Fashionista contributor Jo Piazza knows a lot about a lot of things: celebrity culture, politics, and especially relationships. It's not her area of expertise as a journalist, per se, but she's ammassed enough, er, experiences to cull from for her debut chick lit novel, Love Rehab: A Novel in Twelve Steps.
"My main character Sophie creates Love Rehab, which is like Alcoholics Anonymous but for people who are neurotic about relationships, when she gets dumped really bad," Piazza told us. "I think I wrote it because I was a neurotic dater in my twenties and so were most of my friends--all of our stories combined were too hilarious not to fictionalize. So about 50% of the book was influenced by things that really happened, and 50% came from my messed up brain."
Drawing on that 50% of things that really happened, we asked Piazza to lay out her commandments for dressing post-breakup. Let's just say she learned these lessons the hard way. And she has the photos to prove it. And now, in her own words...
I’ve made a lot of mistakes in the name of love. At the top of that list are the sartorial slip-ups I have made when love has gone awry. When a girl gets dumped her wardrobe isn’t always a priority. It should be. Looking back over the five most devastating breakups of my life, I wish that someone would have told me the many things I would regret. I wish 30-year-old me had told 20-year-old me a few fashion rules that would have helped me both heal and avoid the veiled laughter of my friends and frenemies.
Rule 1: Don’t dress like a slut.
I took my breakup with my high school boyfriend pretty hard. I was in my freshman year of college and still believed a long-distance relationship with a guy who had hair like Dylan McKay from the original Beverly Hills 90210 was going to result in happily ever-after. How did I compensate after our breakup? With a shopping spree filled with tube tops, backless shirts, and skirts shaped like napkins. It was the Nineties, so you can’t judge me for the backless shirts. You can and should judge me for showing more skin than Miley Cyrus at a MySpace party. The cardinal rule after a breakup is to remember your dignity. No one needs to see what he can’t have anymore.
Rule 2: Don’t buy a new wardrobe.
I did a crash diet after one of my breakups and lost 21 lbs by subsiding on lettuce, cigarettes and vodka. I was so proud of myself that I spent $2,000 on size zero everything including a pair of sheer sequined pants. Nothing comes back faster than revenge weight.
Rule 3: Don’t get bangs.
This rule might as also be: don’t watch Sweet Home Alabama, since every time I see cute as a button Reese Witherspoon and her sassy Southern self I want to get myself some sassy Southern bangs. So after one particularly bad breakup with a gentleman who had more mistresses than Tiger Woods I decided that I could easily cut my own bangs. I could not.
Rule 4: Don’t live in your yoga clothes.
Because you aren’t doing yoga. You’re lying on your couch wallowing. I’ve been there. I once wore the same Lululemon Groove pants for three weeks. The rule is that if you aren’t sweating, you shouldn’t be in sweatpants.
Rule 5: Don’t morph into the new girlfriend.
When my ex shacked up with a granola munching, hemp wearing yogi I made a big show of how much I loved the Earth, even going so far as to post this picture of me wearing a traditional hat while petting an alpaca in Peru on my Facebook.