The Look

9 Nov

A Decision

Today I decided to tackle a critical element: Looking the part.

I’ve been testing my wings, as of late, with various missions and research. Still, something was missing. I’ve started to feel like an International Woman of Mystery, but when I look in the mirror, it occurs to me that this disheveled, too casual look has got to go. Having worked from home for several years, it was easy to get into a style rut (or the lack thereof.) But now I’ve got business to attend to.

An entire wardrobe overhaul might be in the works eventually, but for today I’ve decided I need a signature look.

Let’s start with the basics. Black is a given. It’s the most mysterious of the colors. It’s simple in theory but in practice, it is transformative. I’ve got a couple of decent black cocktail dresses left over from all those stuffy functions Mr. Poison used to drag me to. However, for everyday missions I’ll need something a bit more functional. Think cat suit. In a simple black turtleneck and leggings, suddenly I’m Audrey Hepburn. I am Catwoman. I am Jenny G. I can repel tall buildings and disappear down alleyways unseen.

Next, a good trench feels like a must. I’ve been meaning to pull the trigger on this for awhile, but today feels like the day. I make my way to the mall. Another perk of the trench? It’s universal. I find myself with several good options before narrowing it down to a classic camel colored number. Would I like a bag the cashier asks? No need. I slip into my new coat like it’s a glove. Pop the collar and exit the store.

I feel more mysterious already, but I’m not quite finished. The pièce de résistance of the whole affair has got to be some big sunglasses. Every International Woman of Mystery needs at least one pair. The bigger the better. I don’t worry that I’ll look like a bug or Paris Hilton. Some oversized shades are a perfect power play. I can see the whole world through them, but no one can look in. Everyone may wonder what secrets are behind my shades, but they’ll never know and I’ll never tell.

I contemplate treating myself to a designer pair (retail therapy much?) but settle on a pair at Forever 21. It’s better to go cheap, I wager. One never knows when they might break their glasses in a frenetic car chase or hand-to-hand combat.

I feel emboldened as I leave the mall, but something still feels like it’s missing. I’m mulling it over, drinking an espresso at the corner coffee shop (dark coffee is already growing on me) when a woman walks in. She is tall and collected. Dressed to the nines. But it’s not her attire that catches my attention. It’s her hair. A short sleek bob with bangs. It’s modern and sophisticated. I need that hair.

I’m about to practice my stealth recon skills by taking a photo with my phone, when she looks up. We make eye contact and I can feel myself blush. Busted. Now is not the time to be a shrinking violet, I decide. An International Woman of Mystery would never be embarrassed like this. I clear my throat.

“Oh hello,” I say. “I was just admiring your haircut. I’m new in town and could use to find a good stylist. Can you point me in the right direction.”

The woman smiles conspiratorially. “Do you have a pen?” she asks. I reach into my purse but come up empty handed (note to self: get a spy bag!). Luckily, she has a pen. She writes a name and a number on the back of a business card. Her execution is sleek. Should I have business cards? I want to ask. But instead I just thank her profusely.

“My pleasure,” she says. “I love your coat, by the way.”

And with that she sashays out. I am in awe of her practiced cool. As soon as I get home, I retrieve the card from my purse and admire it as if it were precious gold. I program the number into my phone and vow to myself that I’ll call ASAP.

Jenny G.


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