Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Casual vs overdressed

I was visiting my daughter in Austin recently, and while getting ready to meet some of her friends at a birthday party in her honor, she casually mentioned to me that I really didn't have to change for the party as I was a little overdressed as it was. In fact, she said, I am almost always "dressed up". Hmmm. Could it be that after years of wearing pretty much nothing but jeans and graphic tees, I have now swung the other way?  It's a dilemma a lot of us who work from home have to deal with, how to balance extremely casual I-cannot-possibly-wear-this-out-in-public attire with more acceptable, clean, it's-actually-my-size clothing. I definitely don't need a work wardrobe, so no skirts, pantyhose or suits. I also don't attend the kind of events that require anything close to formal or even cocktail attire (whatever that is). On the other hand, I do occasionally venture out into the social world, so I need what I call Casual Nice clothing. I never thought I would ever find anything more comfortable than jeans and tees, even when my daughter years ago urged me to invest in something other than grub wear (yes, it's the same daughter...ironic, no?) But I could see her point. That point was driven home one evening a couple of months later when my good friend asked me to go with her to a wine tasting.  She mentioned I probably didn't want to wear jeans (!) which left me scrambling to find the one outfit I owned that could be considered business casual. It occurred to me that I might want to have a few more items in my closet that were a little more upscale than sweats and Levis. I had some caveats, though. Whatever I bought had to fit, be reasonably priced, preferably be black, and above all it had to be very comfortable. Like sit all evening and not have to rearrange or tug or adjust anything comfortable. I wanted pants that looked as good at the end of the evening as they had when I first donned them, with no sagging knees or baggy butt. It's taken me awhile to find a fashion identity that isn't centered around jeans, but now that I have, I admit I really don't wear jeans much any more.  I don't have an extensive wardrobe, but what I have I like and feel good in and, best of all, I don't have to dig thru the hamper to see if that going-out-in-the-world outfit is clean. So, yes, I probably have meandered over to a more dressed up style of clothing. I still work in sweats and tees and am grateful for that. But it's nice to draw a definite line between that extremely casual (if not downright sloppy) at home style and a just-in-case-I-run-into-someone-I-know outfit.

So yes, daughter of mine, I agree, I do sometimes wear much too dressy clothing to WalMart to buy toothpaste and coffee. But I would rather be found in the deli department looking like I was on my way to someplace fun than have people wonder if I have showered that day.

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