At the end of the week you’re another week older

Usually within the first 24 hours following an ironing binge, I start wearing the stuff I just ironed. By the end of the week it is back in the hamper, and then the laundry, and then the ironing pile, where it will again languish for months. On Thursday I modeled the only member of the white collared shirt family that I currently own: Photo 57

Boy, do I look weird in this picture. So, what’s going on here?

  • Striped collared shirt from my mother-in law, ca. 2011. This shirt actually doesn’t have buttons. Just a v-neck in the front, and a zipper down the side to seal you into it. It also has darts down the sides that make it very hard to iron, but quite nice and fitted through the body. I’m not a big fan of blousy, boxy button-downs, so this is a nice middle ground for me. I like the dark gray stripes, too. I think this was one of her finds from her mecca, “the consignment shop where all the doctors’ wives take their clothes.” You can see that the sleeves are slowly eating my hands. 
  • Necklace from The Garlic Press in Normal, IL, 2007. This was a gift from Sam when I graduated college, and it’s become a staple that I wear all the time.
  • Burgundy sweater vest from Old Navy, ca. 2010. I love sweater vests, especially this one, even though it is not that flattering on me. It has these baggy, bulgy pockets that hit right at the widest part of my hips–not usually where you want to collect baggy and bulgy things. Oh well. Sometimes what you like trumps what looks good.
  • Those Goodwill jeans again
  • Black suede flats with roses embroidered on them, purchased in Rome, 2004. These are the shoes that almost gave me a nervous breakdown. They were not expensive, I think €19. But I had been shopping and shopping and shopping. I bought these, and went into a movie theater. I remember gripping the arms of the chair trying to calculate how much money I had left to last me the rest of the semester, and hyperventilating. Then the movie started–it was Shall We Dance, a terrible movie starring J.Lo and Richard Gere (what??) but it was better dubbed in Italian because I couldn’t understand what they were saying. And it was set in Chicago, and when I saw the skyline I got homesick and just started crying and crying. These shoes were a real departure for me. Shoes with big flowers on them? I loved them, but when I came home to college in central Illinois, I was self-conscious about wearing them. The first time I tentatively wore them to work I got like five compliments, and I was over it.

Confession: by the time Friday rolls around, I’m pretty much not up for assembling whole new outfits: Photo 65

  • Bright red pullover sweater, Old Navy, ca. 2010. I love this one because it has three little buttons along the left shoulder, though you can’t see them here. Soft pullover sweaters are the answer when what you feel like wearing to work is a 10-year-old hoodie with a missing drawstring.
  • Yellow scarf with floral pattern, Old Navy, ca. 2011. This is probably my current favorite scarf. And I have a lot to choose from. I like it because it adds color and fun, but it works in any season. It’s really soft, and it’t also a nice size/weight. I have some scarves that are more like tapestries and it’s hard to wear them without feeling like a mummy. Scarves are a great accessory when you don’t feel like accessorizing.
  • The same jeans as yesterday
  • The same shoes as yesterday. 

Use bright colors and scarves to distract people from the fact that you’re wearing mostly the same clothes you’ve been wearing all week!

Also, can we quickly talk about the fact that I look about 10 pounds lighter on Friday than on Thursday? These pictures were taken within 24 hours of each other, at the same time of day! The light is the same, I’m posing the same way, right down to my awkward clenched hands. I’m wearing the same pants! So what’s the deal? I think it’s the solid top in a bright, flattering color (instead of the patterned white shirt), and the lack of vest with bulgy pockets. Probably also the fact that Daisy was absent from Thursday’s picture.

Honestly, I felt pretty good about my outfit on Thursday. It was by no means a disaster. But when I put these two shots back to back I was really startled to see what a difference it makes to wear stuff that works for you, vs. stuff that does you no favors.


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