used to non-Forever 21 experiences like that!
And then, it was time for moment of reckoning number 2- I actually had to try on a dress. I immediately went for the first dress I’d been drawn to (the one the saleslady had grabbed in a size 6), figuring I’d be able to zip it about halfway. Oh, was I wrong. You guys, it was like Cinderella and the glass slipper. I put the dress on and I expected a chorus of angels to start singing Hallelujah or something. It might have been a teensy bit tight in the waist but I suddenly felt like Christina Hendricks, despite my lack of makeup and crazy hair and the dressing room lighting. I called my mom in and we both teared up (and then I took a picture for instagram). You know that show, “Say Yes to the Dress”? I completely know exactly how those women feel, only it was (my first real) little black dress, and it was my say yes to ME moment. I’ve still got a ways to go, but holy self esteem moment. pair that with a good pair of shoes, and it was all i could do not to run out of the store into the mall shouting “LOOK AT HOW SEXY I AM!”
And truth be told, I had some serious sticker shock when it came to buying the dress. I’ve never considered spending that much on a dress for myself in my life, even for my own Bat Mitzvah. Which, all things considered, is pretty sad: for a little black dress that’s a classic investment piece, that’s totally worth it. My reaction to putting the dress on and it fitting perfectly was probably worth the price twice over. If you’ve never had that moment, I’m not sure how else to explain it to you, just go watch a show like “Say Yes to the Dress.” It’s that surge of self-confidence and that moment where you want to twirl around the room because you feel like the dress was made just for your body and you suddenly feel like you can conquer everything the world is about to throw at you… all because you happened to have tried on one little black dress.
So, that’s my little black dress magic story. Now, I just need to a) get a much better picture of myself in the dress, b) get it hemmed an inch or two, and c) find an uber sexy pair of (red, I think) shoes to go with it- although the t-straps they lent me to try on were pretty adorable as well! I also wouldn’t mind shopping there more often after being treated so well by the saleslady- and I actually still use my bag from @WHBM at Blogher 2010 on a regular basis; it’s amazing how these things come full circle!
I’d love to know if any of you have had similar experiences. I certainly didn’t expect to fall in love with an LBD any time soon, and certainly not one that leans more traditional, but I think I’ve found my LBD soulmate. What about you? Have you had “that moment” with a dress or an outfit that just made you feel so good and confident just by putting it on? Does it last?