When I was in Ottawa a couple weeks ago, I noticed something in the hotel breakfast room. There were a lot of women there who knew how to dress appropriately for work. They wore nicely creased pants or pencil skirts, blouses that had obviously been ironed and/or dry cleaned, blazers, and lovely shoes. So many lovely pairs of shoes!
I, on the other hand, wore one of my two pairs of somewhat presentable dress pants (though one pair is a little short), usually with a top I had tried and failed to iron properly, and shoes that fit my orthotics.
How did I manage to hit 40 without learning to dress myself?
I’ve pinpointed a few problems:
1. I can wear the same clothes over and over again while typing, and when dropping my kids at school, or while grocery shopping, and no one cares. This is not motivating.
2. I like having clothes, but I don’t like buying clothes. After a few minutes in a store, I usually start thinking about sweatshops. (Damn you, Blue Jean Book. Why did I write you?) But ethically made clothes all seem to be (a) ridiculously expensive and (b) designed for long and lean people. Are all environmentalists/social activists tall, and fond of draping?
3. My one arthritic toe. Probably this entire clothing crisis can be traced to my big toe.
So, these are the problems. I have yet to think of solutions. Probably, I will slide back into my typing/school drop-off/grocery shopping routines, wearing the same pair of cut-offs and the same rotation of tops, and gradually forget there is a world where people own blazers and lovely shoes.
Until then, if you see me in a clothing store, feel free to offer advice. Or call search and rescue. Whichever seems appropriate.