The Loh Life

Business Dress, Part Four: Control at the Top

Sandra Tsing Loh embraces her inner Oprah.

For those in what's called "the creative class," work can trigger changes in eating patterns - and not for the better.  My actor friend Jon has to think twice before he takes a play, "Because afterwards we always go out, and drink and eat - ," he says.  And not only is he in AA, he's cutting carbs.  "Pasta!  It's not just bar food like mozzarella sticks, but pasta!  I'm basically going to have to give up acting."  My sitcom-producer friend Sharon has long bemoaned the writers' rooms filled, 24/7, with: "Bagels, soft cookies, trail mix with M&M's.  Trail mix shouldn't HAVE M&M's.  We're just sitting around a table in Burbank.  Relatively low elevation.  No one is hiking."

For me, working from home, it's Kettle Chips at midnight - Isn't that a Cole Porter song?  "Kettle Chips At Midnight"?  So then, we're surprised when we have to re-enter the world, and we don't resemble a glittery-eyed, greyhound-thin executive giving a TED Talk.  I discovered this recently when I dashed out last minute to J. Crew to buy a tailored black skirt and found, to my horror, that I couldn't fit into any of them - I could get two, one for each calf!  Although to be fair, J. Crew was sold out of every size but zero and two.  Meanwhile, 70% of American women are a size 12 or above - And the average American woman is a size 14!

However, white and green skirts they had in every size.  So, I shrugged into a big green skirt and decided to embrace what I call my Oprahness.  As opposed to, like, Kelly Ripa, who has actually shrunk over the decades - I think there is a second Kelly Ripa that dropped away 20 years ago - No, by contrast, Oprah is a hard-working professional who famously enjoys her Southern comfort food, and even on television, which adds what it adds, she always looks like a million bucks.  And, she does it in every color - she'll wear a caramel-colored V-neck with silky banana yellow slacks, no problem - If only Oprah had a clothing line!

I put on a green skirt, though, and instead of my hips looking smooth I'm seeing... textures - and the helpful saleslady reminds me of another accessory I have forgotten about: pantyhose.

And, here's the beauty.  In 2014, not only can they clone sheep, they can make pantyhouse in control top, nude toe, and, as it says right there on the box, "ANTI-CELLULITE."  They're basically medical tights, and when you've managed to wiggle them on 20 minutes later, you've got a totally smooth front and your energized legs feel ready for kick-boxing... even if you have not exercised in months.

It was my Oprah "Aha" moment!

I'm having an insight!  Pass the Kettlechips.


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