Last month, my husband and I finally sold and moved out of the house we have owned for 30 years, opting for a small and much more manageable apartment in a Manhattan high-rise. Here’s advice for anyone deliberating a long-delayed move:
The physical feat of moving will be chaotic enough, so plan it well. Arduous even for someone like me who lifts weights three times a week!
Prepare for the psychological upheaval – especially finding old photos and clothes). I finally got rid of the “insurance” clothes I’d kept (and forgotten) in case I gained back the weight I lost three years ago, going from size 16 to my current size 10.
All that sifting, sorting, tossing, piling and packing up of old stuff will make you wish for an intervention from one of my favorite DARING women, Stacy London. Any woman over 40 would be lucky for such an intervention!
Stacy London is one half of the witty, whiplash-inducing duo (with Clinton Kelly) that hosts the popular TLC program, What Not To Wear. Part caustic critics, part confounding connivers and part cheery commandants, Stacy and Clinton are in fact tenacious confidence-boosters of the kind pharmaceutical company promoters could only dream about packing into a feel-better, look-great tonic.
What Not to Wear should be required watching for any woman over 40 who needs to Get a MOVE on and Get Over It. A few reasons why:
- What seems like castigation, (“So, you would wear that hideous thing where…?”) always gives way to empowering inspiration, motivation and ultimately elation to turn even the most harried-looking housewife into a paragon of panache. The promise is that it’s not just about a season of classy clothes but long-term habits every woman can use to embrace self-care.
- While Stacy (43, beautiful, Vassar-smart with street chops) is very funny as she delivers her pithy, droll and sometimes prickly pronouncements of the guest’s former wardrobe, she is also one of the most empathetic, positive champions of all the women who come on the show. The guest can barely brace herself against the onslaught of opposition (respectful but firm) and howls of horror from Stacy and Clinton as she defends one of her “before” looks, but she knows full well that she’d be crazy not to listen to these two sobering, soothing sartorial Svengalis. If you can enlist a friend to be your “Stacy,” all the better.
- If Stacy London is the Merry Bod-mother of any woman who feels she’s too old, too busy, too fat, too whatever self-deprecating adjective to care for herself, her counterpart Clinton Kelly is a Prince Disarming. He is just as respectful and generous and empowering to the women who entrust themselves to the show’s Makeover Mafiosi as Stacy is.
- By the grand finale (or “reveal” a la reality TV), the guest has undergone a lifestyle lobotomy – which should inspire any woman over 40 who has ever wanted to Get a Move On and rid herself of excess baggage of all kinds. After all the gentle arm-twisting of these wardrobe wise-guys, hairstyle high priests and makeup maestros, we are agog as the woman goes from outré to hooray. She struts and preens with a confidence that would rival the haughtiest supermodel, for her friends, family and co-workers – including the very people who “busted” her sorry style to Stacy and Clinton in the first place. As often as I watch this show and know exactly what’s coming, I can still get teary-eyed over it all.
Now London is bringing her motherly tough-love and big-sister bossiness to the masses with her new company, Style for Hire, where she and a network of stylists certified by Stacy and her team, will help transform women at selected venues everywhere (www.styleforhire.com, for more info). Their tagline, “Get Changed” and similar puns will definitely prompt you to Get a Move On.
So, I DARE you to Make Your Next Move! Use the lazy hazy days left this summer to purge those crevices, shelves, corners and cubbyholes of your closet. Try on everything and DARE to part with anything that doesn’t make you feel great and look great. Do it for yourself, do it for others, e.g. Dress for Success (www.dressforsuccess.org.), Salvation Army, Goodwill and other places you can donate, or take it all to a consignment shop. DARE to Get A MOVE On, Get Over It and Donate Something.
Need more ideas? Check-out Chapter 12 from my book “Get DARE From Here!” for more tips on how you can take stock, take action and take charge. I DARE you!