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I still haven't gotten around to picking up my three fitting pairs of trousers from the dry cleaners. Yesterday after work I took off my boots and was in the kitchen cutting vegetables for the salad. “You're shrinking!” my husband called to me from the living room. I looked down and my pants were puddling around my feet, a good three inches on the ground. Last week I wore these same pants, knowing they are too big, but I had no choice. I had nothing to wear. the day before, pants that should have been donated (or probably trashed) a long time ago.
So today I looked at my closet and felt uninspired. It was 21 degrees out and windy. No chance to carry off the green and white wrap dress, and I had a run in my one pair of tights so none of my black patterned skirts. I have a hole in the shoulder seam of my black turtleneck and I just wasn't in a jeans mood.
I woke up to awesome rocker chic hair. No way was I going to get it wet. I hit a few pieces with the curling iron to add wave, put in some Jonathan Dirt and let it be. I needed a rocker outfit to compliment it.
Black merino crewneck from Banana Republic. Distressed denim skirt by Old Navy (I did the distressing and cutting), black footless tights from Old Navy, black round-toe high heel pumps from Jessica Simpson, gray metallic sweater-knit shawl from Ann Taylor looped around the neck. Silver cuff and medium-sized hoops.
Makeup is L'Oreal True Match foundation in C3, and concealer in W4-5. Chanel pressed powder in Natural. A bit of Body Shop bronzer in Light. Body Shop shadows in Slate and Soft Black to create my weekly choice of a smoky eye. L'Oreal Defining Voluminous mascara in black and a small amount of Maybelline Ultra Liner in black on the top lash line. Body Shop Sheer Lipcolor in Sheer Caramel.
I looked in the mirror and liked what I saw. The scarf was Joan-Jett inspired with a 30-something suburban flair. I thought my legs looked long and toned. I threw on my orange parka from Lands End and headed to work.
I walked in the foyer and a coworker from my floor was at the elevator. He looked me up and down and held the elevator for me. He asked me what floor. Our company is only on one floor – the third. “The third, like you!” I say to him and he looks at me more closely. “Oh yeah, i didn't recognize you!” he said and pressed the “3” button while again checking me out. I suddenly felt like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman – when she went shopping with Richard Gere. Did I look that unusual?
I came to my office and asked my office mate if I looked “too much.” She said no, she remembers me wearing a variation of this outfit before and I looked good. I got settled, turned on my computer and went to the kitchen to fill my water bottle and grab a cup of coffee to start the day. I scrunched down my skirt to my hips to make it appear longer. Suddenyl I felt a bit self-conscious.
In the kitchen, another coworker I know by face only smiled at me, then looked down at my skirt, looked perplexed, and then left the room. I filled my coffee and walked out, almost bumping into the President of my company. “Interesting skirt,” he said and went to the water cooler. I knew it! I look like a freaking hooker or teenager wannabe or SOMETHING! I have gone TOO FAR with my wardrobe creative license. The idea made me laugh and a coworker friend followed me to my office to ask what I was giggling about. She said she didn't think twice about my outfit, she said it is “typical [Dilly]” and said to relax. So i did, drank my coffee and got to work.
An hour later, I was in need of two large envelopes for a proposal I was working on, so I walked to a different department to ask an Executive Assistant I know for some. Walking to her desk, I pass the CEO, President and a VP all chatting together. Conversation stops and they look at me as I walk by. I smile and say hi, and they stare, then continue their conversation. I KNOW now I am not being paranoid. As I walk back to my office, i pass my VP and he says hello, then looks down at my footless tights/torn skirt combo, then back up at me, just stares and keeps going.
I think my office is a bit too conservative for distressed denim and footless tights. Maybe I got away with it so many times before because the higher-ups were out of the office when I sported them. But this was a very clear notice that I had crossed the boundary of what is considered Business Casual and what is not. this outfit is clearly for play and not for work.
It makes me think about what I say on my other blog – what you wear tells people what you think about yourself. It also reminded me of what an old mentor always said – dress for the job you aspire to have, not the one you have right now. Well today I clearly was telling the world that I find my current job boring and I need something more creative! Luckily a new project is on the horizon that allows me to flex different skills than I have previously been using. Hopefully it will get my creative juices flowing again so i won't need to act out with footless tights and denim minis!