Through the Looking Glass

I’m just putting away my power drill after installing a full length mirror inside the closet door of my guest room.  It occurred to me that when someone stays with us the only mirror is over the sink in the bathroom which makes it near impossible to check one’s total look.  And let’s face it; the world sees you from head to toe, not just waist up.  Whenever I go out of town to direct a production, one of the first things I do, if the place I’m staying in doesn’t already provide it, is to run down to the local Target and buy a long mirror.  They’re usually only about six dollars and then I just leave it for the next occupant.  I find this is essential, not just from a fashion standpoint but from a practical one as well.  It’s pretty difficult to see what’s hanging down in the back without a full length mirror.  Any singer or director who has arrived at a corporate apartment and seen a long mirror propped up against the wall very likely has gotten a little gift from yours truly.

I’m reminded of the time, many years ago, when I was in an awful production of “Antigone.”  I was playing the role of the Queen Eurydice and, unbeknownst to me, I made my entrance on stage with a bra hooked onto the back of my gown.  You heard me.  Clearly I had neglected to look in the full length mirror before going on.  The only positive thing I can say about this experience is that it provided my colleagues with plenty of backstage hysterics in an otherwise tedious and regrettable show.  Moral of that story; not only GET a look but TAKE a look.  Yikes.

I was incredulous to learn the other day that one of my better dressed friends only installed a full length mirror in her home for the first time this week!  “How the heck do you see the full view,” I asked her.

“I stand on the edge of the tub and then I crouch to see myself in the little mirror over the sink.”

Are you kidding me?  This would be dangerous under any circumstances but forget about being dressed up and in high heels.  Good lord, that’s a disaster waiting to happen.  Not to mention the fact that all your clothes look like they were tailored for Quasimodo.

You get my point.

I find I need to see the whole outfit.  Many times I’ve taken off an unneeded bracelet, snipped a thread hanging from a hem, changed my underwear (visible panty line, you know—I could write a whole column on undergarments) or simply decided something was too short/young/dated/worn out/out of season, just by taking that last look in the full length.  Think of the long mirror as your cheerleader, your rescuer from embarrassment, your editor, your friend.

It can be an eye opener.


“My Queen, why are you crying?”
“I didn’t look in the long mirror and I have a bra hanging off the back of my dress!!!!”


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2 responses to “Through the Looking Glass

  1. Jessica

    Great column, H, and very funny! And I agree with joann: great line!


  2. joanb

    “…..not only GET a look but TAKE a look.” – Great line Helena! And, your costume snafu would make a great comedy sketch!


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