clothes

#Microblog Mondays: No Pants

Since last spring, I have worn skirts and dresses exclusively, even on the weekends once I found the elusive super-casual skirt I’d been looking for. It’s primarily because I’ve gained weight and my pants are tight while skirts and dresses tend to be more forgiving. I also find them to be very comfortable. My coworkers tease me because even on “dress-down” occasions at work like retreats, I still wear a skirt or dress.

I promise I have not joined some Duggar-like cult ūüôā

We are having the first taste of fall in NC this week, and I panicked a bit yesterday when trying to figure out what to wear. I need to figure out how to transition my summer skirts and dresses into the Fall until it is cool enough to wear my other clothes. Or maybe I need to go shopping. I like the latter option!

The truth is that while I definitely need to lose weight and plan to , the thought of wearing pants feels so constricting and uncomfortable. Guess that places me firmly in the “no pants” camp for now.

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Clothes Make the (Wo)Man

Almost a year and a half ago, Jimmy and I bagged up most of our clothes and took them to a local dry cleaner to clean and store while we battled the nefarious carpet beetles that infested our home.¬† We kept Daniel’s clothes since they were easily washable, a few towels, t-shirts and lounging clothes and a few items for work that would see us through what we thought would be a short time.

It wasn’t.

Fucking carpet beetles.

Come summer 2012, I was buying new shirts and a few new skirts and dresses to see me through.  Fall 2012 found me buying a few more items.  I tried to purchase carefully, knowing that at some point, hopefully, I would be getting back my wardrobe.

By Winter 2012 I was frustrated.  I had kept skirts but in some cases, inexplicably, not sweaters or warm shirts that would go with them.  I had kept only a couple of sweaters in general.  My stress-induced weight gain made some of the my meager wardrobe look like shit on me.  I was sick and tired of what clothes I had and had to talk myself down from deciding a (small) shopping spree was in order.

A couple of months ago, Jimmy told me he thought we could bring home our clothes.  We had waged war against the damn carpet beetles for over a year and (knock on wood!!), the situation seemed to be under control.  We set a date; I dared not get my hopes up.

Last weekend, our clothes came home.  That may be the stupidest sentence ever written on this blog for its sentiment, but I was thrilled.  THRILLED.  I had a wedding to go to last Saturday and reveled in the luxury of 4 outfit changes.  As I flipped through the clothes encased in plastic, I practically cooed.  I had forgotten about this shirt and that shirt and oh, look at the cute summer clothes I had forgotten (or tried to forget) I had!!

clothes

OUR CLOTHES!!! Yeah, we might have too much

I’m proud of myself for managing to survive on a few pairs of pants and skirts for over a year.¬† My wardrobe was thin, and I hope I didn’t look ridiculous for a year.¬† I’m a bit embarrassed by the sheer amount of clothes we have, and I suspect I have a lot of weeding and donations to Goodwill in my future.¬† I have a bad tendency to hoard and hang on to items much longer than I should, but I’ll be happy to go through and ruthlessly weed items that I easily got along without for a year.

But for now?¬† I’m enjoying the over-full closet. All of my socks are back! I wore a sweater yesterday from the returned items and paired a blouse and dress for today.¬† I’m far from a clothes-horse or fashion guru, believe me.¬† Many of the items in my wardrobe have been collected over many years, and I like to think they are classic and timeless.¬† This week I have enjoyed having variety from which to choose and just having a little fun with my wardrobe. I feel more confident and secure wearing my clothes. They are old friends.

black shift and blouse

Black dress w/ blouse back from storage

After the last couple of weeks, it’s nice to find a few rays of sunshine.

The Facades We Create

I spent a lot of time in the car today, driving to and from people and places.  I received a few compliments on how nice I looked (thank you!), which I thought was interesting since on the inside I was a bundle of nerves and anxiety.  Those comments made me think about the facades, the armor we wear.

I think I come off to most people as a little aloof, in control and reserved.¬† Maybe even regal if I flatter myself. My style is primarily classic.¬† I’m a devoted Ann Taylor and LOFT shopper with the occasional J.Crew, Talbots and Banana Republic piece sprinkled in.¬† I do not take fashion risks.¬† Honestly, if it doesn’t match in some way, I shy away from it.¬† I do not in any way mean to imply that I’m a good dresser or wouldn’t welcome tips; I’m simply sharing what I’ve identified as my style over the years. This attire¬† makes me comfortable, makes me confident even if it is a little boring.¬† I’m a firm believer that if you feel you look good or are at least comfortable in what you are wearing, it gives you a shot of confidence and a boost of morale.

Our big cat, Bit, has a tabby mask and markings, and we used to tease her about wearing a mask.¬† We’d joke that when we weren’t home, she took off her mask and the real Bit was revealed.¬† We mused about how we could sneak in without her knowing it and catch her unclothed, her snow white fur revealed at last.

Yeah, we’re weird.

I sort of feel like that, though.¬† Inside, in places I don’t talk about at parties, I’m a mess of vulnerabilities and self-doubt.¬† Sometimes I feel like all I am is a huge mess constrained by a suit of skin, clothes and attitude that hold it in check to the rest of the world.¬† How strong are the stitches holding back the vulnerability and self-doubt? Sometimes I feel so brittle that I worry that one crack in the armor would be enough to be my undoing.

That’s my public facade.¬† I hope.¬† On this blog, I sometimes think all I do is express my vulnerabilities.¬† Sometimes I worry that I come off as a huge mess and am exposed as someone who most definitely does not have it together.¬† I need this outlet to be able to give voice to the anxiety, worry, crazy thoughts and doubt that swirl around my head, especially after keeping myself together all day.¬† I worry, though, how I come across.¬† Do I seem crazy?¬† Trying too hard? Lacking confidence?¬† Can I be upbeat one day and morose the next?

As usual, I’m probably thinking too much about this, but it makes me think about the personas we express on our blogs and how we are in reality and in a variety of spaces.¬† What would the majority of my colleagues think if they read this blog and had insight into my addled thoughts?¬† Would it soften their perception of me?¬† Would it make them think less of me?¬† Would they shrug and move on because they knew all along I was like this?

I think I worry that I’m too much of one thing or another in various spaces.¬† I am allergic to personal vulnerability at work, but on this blog, do I focus too much on my worries?¬† How do you reconcile the various personas you have in various environments?¬† How do you be as real, as authentic (ooohhhh I used the dreaded word) as possible?

I guess the bottom line is that I believe that no one has it together, no matter how perfect they appear.

Working with Style: Socks

I may find it difficult to add accessories to my work outfits, but I am a sucker for fun socks.  I like to wear cute or funny socks with pants or jeans. My normal work attire is fairly ordinary, so I like to think that I am expressing myself through my socks.  They probably go unnoticed, but it amuses me to wonder what people think when they see them. Does it offer a glimpse into my personality?  Is it unexpected? Is it the foot version of the mullet (business up top but party in the back)?

Maybe they just make me feel good.  My own private joke that puts a smile on my face during the long work day.

I started the work year in 2012 needing new tights, so I had to wear pants exclusively.¬† Ok, who am I kidding?¬† It’s also because I hadn’t shaved.¬† I suspect there’s a symbiotic relationship there.¬† Why shave if I can’t wear skirts because I don’t have tights and it is 40 degrees? Or rather, why buy tights to wear with skirts because I’m too lazy to shave?¬† You decide which is truer ūüôā

I don't particulary like dogs, yet I own socks with them on them

argyle

More argyle

I've worn these socks so much they are falling apart

Blue, yellow and pink stripes

I also have several pairs of socks for holidays:

Bats for Halloween

Oh, Christmas Tree!

Santa!

These are just a few examples of my socks.¬† I have many more ūüôā

And I also promise I have more than 2 pairs of shoes!

Working with Style: Crazy North Carolina Weather

Liberating Working Moms has a weekly feature on working clothes, and I’ve wanted to participate for weeks but haven’t had the chance. ¬†Lucky, lucky you, dear readers, because today is the day!

My style is classic I suppose. ¬†I’m not really sure if as an adult, I have a style. ¬†In high school, I definitely had a style: grunge-as-interpreted by The Limited and some dramatic black pieces (because I was in mourning for my lost childhood. ¬†And that’s a true statement. ¬†Oh the melodrama). ¬†However, I always preferred classic pieces. ¬†Plaid. ¬†Twin sets. ¬†Pearls. ¬†Not necessarily conservative but good taste.

As a professional (woah, did I just type that????), I’m not sure I’ve given much thought to my attire. ¬†I know what I like and I (think) I know what looks good on me; I also know what is acceptable in my university environment (though apparently years ago I committed the unforgivable faux pas of not wearing hose with a shift. ¬†True story). ¬†Beyond that, I try to wear what appeals to me. ¬† I’ve always enjoyed dressing up and wearing nice clothes, so dressing for work is much easier for me than dressing casually. ¬†I do envy my office neighbor Kimberly because she has a bohemian style that really works for her. ¬†She is cool and dresses that way. ¬†Cool is not a word I would use in relation to myself or my wardrobe.

I’m a little frustrated with my clothing options lately. ¬†I used to shop quite a bit at LOFT and occasionally at Ann Taylor, but their clothes have been hit or miss lately. ¬†I like some of the things in Talbots, but they seem to skew a little older. ¬†I’m 34. ¬†Hooker attire is not appropriate at my job nor is a style to which I aspire, yet I’m not ready for old lady clothes. ¬†Where’s my store? ¬†Seriously…give me recommendations but remember I’m in North Carolina – we’re not quite as hip as Atlanta (yet).

Fall in North Carolina is awesome, but it’s also a challenge to dress for. ¬†One day you are wearing long sleeves; the next day you are wearing a sweater. ¬†It’s seriously bipolar. ¬†So without further ado, here are a few of my recent work looks:

Sweater and slacks

Sweater:  Dress Barn (seriously!  I think I paid $20 maximum for it).  Pants: LOFT.  It was 45 degrees that day, but the day before, it was 3o degrees warmer with tornadoes coming through.

Why yes, that is a knife I'm holding

Close up of the pants

Pants and shirt: LOFT.  It was 75 degrees.  So very wrong to be that warm so close to Thanksgiving!!

Your turn: what do you wear to work?

Onesies: A Love Affair

In my last post, I mentioned how ecstatic I was that the stinky stump had finally fallen off (don’t worry–we found it easily and disposed of it immediately. I hope it isn’t considered a bio hazard. Oh well) because now I could dress Daniel in the plethora of cute outfits he has.

And oh, I have! He has been spending a lot of time in onesies primarily because I think they are cute. Is there a cuter word than “onesie”? It just screams “adorable” and “baby.” Secondly, Daniel is still pretty small, and all the 0-3 clothes he has are too big, so onesies are the only things we have in newborn size. So see, there is a method to my madness!

I do fear that I love dressing him up a tad too much. I keep reminding myself that he isn’t a doll! But hey, the baby has to wear something, right? We knew he looked good in yellow based on the t-shirts he’s been wearing, but we’ve also discovered that he looks good in green and blue as well ūüôā The jury is still out on red.

So now I present to you Daniel in a onesie fashion show!

His very first onesie.  Couldn't resist that one!

His very first onesie. Couldn't resist that one!

Beautiful in blue!

Beautiful in blue!

Gorgeous in green!

Gorgeous in green!

Sleepy in red

Sleepy in red