Wednesday 26 Oct 2016

New Clothes
Jennifer Flaten

I haven’t shopped for office clothes for a long time. As you know, I spend a majority of my days hunched over a laptop surrounded only by kids and animals. Most of the time my children walk around with the remainder of the previous meal smeared on themselves, and if I let them, they would stay in pajamas all day, so really there isn’t a dress code here.

I get dressed every day.

Now, don’t go thinking I spend my days in pajamas, I don’t. I get dressed every day, but it is in jeans and T-shirts unless it’s cold and then it’s jeans and a hoodie or maybe a flannel shirt. Yeah, grunge was my favorite fashion period, why do you ask?

If I am feeling “dressy” I might put on a sweater, but inevitably it makes me feel confined and I end up switching to a t-shirt. I don’t like confining clothes; the idea of a turtleneck makes me practically break out in hives.

Despite my best efforts to avoid interacting with the real world, last week I found myself in need of some business attire, as the rest of the working world doesn’t view a Wile E. Coyote Super Genius T-shirt as office appropriate.

I haven’t invested much my wardrobe.

While I’ve spent countless hours shopping with the kids or for the kids I haven’t invested much time in maintaining my wardrobe in the past few years. Except for shoes I, apparently, have an obsession that borders on unhealthy with shoes. Especially for someone who spends their day in sneakers.

You never know, at some point it might be imperative that I produce a pair of 3-inch high taupe leather heels from my closet; if that day ever comes, I want to be prepared.

Okay, so I have dressy shoes, flats, boots, sandals and far too many other styles, so I don’t need shoes. I do need dresses, blouses, and skirts…you know girlies stuff.

I attempted to “shop” in my closet.

First, I attempted to “shop” in my closet. Actually, it isn’t my closet; it is a portion of my son’s closet. I annexed it to store some of my old office clothes-yes at one point I worked in an office, with people. I had a nice collection of clothes.

Keep in mind I’ve schlepped these clothes from house to house in the past eight years, always thinking that I might need them one day. Well, a day came and I needed them. Except…well…*cough* they don’t fit "cough" anymore, but let’s not dwell on that for longer than we have to shall we?

So, off to the store I went. I don’t mind shopping for clothes. What I do mind is trying them on. I hate dressing rooms or at least the dressing rooms at the lower to mid-priced stores I frequent.

I shop at the stores that purchase dressing room mirrors from Fun Houses.

As I never been, I can only imagine that the dressing rooms in the higher end stores and boutiques are better than the where I shop. I shop at the stores that purchase their dressing room mirrors from Fun Houses R Us. Nothing looks good in the fun house mirror, or maybe it’s just me.

I needed clothes and clothes I would get. Damn if some funky lighting and a really bad mirror would stop me. Into to the dressing room from hell I went with my big pile assorted finery.

Lots of bending, stretching, shimmying and a few curses later I’d tried them all on. I left with a new pair of shoes.

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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