I hear voices in my head if I'm tempted to run to the grocery store to pick up a couple of things dressed in my work-at-home uniform of an oversized T-shirt, sweats and well-worn Birkenstocks. Those voices say things like, "Why are you going out in public in that schlumpy, sad sack of an outfit? Have you learned nothing at all from a decade of watching our TV show?"

Beyond a mere makeover show, TLC long-running What Not To Wearexplores the emotion and esteem issues behind our clothing choices. The show's hosts, style mavens Clinton Kelly and Stacy London, have demonstrated how pleated mom jeans, hippie-era resale store ponchos, or sparkly spandex club-wear alike can be ersatz versions of fig leaves in which we hide our best selves.

The show, which just launched its tenth and final season, highlights the duckling-to-swan transformations that can be accomplished with a New York City shopping trip, an appointment with a top hair stylist and makeup artist, and a heavy dose of barely filtered truth. Clinton and Stacey's efforts have illustrated Coco Chanel's maxim: "Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman."

The show's ambush-style interventions strip away the artifice of those fig leaves so the person hiding inside can shine. On What Not To Wear, the person getting the makeover is usually last to get the memo that she is beautiful.

The format for What Not To Wear hasn't changed much over the years. Friends or family nominate a woman they love who is sporting a sense of style they don't love – for good reason. These fashion disasters tend to fall into three categories: dreary, skanky, or kooky.

The show's subjects may use adjectives like "comfortable" or "sexy" or "creative" to explain their pre-makeover looks, but their fashion choices are almost always camouflaging a broken sense of self. In fact, some of the women who've been the most immodest dressers are the ones expressing a great deal of shame or confusion about who they were as people underneath it all.

"It's not about the clothes, " Clinton told one of the women featured in the first episode of the final season. "It's about being the best version of you that you could possibly be."

After viewing secret footage and trashing of the person's current wardrobe—verbally and literally—Clinton and Stacy lay out the rules ("No more trashy spandex club wear in the office, or anywhere else, for that matter") before sending the subject out to shop with $5,000. Some rules, like the command to purchase of a well-tailored jacket or a tasteful dress for special occasions, appear to be near-universal. Other rules customized to the makeover subject's preferences, lifestyle, aspirations, and age.

After the shopping spree, hair, and makeup comes the big reveal, where Clinton and Stacey celebrate the woman's new look before she heads home to the applause of family and friends. Most of the time, the women receiving makeovers end up happy with their new appearance and wardrobe, but a few dig their metaphorical Birkenstocks into the ground while insisting they liked their old look better.

What Not To Wear has reminded me that a chic wardrobe and tasteful makeup can be a helpful push in the right direction toward that "best possible you" goal, but cannot fully, sustainably transform a broken sense of self. Only God can do that. The confidence that comes from knowing we are of great value to him can translate into thoughtful and appropriate decisions about how we present ourselves to the world, even if most of our wardrobe comes from the sale racks at the local resale store.

We hear the words at church, in Bible studies and small groups, and in conversation with our Christ-following friends that each person bears God's image, and we've each been uniquely fashioned by him to live lives reflecting his beauty. Yet, it seems that most of us live somewhere within the tension that exists between the truth of those words and the sight of the woman who greets us in the mirror each morning. It is very significant to me that this proclamation from the final movement of the book of Revelation is constructed in the present continuous tense: "I am making everything new!" (Rev. 21:5). We are being remade, right now, this very moment.

I'll confess that there are times when I've felt as though this process of transformation has gotten stuck in neutral in my life. Trials, distractions, disordered priorities and those uncertain stretches where God's seems a zillion miles away can contribute to the way I view myself. Cue the schlumpy outfit. No one will ever mistake me for a fashionista, in part because I really do love my Birkenstocks, but Clinton and Stacy have reminded me for the last decade that the way I present myself to the world tells a story about who I am, and who I am becoming.

Some might view a basic cable TV program about makeovers as just another unreal reality show starring vanity, but What Not To Wear has been for me a small reminder that transformation is my birthright, and beauty is an inside job.