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Feb 28, 2010

Cathy's Makeover Challenge WINNER

At last, it's time to announce the winner of Cousin Cathy's Makeover Challenge!

I'll be presenting the awards since Cathy tends to break down at emotional moments like these.  Frankly, she hated having to make a choice at all; in her opinion, all the contestants deserve a prize.  But, alas, rules are rules and she had to choose.  Luckily, Cathy left me copious notes detailing her decision-making process.
Remember that winners were chosen based on the "most dramatic and successful makeovers."   And we certainly saw some wonderful transformations.

The Winner of the Bronze Medal is.....Jenny!

About her two looks, Jenny explains:
My before pic shows my rather bland style:  dark jeans, sweater hoodie, minimal accessories.  After meditating on what I want to look like, I realized, classic will probably always be my main style, but I do like a couple of exciting pieces, whether they be the clothes or accessories.  The second pic is "post-makeover."  I wore a sweater dress I've worn maybe twice in the two years I've owned it.  Before, I figured it was a summer dress, but I loved wearing it this way, with tights and flat boots.  I felt cute but still casual enough for the mommy lifestyle.

Cathy loves Jenny's makeover (and so do I).   Cathy notes, "I adore the baby blue cardigan paired with those sexy black boots.  Jenny is mild AND wild and will eventually let loose and join a rock band, but may have to wait until her baby is in high school."

Jenny also looks stunning in jeans and hoodie which, frankly, Cathy found a little incredible and probably cost Jenny some points.

Our Silver Medalist is......Karen!

Cathy lost a lot of sleep over assigning these medals.  Karen writes:  Nothing can be done with my “work look” as I am condemned privileged to wear an olive drab uniform.  My off duty look is the red sweater/black pants combo look. Safe and plain.  However, I am working toward this "after" look by learning to sew.

Cathy nearly fell off her chair when she saw Karen's before and after pics and you can understand why.  Karen's makeover shows how effectively she has harnessed not only the power of the polka dot, but also the potential of an elegant dress to transform.

Cathy says, "I cannot believe that the woman in that classic blue dress wears an olive drab uniform all day.  The outfit is perfect, and the white gloves and matching shoes make this "after" shot a winner.  Karen is spring incarnate.  Love it!

And finally, our Gold Medalist, the Winner of Cousin Cathy's Makeover Contest is.....Samantha!

Samantha, we are told, "has lost sight of what it means to dress age appropriately. She's maintained a fun loving, single lifestyle, but she's not exactly a twenty something anymore.  (She wanted) to have a look that was more elegant and classy, less young/trendy/slutty.

Well, as an aspiring model on the wrong side of twenty-nine with a questionable past, Cathy could certainly relate to Samantha's dilemma.

Samantha's before shot, described (vulgarly) as her Ridden Hard and Put Away Wet look (!), was apparently giving Samantha a bad reputation in her home state of New Hampshire.  (Of course, in New York City, she could wear that to work at J.P. Morgan/Chase.)

If truth be told, Cathy wasn't completely sold on this Samantha story at first.  This kind of Cinderella-like transformation is a little too "Pretty Woman" to be believed.  And let's face it, Samantha looks hot in that clingy black turtleneck dress even if there is a "4" in her age.

And yet, in contrast, how undeniably demure Samantha looks in her Diane Von Furstenberg wrap similar to Cathy's own.  Samantha had clearly done her homework and scored points for the obvious "kiss up."

Samantha was also nudged over the edge by her uncanny resemblance to Joan Rivers' daughter Melissa.

Winner or no, Cathy would like to see Samantha in a higher heel and may send some used gently worn Manolo Blahniks her way.

Congratulatons, Jenny, Karen, and Samantha!

Last but not least, the Didn't Even Send a Pic But What the Hell Award goes to Angel.  Angel wrote the following to Cathy last Friday:

Today's the day and I'm sorry to say that I didn't get very far with my wardrobe.  I thought you'd like to know what you have inspired though...

I started looking at my wardrobe and recognizing the things about it that make me unhappy.  Then I started looking around my house and realized that the house makes me more unhappy than my clothes, that led to a conversation with my husband who is just as unhappy with our house as I am.  Long story short, we're moving!  Next week we will begin getting our house ready to put on the market and looking for a new home... not a house, a HOME!  Someplace that fits our personalities and lifestyle, someplace that makes us smile when we walk through the front door and hopefully does the same for our guests.  So, while I didn't succeed at the makeover challenge I did succeed in starting a make over of our lives... and while I'm packing I'll be sure to throw out all those clothes that aren't working for me either!

The power of a makeover challenge knows no bounds!  Anyone interested in purchasing Angel's old house or selling her a new one can email me directly and I'll pass word along.

Once again, thank you to all our contestants, beautiful -- and courageous -- people, all.

A big round of applause for all our winners!


  1. Congratulations everyone! Peter, if Cathy has time it'd be nice to see some of the runners up at some point...

  2. Well hells bells, you surely did inspire a bunch of lovely people... and for that I think you should get an award too. Frankly, I'm pretty impressed with all of the winners (including Invisible Angel). Nice work!

    (Sorry, super-typos in the previous post)

  3. I love Angel's story -now THAT'S inspiring. Samantha was really excited about this - apparently this is the first thing in her life she has ever won. Yesterday we went shopping and picked out some more fabric for a variety of dresses to add to her new look. I have to admit that helping someone else do a makeover succeeded in making me feel rather frumpy, so I am about to embark on some selfish sewing for ME for a a while. It's going to start with one of those DVF dresses in an aqua floral, and Samantha is going to teach me how to do makeup (In 33 years I have never worn make up).

  4. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I've never won anything before and I'm so flattered and pleased. When Kerry called me to tell me that we'd won the competition, I was in a state of complete disbelief.

    After reading about Cathy's makeover challenge I immediately knew that it was time to do something about my look and start in on a complete wardrobe makeover. Cathy's DVF dress was definitely a huge inspiration, but little did I think that I'd even get a mention, let alone win! Thank you!

  5. Aw, thanks, Peter. It was fun! I'm trying to keep my outfits more interesting.

  6. How lovely! I agree - I'd like to see other runner up pics!

  7. Cathy, I am honored. With you for guidelines and Peter for inspiration, my goal is to sew a new outfit per month from March to December. Many thanks to both of you. Karen

  8. Great story from Angel. And yay for polka dot shoes!

  9. Everyone looks fabulous! Congrats to those who put the time and effort in to pull this off, including, of course, Peter and Cathy. Impressive and inspiring :)

  10. Rather Be Sewing - Lynne WFebruary 28, 2010 at 7:43 PM

    What an energizing project! Everyone's a winner this week for putting forth the effort and trying a new look ... or even simply thinking about it.

    I'd love to see other entries and runner up photos if time permits, Peter. (Cathy, I'm sure, is jetting off to some catwalk in Paris. She probably doesn't know how to upload jpegs anyway.)

    And to inspire Angel to MOVE?? HOUSES!?!? That is quite the feat and something I've never heard happen in any of those high-budget and high-falutin' makeover contests on TV.

    To heck with "Move That Bus! and 'Auf Wiedersehen!" All those TV makeover shows got nothin' on our Peter and Cathy.

  11. Thanks Peter and Cathy for the very special award and congratulations to everyone who participated.

    And I have to agree, those other make-over shows don't have anything on you two!


  12. Congrats to the winners. I'd love to see more runner up pics, too.


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