Sunday, May 24, 2009
Inspired by this post shared with me by the lovely Noelle, I have been thinking about wardrobe. Michelle writes about her adjustment to DC work fashion codes after living in fleecy-chic Seattle. I know this shock well, though I made the opposite move and largely made it happily. I went from suits and work shoes with, like, HEELS every day to jeans, Danskos, and vests. And hats. My dainty eyes have never gotten used to the bright Northern sun, and then there's the famous rain, the years writing a dissertation on melanoma prevention, and marrying and birthing pale, freckly types. I need hats here.
I have the odd moment of missing that put-together, confident HILLARY-like feeling that a good pantsuit and three-inch heels can provide, but mostly I have never looked back. Just like I can never pack very well for a trip to a different climate (it's not REALLY 85 degrees in North Carolina, is it?), I sort of know that there is a whole coast of people over the Rockies dressing up every day. But I have also forgotten it. I see visiting speakers from the east coast, and they are so...busy. So..ironed. Bah. I'm sure I'll adjust if I ever move back there, and forget that fleece and Merrells (or Doc Martens, depending where you hang out) are the order of the day in Seattle.
That said--having made the east-west transition awhile ago, I have maintained this outdoorsy ironic image of myself, but then I took Hugo to the zoo on Friday (to meet Melanie Beanpaste! How lucky am I??). As we were walking out the door, I realized in horror that my outfit was a little...mommish. Is that a word? I'm not all into clothes or anything, but I was shocking even to myself. There I was, running shoes, jeans rolled up, polo shirt (I swear I was wearing a polo shirt), hoodie zippy waffly thingy. Hair in a pony tail, and a baseball cap. I nearly fainted.
The thing was, it was all so functional. I needed good shoes for a day of walking, I needed sun protection, I needed an extra layer for the moments in the shade. But still, it was a bit of a shock. I looked just like the moms that I had seen right through on the street for so many years.
But enough about me! What about you? Tell me a story of what your work uniform is--whatever you wear to labor and toil in. Does it fit how you would LIKE to dress for work?
(More to the point, am I the only one who has an identity crisis over clothes?)