Monday, July 23, 2012

Employed at last, #3

Here's another work-related dilemma: What to wear.

1. None of my old work clothes fit me.
2. I am too lazy to lose weight.
3. Even if they did fit, they are not in style.

I work in a business casual environment, emphasis more on casual than on business, but I cannot bring myself to wear sleeveless tops to work. Or sleeveless tops that are cut back to the middle of my shoulder blades. Or jeans. Or gym pants. Or tennis shoes. I just can't do it.

Yet it's not that easy to find more professional-looking clothes. Have you shopped lately? What is it that nobody wants to sell dresses or blouses with sleeves? I took a trip to the mall this weekend - I have been there about once a year since we moved here, as I do my best not to pay retail, but this was an emergency. I found some nice skirts on sale at The Limited, but I could not find blouses or dresses with sleeves. I looked at The Limited, Ann Taylor, White House Black Market, J. Crew, and Banana Republic.

I tried looking at Boston Store (a regional department store) but that way madness lies. They have horrible merchandising. Anything on sale is jumbled up on sales racks that are crammed together. Even the not on sale clothes are arranged in a haphazard way. I don't think Calvin Klein would be happy to know that their made in China (and hence off limits) suits are mashed up on a rack pushed into their dresses. I should not have to move portable racks to get to full-price clothes.

Hello Boston Store executives! If you want me to pay full price for your clothes, make it easy for me to get to them! And if you want me to buy your sale clothes, don't make me paw through every single rack to look for white blouses. Do not mix white cotton blouses with cheap flowered polyester tops (what is it? 1976?) with acrylic sweaters with sequined miniskirts. I am not that patient. I want you to organize items by category so I can look at all the white blouses in one place.

Oh - and do NOT make me walk through the gauntlet of perfume samples to get to the stairs. Man it stinks.


knottedthreads said...

How to avoid the mall altogether: Shop online at LL Bean and Land's End. They both sell quality, sensible clothing that, er, ladies of a certain age tend to like. This makes them a great choice for business casual attire for ladies of any age. Khakis with waists for normal people (i.e. that actually sit at your waist and not half a foot below), long-sleeved and short-sleeved solid color knit shirts with reasonable necklines, sensible blazers and cardigans, button-downs that can safely be worn with or without a blazer, etc. Their merchandise doesn't come cheap, but it is guaranteed and lasts forever. I bought my work wardrobe from them 2+ years ago, and I'm still wearing most of my purchases.

Alicia said...

Preach it, sister!

Anonymous said...

I second the Lands' End vote (and yes, that's where the apostrophe is - awful, isn't it)

Class factotum said...

I agree that online is the way to go. I like eBay, but you take a chance because you can't return stuff. Still, I have gotten two very nice pairs of Italian shoes. I wear an 8.5 in that brand, I now know. Which I think is a sign to get more shoes. Because I know they'll fit.

Joy said...

Sleeveless items can become work attire with the addition of a shrug or light cardigan, which also addresses the 90-outside; 65-AC-inside problem endemic to so many offices.