Picks and Pans Review: Is There Life After Hotness?

updated 08/30/2010 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/30/2010 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Absolutely, says writer Stephanie Dolgoff, 43, whose new memoir My Formerly Hot Life chronicles her disorienting transition from pretty young thing to "ma'am." Bottom line: "Older's better than okay: It's awesome."

HOW OLD ARE "FORMERLIES"?

It's individual-it happened to me in my late 30s. You're an adult tween: not old but not young. There are lots of signs.

SUCH AS?

You no longer get harassed on the street. The man who asks you the time just wants the time. You prefer interior design magazines to fashion magazines: Decor is something you don't need to fit into, for one thing!

HOW DO YOU DRESS THE PART?

Wear what makes you feel sexy but use restraint. If you can see your C-section scar above your jeans, they're too low. Avoid animal prints unless you want to be called a cougar.

WHY IS "FORMERLY" FABULOUS?

You're projecting who you are, not an image of what you think a woman should be. I'm glad I was young, but I'm 30 times happier now.

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