Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Dressing for the job

As a high school teacher, I was a top notch dresser.  Suits, slacks, skirts every single day.  The occasional Friday down day with khakis or jeans, but really, for 6 years I did my best to dress for the job.  I was a professional and wanted to look the part.  And, I was young and figured that the only way for me to really have any authority was to dress older, more mature, like a sassy school librarian.

A member of my department once asked me why so many kids wanted to be in my class.  I told him it was because I wore tight sweaters.  There were a few times that I'd get to school and feel like a dork.  On those days, at lunch or my consultation period I'd run home and change my clothes and feel better about life.

Once as a teacher, the kids in my 5th period were making fun of me.  They thought I had too many pairs of shoes.  I had no idea that they were keeping track but it was springtime and we all had cabin fever.  The kids and I made a bet that for the rest of the school year, about 5 weeks at the time, I would wear a different pair of shoes every day until school got out.  It took a lot of outfit planning and a chart to keep things straight but I did it.  I had like, 80 pair of shoes at the time and I think on the last two days of school I had to wear flip flops but I did it.

When I moved to a new job - more of an office job - I still dressed the part.  I looked good every day.  I wore skirts and slacks, but the guys I worked with all dressed like total bums most of the time (jeans and wrinkled shirts) so it rubbed off on me a bit.  And, most of the teachers in my classes were equally "relaxed".  I start to think it was okay to wear jeans to work, at least on days that I wasn't teaching.

Flash forward to right now.  My job at the moment is exclusively mom.  Homemaker.  Crazy lady who hangs out with a 4 year old and 21 month old every single day.  All day long.  I read an article last week about "dressing for the job", particularly if you're a mom.  And it's got me thinking about my wardrobe - or lack there of.

What does the wardrobe for my "job" look like though?  Pretty much like the wardrobe of Nacho Libre. Stretchy pants and t-shirts that are hopefully clean and not too small.  Honestly, I change my clothes about 3-5 times a day.  From sweats to jeans to sweats and back again.  At home, I really do dress like a bum.  My hair is done and my make-up applied, but I could really use some help from Clinton and Stacey.

I see those moms - the ones dressed to the nines every day.  They may never leave their house but they still have prom hair, go-go boots, skinny jeans and are perfectly accessorised.  I'm not one of those people.  I'd rather have well behaved kids who know I love them and will play with them on the floor that a manicure and expensive pants.

I mean, I never wear my sweat pants in public.  I take them off before I do carpool drop off and put them back on when I get home.

What's the point?  Oh, I don't know.  The point is I don't know how to dress.

Ah man.  The story of my life.


Melanie said...

Oh, I hear ya! On those days that I only leave the house for our morning walk, I often don't make it out of my stretchy pants. Last week (I'm blaming it on hormones and lack of sleep) I actually started crying when I saw a make-over of a new mom. I need new clothes -but I'm refusing to buy anything in my current size at the moment.

Jared and Kendra said...

I agree with you. When I drop our older set of twins off for preschool, I just throw on a dressy coat, sunglasses, and hope that I don't have to get out of the car. I think I'm fooling part of them anyway. And ya, yoga pants are my staple. They even look like black dress pants, if you don't look to close. I think my kids would wonder what church meeting I had to go to if I put on makeup ... and brushed my teeth before 10 a.m.


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