I have been working from home since before my son was born 10 years ago. The only office work I have done in the last 10 years was in a casual-dress office for about 18 months. I have 2 or 3 mix-and-match outfits for visiting publishers in New York when those occasions arise. So I'd be the first to stand up at a 12-step fashion program and say, "My name is Melanie, and I'm a style disaster."
I didn't used to be that way. In my teens and twenties I had a very clear sense of my own style (no, it wasn't sophisticated, but it was clear to me) and I had a svelte figure that made me happy to walk into almost any clothing store and know my choices were limited to personal taste. Different story now.
I don't really miss those clotheshorse days when I actually liked shopping, but Kendall Farr's upcoming book Style Evolution (Gotham, April 2009), which I just finished working on, shows me just how far I've fallen from chic or even current. Farr is the Rick Steves of fashion: she distills into roughly 200 pages only the timeless and ageless items no 40-and-older gal should be without. She justifies why you should spend more money on the better quality and when to "crib" the style in a lower-priced knock-off.
Frankly, she made me want to pull a What Not to Wear and completely trash my outdated, "I'm saving it for when I lose weight" wardrobe. If, like me, you want a one-way ticket back from Frumpytown, consider preordering Style Evolution.