Thursday, September 3, 2015

Lightweight Cotton

My Version of What My Mom Wears to Work in the Summer--Thursday, 9/3/15

Focal item: cotton magenta pants that I finally shortened when my mom came to visit

Looking through pins featuring pink pants, I liked this simple pairing of a black and white print top and the exact same BP pointy-toed flats that I have.


I have a slight problem, though, that my pants (in addition to being too long) are also a bit (or more than a bit) on the baggy side.  So while they are super comfortable, I learned empirically that if the top isn't pretty loose around the hips, it causes lumpiness (and, if a knit top, awkward stretchiness) as the bottom of the shirt struggles with all the extra fabric of the pants.

So enter this black and white striped button up shirt that is also a little bit on the loose side.

Short-sleeved black and white striped button up shirt (thrifted, Lane Bryant), $2.00/wear+
*Magenta pants (thrifted, Target), $4.50/wear+
Black pointy-toed flats (Nordstrom), $2.78/wear
Black and white floral necklace (Kohls), $2.50/wear

Outfit total: $11.78/wear

When my mom was visiting, we talked about the parameters of her summer work outfits (shelving books, etc., at the library).  Here I have covered two of them:  cotton pants and cotton button up shirt (with no layering).  For a working-on-my-feet job, I would have to substitute a pair of Skechers for these flats, but otherwise, I think I've got it.

A common shelduck would make a spectacularly poor library employee (neither paper books nor electronic devices mix well with copious amounts of water), and most of us not employed as a dancer in Las Vegas would find feathers an impractical choice for a work day.  But I like the way he combines a black and white pattern with that pop of pink color in the bill. 

In other news...Tam shared this article about a woman who gets styled in wildly divergent "flattering" outfits by personal stylists at five different stores.  I liked this commentary on the piece, which focuses on the role of personal preferences and style in developing outfits that flatter one's whole self (rather than narrowly reaching for figure flattering).

When I've read advice about wearing colors that "flatter" your own coloring, I'm often like, meh, really?  Because my hair and skin make me basically pale all over, I'm supposed to look best in outfits with light colors and low levels of contrast.  Every single article on this topic tells me that I should aspire to dress like Cate Blanchett in soft, pale cream and blush tones.  Cate looks great, but I am never going to wear a pale beige dress or suit, ever.  Snoozeville!  I doubt such a look would be flattering on me because I'd feel awkward and unhappy as hell and it would show.

So as you can see, in my loose outfit and harsh black and white stripes near my face, I'm throwing both figure flattery and color flattery out the window today.  But I wanted to feel comfortable because at mid-morning I drove my officemate to the hospital (where she was picking up her husband and his car after an outpatient procedure) in an unfamiliar part of town, which is one of my big anxiety triggers.  Getting there was easy with her navigating, but on the way back--heh, thank goodness for GPS.  The normal route along the highway was a disaster--we saw on the way there that traffic the other direction was at a standstill.  Oddly, my GPS wanted me to take that route anyway.  But after driving past the entrance ramp, it found me another which I could not retrace now on a map if I tried.  But it was OK.

Tomorrow I have an 8:00 a.m. meeting at one of our sites, which I hope will not be too difficult to find!

You know what?  I'm going to be so tired of driving to unfamiliar locations after tomorrow that I'm just not even going to go to work on Monday.  I will need an extra day to recover from the stress.


Tam said...

Despite the fact that my basic style could be described as "Oversized Toddler" (i.e., I tend to wear things like jeans and primary-color shirts), I am pretty conservative when I dress even slightly 'up' because I'm not certain about what one is allowed to wear with what. Partly from reading your blog, I'm learning that more things go together (or, at any rate, don't cause others to sputter in shock) than I tend to imagine. And on the 'flattering' side, I'm learning that it's actually pretty broad and a lot depends on...mood, or what you're feeling, or what the setting is.

It's not as obvious as it sounds, I think. With my potato-shaped body, for instance, you'd think a crop top wouldn't be flattering, and indeed I never wear them. But plenty of women my size do, and if I confidently wore one out to a club or something (if I ever went out to a club, I mean), I think I'd look great - fun, confident, flirty, whatever. But you have to see women who look like you wearing those things before you feel comfortable trying it. I could also wear a crop top and look like a fashion disaster.

I only occasionally happen to wear horizontal stripes, but I actually think they are super flattering on me, at least the ones I've worn. If anything, I suspect vertical stripes might get lumpy and look not as great on me. (I'm smoother going around than I am going up and down. Obviously. I mean in the sense that, like most people, I am built sort of like a stack of disks of various circumferences.)

Anyway, just some thoughts. I've always known that girls who look like models could get away with wearing pretty much anything they felt like, but it turns out that is kind of true for most of us.

Sally said...

Tam, it's weird and not what we glean from popular culture, but it is basically true for most of us.

Your crop top comments made me think of this woman's post just from today. Watch these fat girls rock the crop.

mom said...

Your outfit is totally something I would wear to the library! Except, as you mentioned I do have to wear comfortable shoes since I'm on my feet much of the time.

Gotta love real time traffic on your car! Dad says it has saved his bacon more than once.

You know what I'm not going to work Monday, either. I just need a break! Enjoy your 3 day weekend. I know I will.

Sally said...

Yeah, let's all skip work on Monday! Labor Day, my eye--they'll see no labor from me!

Debbie said...

When you talked about flattering your own coloring, I was thinking that since you basically don't have any coloring, you get to wear whatever you want. Unless maybe there's some shade that makes you look bright pink or sickly green or something. I would never have guessed pastels for you. I do like when people wear tops that match their eye color.

There are certain kinds of hot pink that match my skin tone too well to be flattering. (Unless I'm trying to fit in with a sunburned crowd.) And pale yellow looks best if I have a tan, which I try not to. Black used to make me look kind of dead but now seems flattering. Now that I'm closer to death (= older). Weird.

Also stripes. I once tried on a swimsuit with vertical stripes--this made me look like a toothpick, and not in a good way. They may be subtle, but I do have curves. And during my shorter-hair phase, when people stopped referring to me as "the one with the long hair," and started referring to me as "the one who's so skinny I want to kill her," I did better with horizontal stripes.

Also, when I barely weighed enough to give blood, I got the fewest eye rolls when I tried to donate on days when I wore my red overalls, so I always wore those until they wore out. (I don't have this problem anymore.)

A while back they had that meme where kids and their parents wore each other's clothes--and most people looked best in the kids' clothes. So, yes, people should wear what they want. Of course you also want to make sure the bottom of your shirt isn't accidentally tucked into your underwear, etc.

Sally said...

Debbie--"Basically don't have any coloring..." made me laugh out loud.

Kids do get the best clothes, at least sometimes. Every zoo/aquarium/etc. in the world sells the most awesome t-shirts and stuff for little kids but the adult stuff tends to be pretty boring (and also only available in a narrow range of sizes at the small end of the spectrum).

I have never seen you with short hair...or even what I would think of as "short-er" hair. The new description you got was pretty fucked up even if it was meant sort of as a compliment.

I've always been "the blonde one with glasses." If I got lasik surgery and went grey, I have no idea what people would say. I hope that murder would not be part of it, though.

Debbie said...

Glad to give you a laugh!

In college I got my hair cut to shoulder length with long bangs/wings. I like my hair better with gravity working in my favor--shorter, it gets a bit Roseanne Roseanna Danna-ish. Plus I prefer being the one with the long hair!

By "kids," I meant the grown children of people. They were less likely to be wearing drab sack-like clothing than their parents were. I do agree with you about some of the little-kid clothes. In fact, I actually have a t-shirt from an aquarium (and two from Disney World) in kid sizes. Apparently, my top have is the size of a large boy, only with longer arms. And with t-shirts, the fact that I'm a different shape than large boys doesn't matter.