PEM: Can One Book Change Your Life?

Hi all,

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. I am so happy when I can keep content flowing–thrilled to be posting again! Here’s a follow-up to last Tuesday’s post.

As I stated in my previous post, I have never been ‘skinny.’ Chances are, I will never be ‘thin.’ My whole life I’ve yo-yoed anywhere from 20-40 pounds more than I ever needed and have probably been at the ‘ideal weight’ for my height and build twice (pre-kids, of course).

That doesn’t mean, however, I can’t take care of my body and feel good about the shape I’m in—by no means my best ever (that was pre-kids, too, lol) but maybe the best it’s been in a while. (And so far, I’m past the two-and-a-half-year mark for maintaining it—an absolute first for me! No secret methods, just regular exercise and walking while religiously wearing my shape-up shoes. Portion control and cutting back white flour and sugar products have made a huge difference too.)

Anyway, back to that ONE book that changed my perspective when it came to clothing: Style Is Not a Size: Looking Great and Feeling Great in the Body You Have by Hara Estroff Marano.

You see, I was raised by a mom whose pear shape I inherited, and whose one objective when it comes to dressing is and will always be: ‘hide that backside.’ That translates into this tiny woman—she may have hit the 5’0” mark and has long since lost ground—almost always wearing boxy shirts big enough to skim over hips, butt and thighs. These fill an awful lot of visual space. In the long run, she looks bigger, and to this day, if she could get me to wear the same types of shirts and pants, she would.

  Both these photos were taken the same day. 

Ms. Marano’s book confirmed and/or taught me techniques that helped me develop my style AND make me feel good about how I look. Skin-tight clothes are so not me, but nicely tailored, well-fitting pieces make me happy. I have a waistline, for goodness sake—how can not showing it off—to hide that backside again—make me look better?

  My thanks to my son, the photographer 🙂

Shirts and slacks that trace (and sometimes hug, given the right fabric and cut) draw attention to the positives instead of making me look like a box with arms and legs. BTW, tailored does not necessarily mean custom; I’m referring to clothing that has some shape and/or body shaping curves sewn into it (i.e., the opposite of a t-shirt). As per well-fitting, keep in mind that a pair of jeans that is too big can be every bit as unflattering as that pair that has to be zippered while lying flat on the bed and looks painful to wear. And let us not bother with ‘skinny jeans’ or ‘jeggings’—definitely not flattering on this less-perfectly-curved body.

Your turn: any particular book, movie and/or incident change your perspective by impacting your sense of self?

Have a great day and ttyl,

Joanna

Character Impact…On Us!

Happy Friday, folks! Let’s get right to the fun! (Makes for wellness, right?):

Is there a character who has influenced your sense of fashion and style? Maybe even you as a person?

Those who know me know who I love: Fran Drescher’s Fran Fine. (I can get past the voice—she has to live with it, right?)

So ever since Nick at Nite picked up this show shopping hasn’t been the same. Women’s apparel is boring and finding those quirky—but almost always classy—pieces Fran wore is a challenge. Those of you who are shaking your heads, take a close look. Form-fitting or not, she rarely looked trashy. Her outfits were offbeat but tasteful and she didn’t show much more than her arms and legs. Cuts, colors and patterns are timeless—ten years later, she does not look dated.

I’ve had some luck, but always at a TJ Maxx or similar store, where a variety of styles are kind of lumped together. Let’s remember I don’t have the phenomenal figure Fran had back in her Nanny days. (What is encouraging though, is that she and I seem to be built similarly and maybe even about the same size these days, if you’re watching Happily Divorced. Oh all right: chances are she’s a size or two smaller, when I allow for the “ten pounds” TV puts on. Of course I have way more backside than she does, but can’t I hope Fran is a mere mortal like myself?) I can, however, have fun with bold patterns, strong colors and of course, ruffles, especially on long sleeves.

Then there was her wisdom with her TV charges. Can’t tell you how much it’s helped me at home and at school. My all-time favorite line came from the pilot episode. (I use this one with my boys all the time. Click the image but be warned: I figured out where to start a clip but have yet to get how to create a cut-off point. That’s up to you. 😀)

Guess her influence is pretty much part of me now. This past school year, I had comments that came from kids—who have no business being up that late on a school night—to confirm it. One boy said, “You sound like her!” (I’d rather look like her, thank you very much.) And when two of my special-ed girls couldn’t come up with a plan for standing far enough apart to play catch, guess I went into Fran mode. Can’t remember what I said, but I can just see one little girl’s hands going onto her hips. With her cute southern accent-vernacular she asked: “Is you watchin’ The Nanny again?”

My day was made.

Your turn: name a character who has become a part of your makeup. What appeals to you about said character, and how does that influence show? And anyone know where can I find fun clothes like Fran’s?

Please remember to click a share button or two before you go–thanks so much! A great weekend to all!

Joanna