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Easter dressThrough my childhood, my mother sewed all the clothes for her three daughters.

Our early Spring ritual was to drive to Hancock’s fabric store near our house. I’d look over Mama’s shoulder as she turned each page in the pattern books — McCall’s, Butterick, Simplicity — to find the dress I wanted her to sew just for me.

Then we wandered through the store touching bolt after bolt of cloth — lavender, aqua, flowered — until we chose the perfect one and took it to the ‘scissors lady’ at the counter. Two yards, please, I would tell her in my most grown-up voice.

My favorite dress is the one she made by hand when I was three. It was the palest blue organza, with a huge cloud of a  petticoat and a big bow at the back. She sewed impossibly tiny white lace on the puffy sleeves and collar. Little French knots dotted the hem.

She would always finish sewing our dresses late in the night before Easter Sunday. When I woke up, my new outfit would be hanging on my closet door. Freshly ironed and ready to be slipped over my head.

One year, she wrote a note and pinned it to my new dress.

Janice Lee,

This new outfit is for the outer you. I hope that when you wear it, you remember it’s what’s inside that is most important. Let your light shine on Easter Day and every day.

Love, Mama

A few years ago I was digging through an old cedar chest and came across a zippered plastic bag. Inside was the Easter dress I wore when I was three. The lace had turned tea-colored, but every French knot and ruffle was intact.

I realized two things when I washed and ironed that tiny, exquisitely crafted dress.

1)  It took my mother over an hour to press it.

2)  She was, and still is, an amazing woman.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. You don’t realize the need to change. The biggest mistake women over 40 make? Doing the same things they’ve been doing for decades. Hair, makeup, and clothing that helped you look fantastic in your younger years no longer work for you as you grow older. It’s all about discovering and correcting those mistakes so they don’t sabotage you in your career or love life, or stop you from living your greatness.
I want for you what YOU want for you - to feel as fabulous as you truly are!

I want for you what YOU want for you – to feel as fabulous as you truly are!

2.    You’re wearing jersey fabric. Jersey fabric doesn’t create the best shape, in part because it’s as clingy as it is comfortable. If you love jersey, go for a draped or ruched option that grazes your curves and strategically hides any bulges. Another option: double-knit jersey, which is a denser quality fabric that still has a bit of stretch for comfort. Or choose a slightly more tailored piece, like a sheath dress, which gives the illusion of structure but is a forgiving cut for most women.

3.    You’re hiding your neck.

neckline

It seems like an easy fix: Cover as much of the neck as possible with a turtleneck. But a better choice is a V-neck or scoop neck, which draws the eye to your décolletage (as long as it doesn’t show cleavage). Collared shirts or an open ‘mandarin’ collar draw attention away from the neck area while giving a little more coverage.

necklace

You might also choose a statement necklace that sits a little longer.    Avoid chokers and pick a style that’s at least 22 inches long.

Are you ready to meet your most beautiful, confident self?

Lee Irwin is the Fountain of YOU expert. Treat yourself to more of Lee’s secret tips and tricks =>www.girl-friended.com/freegift

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