Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

I am in the process of a makeover. It started with one of those free
makeup sessions at the mall. Then my inner Imelda discovered boots,
which I started wearing with tights. Hooray for the confluence of style
and my skinny legs. I started cleaning out my closet and got rid of
anything that made me look or feel fat (I am overweight but not
obese); that had stains, that was so far out of style I didn’t care it the
style came back. I decided that what had previously been “dress up
wear” was going to be my new normal. People noticed the boots and
tights. Then they started saying I looked nice, even that they thought
I had lost weight. I told my hairdresser I wanted to try a new style
(the first time in a decade). I feel thinner, younger, hipper, happier,
and like I have anew outlook on life. But now people are asking things
like: Have you met someone? And What’s going on? Why are you
dressing up? Do I need to say anything other than I’m ready to be a
new me?


Dear Swan:

You could leave it at just that. Plus a satisfied happy smile and a Do
you like the new me? Everyone has the right to self-determination of
his or her image, look, style, persona, whatever you want to call it.
Most of us of a certain age and older fall into patterns and habits in
lifestyle, dressing, even the routes we drives and stay stuck in them.
We buy something special for a wedding or B&'nai Mitzvah but in the
day-to- day we wear the same old same old until it wears out.
Sometimes we lose sight of the little tears and stains and our
wardrobes begin to look not just out of style but a little shabby. Ditto
for our shoes and hair.


Change is good and even good for your brain.
You can decide if you want to do a big shift or a more gradual one. But
this is a great time of year for the transformation. Use every holiday
party as an excuse to up the ante, and the post Xmas sales as an
opportunity to round out your new wardrobe. It helps to donate the
old things to make room for the new things. Or to put them in a bad
and let them sit to see what old favorites you miss. But save some of
your budget for spring. Two reasons: different wardrobe choices; you
don’t know now what shape you will be in and what style you will
eventually embrace. Play with your taste and image. Changing
yourself from the outside may inspire you to reduce your BMI too.
Enjoy being both Cinderella and your own Fairy Godmother!