Business Casual vs. Shabby is the New Black

The Kayak Woman method of choosing appropriate clothing for the day typically involves getting up and figuring out what the weather is and throwing on the appropriate number of layers for the temperature, adding peripherals as necessary. Peripherals being things like ski band, scarf, balaclava, socks, boots, umbrella, little KMart gloves or heavy duty mitts, sunglasses, whatever. I am pretty good at guessing this stuff. Black is *the* color. That way, other than socks and gloves, I’m not usually mis-matched, even though I often dredge out my clothes in the dark. “Shabby is the New Black” is the style. I buy stuff that’s comfortable and fits and looks, well, okay on someone who is no longer as young, thin, and blonde as she used to be. Some of it is pretty generic, other stuff is a bit weird. I wear things for a long time. I don’t mind a few little rips or tatters. I do hate when — like is happening right now with one of my Chico’s tank tops — single threads get loose and drag along my bare arms. It makes me feel like I’ve got a few loose hairs and I go absolutely crazy trying to pull them out.

I’m pretty happy with my own personal minimalist style. If you know me from 30 years ago or so, I wasn’t always this way. Actually, I was a darn clothes horse back in the day. But I am no longer particularly young, thin, or blonde. I have *loathed* shopping ever since they changed the “cut” of the Calvin Klein jeans I used to wear. “Shabby is the New Black” is now what gets me through the day. But then. All of a sudden, I got a job in an actual office. Now, don’t get me wrong. Nobody at my work told me anything about dress codes or what is and isn’t appropriate to wear to an actual job in an actual office. They didn’t have to. I wasn’t born yesterday and I have a pretty good idea what “Business Casual” is. I know that it is *not* “Shabby is the New Black”! Even here on The Planet Ann Arbor.

So, I dredged my closet. What do I have that will be appropriate? Hmm. You won’t see me in casual slacks, skirts, or twin sets any time soon. All of those things look great on other people. They just do not compute for me. But I do seem to have plenty of presentable outfits that, while not *exactly* “Business Casual”, will work. I think. Okay. What’s driving me nuts is stockings! Until it gets down to about 40 degrees (and that would be the high temperature for the day), I am not comfortable wearing pantyhose or tights. Having been a teenager in the pre-pantyhose age of miniskirts and garter belts, I APPRECIATE pantyhose. GREATLY! But I hate wearing them. Until it gets cold enough that they can serve as long underwear. On the other hand, I really don’t want to expose anyone to my beat-up bare feet. Not pretty. And close-toed shoes are another issue for me. It’s okay. I’m not wearing my Chacos. I have some perfectly acceptable and comfortable Bass (?) sandals that The Commander sent me 10 or 15 years ago when she was mortified at whatever version of beat up velcro sandals I was wearing at the time.

So, to complement my nice sandals and what I hope are presentable outfits, I am wearing those little knee-high L’eggs (or whatever) stockings. They cover up my ugly, beat up feet. As knee highs, they come up high enough on my leg so that there’s no gap between the tops of them and my skirt. Well. Theoretically anyway. In reality, the blasted things will NOT stay up! So I am forever tugging on them to pull them up, knowing that within minutes they’ll be puddling down around my ankles again. I wonder who is watching me tugging at those ridiculous things or wondering what the heck I’m wearing. And I am telling you, when I get out of work at the end of the day, even before I start my car, those darn things are OFF MY FEET!

We won’t even talk about hair…

2 Responses to “Business Casual vs. Shabby is the New Black”

  1. Pooh Says:

    Perhaps some Mouse socks would be the perfect accessory? I wore pantyhose for the first time this fall, ugh! But at least it’s cool enough to wear them to work.

  2. kayak woman Says:

    I’m thinking the mouse socks would actually work, as far as the workplace goes. Just don’t *exactly* work with any of the outfits I’ve deemed appropriate 🙂 🙂