As I desperately sift through the racks at Bloomingdales, I am a woman on a mission. I am in search of the perfect piece of clothing. I don’t care if what I find is a shirt, a pair of pants or a dress. It doesn’t matter what color or even pattern necessarily. Sometimes, I snag a cool pair of earrings or some cute sandals. I know what I’m looking for and it needs to have only two innate qualities – it has to be casual, but professional.
I’m looking for something trendy yet authoritative, cool and collected, fashionable (affordable) and fabulous. In order for this mission to be successful, I’ve had to abandon my regular trips to Loft because the merchandise doesn’t fit the bill. I already have a closet full of black and gray slacks with matching tops and blazers that could dress an army of businesswomen.
But now, I work in an office where the dress code is casual. Not business casual, but casual casual. This is a challenge for someone who has a closet full of apparel from Ann Taylor and Banana Republic. My closet needs a makeover.
Jeans are practically the uniform at the office. Any kind of jean is acceptable – except for the mom kind. Dark, faded, even ripped jeans are acceptable, but that is where I draw the line. I refuse to wear ripped jeans to work because I personally don’t think it is professional and frankly it seems silly to try and pull off at my age.
I want clothes that don’t look maternal, but also doesn’t look like I’m trying too hard. The pink jeans last week were a mistake – a big one. What looked cute first thing in the morning was ridiculous to me by noon. I missed the mark that day.
And no matter how great something looks in the dressing room – it doesn’t look nearly as good on me when I get home. Since I have no time to go back and return it, I wear it anyway and secretly hope someone will pay me a compliment so I know I fit in. I thought I was past all of this, but apparently I’m not because there I am waiting for acceptance – like a middle school student wanting to be included by the popular girls.
So, I’ve abandoned my go-to stores and recently stepped my toes into boutiques where I don’t typically shop. Even the department stores I dreaded as a kid are now a gold mine for all types of clothes for women of a certain age.
Yes, I’m well aware of my first world problem, but I still dream of mornings when I don’t change my clothes at least 3 times in search of the perfect outfit. That will be a mission accomplished.