Elle magazine is running an essay contest: write an essay of 500 words or less about "The _______ that changed my life." They're interested in a fashion item to fill in the blank (a dress, shoes, bag, coat, necklace etc.) that "made an ordinary moment sublime, rocked your world or someone else's, that changed how you see yourself (or how others see you.)"
I'm not making this up. They're serious, and it's a real contest. Evidently fashion can change someone's life. We shouldn't make any jokes about that, either. One must respect people whose moments, image and world can be magically transformed by a pair of nifty designer shoes, or a cute little pink skirt, or --
Look, just shut up and read the rest of the post, okay?
The winner's essay will be published in Elle, and the winner will also "have dibs on" a Paige Large Convertible Tote from Cole Haan's fall collection (I have no idea what the latter is, so if you're wondering, best you consult with a chick-lit writer.)
To submit essays and get the contest rules, log on to Elle.com/Contest. Entry period is Oct. 5th to Nov. 25th, 2006.
(As for my own personal essays involving fashion, all of which would likely get me burned in effigy in front of Elle's headquarters, take a look at Moms, The Suit, and Unfashionable.)