He leads me to the fashion closet (which happens to be larger than my living room), where a rack of clothes is ready and waiting. He puts me in a little black dress—but it's sleeveless and I am horrified. "I won't show my upper arms and you can't make me!" I wail. He quells my hysteria with a purple cardigan and prescribes nightly biceps curls. Then he hands me a crystal necklace, black stockings, and a pair of heels he found on the Internet in an extra wide—and it all comes together. "The dress is double knit," he points out, "which holds you in a bit more." I'm wondering which organ I can put up on eBay to buy that dress. "And," he adds, "it's from Old Navy." He throws a tweed car coat with a funnel-neck collar over the dress: "This works with everything." He hands me another Old Navy dress—a jersey wrap. I don't love it, and I say so, but Adam instructs me to hang on, does some pinning to tighten the sleeves, and puts me back in my heels. "Okay, look again," he commands. I'm shocked by the difference. "You see, Lisa, sometimes a little tailoring takes a piece from just okay to fantastic. Notice how the skirt has some fluidity, how gracefully it moves with you; look at the way it hits right at the knee, and the way your underwear is smoothing everything out." I nod in amazement. "Good! Now quit rushing to judgment before we've even got your shoes and jewelry on."
I try gray slacks with an elongating pinstripe and top it with a silky print tunic. "The bejeweled V-neck creates the illusion of a leaner torso and draws attention up to your face. This is perfect for the holidays," he assures me. He puts me in a sharp black suit from Calvin Klein that drapes beautifully, and he insists I can wear the jacket with jeans. "Adam, I can't wear jeans—if they fit in the waist, they're baggy in the thighs and butt." He explains that this is because I'm not a plus size everywhere, that my thighs and bottom are actually pretty slender. It is a quote I plan to have engraved on my tombstone: "Here lies Lisa Kogan and her slender thighs." It gives me the strength to try 17 different jeans until a high-rise skinny-legged pair by a brand called Evans does the trick. Eureka! He pairs them with my new favorite top, a soft cotton jersey tunic with a bead-embellished scoop neckline (built-in jewelry!), and the Calvin jacket. We are both a little giddy with success. If I didn't know better, I'd say I was thin. I do, however, know better—the fact is, I'm not thin. But here's my newfound reality: You don't have to be thin to look great!
You've read the story. Now, see photos of Lisa in her new clothes! Plus, read more Lisa Kogan Tells All columns.