This article is dedicated to my friend Taryn, who inspired to truly flex my steez.

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Myspace reunited me with Taryn after having lost touch for years, and several months later, she ended up asking me to be one of her bridesmaids. She got hitched in Saratoga Springs, where her mother, brother, and sister live. I flew in a week early to help prepare for the wedding and spend time with her and her family, who I hadn’t seen in so many years, and to meet her groom. That week was absolutely one of the craziest experiences of my life, and trust—I’ve had some crazy-ass experiences, book to follow (not about that week—about a totally separate time in my life that resulted in my giving most of my possessions away, shaving my head, and hitchhiking to Canada, though I did say multiple times throughout the wedding week that it was such a crazy experience that it would make a great book). I truly thought I was gonna lose it multiple times that week in a cartoon-like bobble-head manner.

..At one point I got so flustered I found myself at the rehearsal dinner with my dress on inside out. I could go on ad nauseam, but instead I’ll get back to the art of switching up your steez.

I often site Taryn as the source of inspiration for me to get truly into experimenting with makeup, in particular, but also the ability to switch up one’s look on the nightly. I wore makeup sometimes at that point, but I had only one way of doing my eyeshadow, almost always in shades of brown, which I’d learned years before from an esthetician colleague of mine who taught me the basics after years of my not wearing makeup out of hippiedom. Taryn was an esthetician and hairdresser, and every day/night, despite the bobble-head  insanity-provoking drama that preceded a gorgeous wedding, she would do her hair and makeup in a new way, flawlessly. She imparted upon me many tricks, but my favorite is purple eyeshadow, which I’ll touch upon in an upcoming article on my favorite makeup tricks I learned from my girlfriends.

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I remember complimenting her on the versatility of her style that week, and her telling me a story about how her ex-boyfriend once said he loved the way the switched up her look all the time because it was like having a new girlfriend every night. In the early stages of my falling for B_, at the time when I was switching my look up every day, I wore one of my all-time fave thrift store score vintage dresses with a bold eye and my hair huge and frizzed the fuck out in the right way. When he joined me at Cesar, he called me Rosanne Rosannadanna, then questioned whether or not I even knew who that was. After I told him of course I knew who Rosanne Rosannadanna is, I’m not that young and she’s a classic, he said, “I see you. I see how you are.” And then he said pretty much verbatim what Taryn’s ex had said so many years before.

I loved receiving that compliment, because that was exactly what I was going for. Getting dolled up is good for the soul when you really get into the creative process and pump the right jams It feels like you’re adorning your spirit, because you are. And one of the best parts is, when you have faith in your steez (and decent access to your wardrobe due relative to weight and when you last did laundry) you can start with just about any article and see where it takes you, finding new combinations for accessories, experimenting with new hair and makeup, along the way. I just cue up the proper playlist for my moment, and get lost in my clothes, rings, scarves, purses, earrings, eyeshadow, SHOES, necklaces, lipstick, and on and on until I have to get my ass out the door cause I’m already running a little late.

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So, big ups to T, for the many lessons, including how to show the world I got a world of style. May the steez be with you.

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