This afternoon I went shopping for clothes, something I really hate doing, but it was necessary. In a couple of weeks I'll be in Kansas preparing for a performance at my alma mater. Performance dress isn't the issue; I have a dress for that - simple and black, a hand-me-down from my SIL, but it will be very nice with a flashy necklace. The issue is that throughout the week before I will be working with some of the piano students, both privately and in an informal masterclass setting. I am looking forward to this part of the visit as much as the performance, to be honest. I love teaching, and I think being a professor someday at a small liberal arts college much like the one I attended would be a great job (like maybe when my kids aren't so little and needy, so that could be a while.) Anyway, this college isn't big or fancy, but if I'll be there as a visiting artist or guest teacher or whatever, I need to look professional. And aside from a couple things for performing that are really too dressy/formal, all I have to wear are jeans in various states of worn and t-shirts in various states of stained. And tennis shoes, and a couple pairs of rockin' boots.

I'm just not really a clothes person. Some women have a zillion purses or pairs of shoes or a big closet full of clothes. Instead, I have my yarn stash. I guess it counts for something that I only have too much of one thing.

But as casual and cozy as a small college campus in the midwest might be, I still can't just show up for these students wearing my sloppy mom clothes. So I went shopping for a couple of hours and it affirmed a couple of things for me: 1) I really, really hate shopping, and 2) I'm a "jeans" person through and through.

Re: #1 - I went to several stores and was similarly disgusted by all of them. I hate how cheaply so many clothes are made even when they have expensive price tags, I hate the loud music, I hate how major department stores never carry my size (I didn't even bother to go to the big places except that I had to park by Sears because there is ALWAYS parking by Sears, seeing as Sears kind of sucks for clothes) I think a lot of trendy stuff like sweater dresses and t-shirts with ruched sleeves and cadet-style jackets look dumb on me because I'm 31 and not 17, and for the love of pete, what's with all the pencil skirts??? I like pencil skirts, actually, but they are just not my style, and there was just no variety in the skirt department. I'd love a good bias-cut below-the-knee skirt, fitted or full. Either way would be fine. But no. I guess it's all about the pencil skirt this year. (I almost tried on what I thought was a skirt in Express, but when I pulled it off the rack I discovered it was actually supposed to be a whole dress.)

Re: #2 - The more I looked around and tried things on, the more I came to realize that business casual, or anything approaching that, simply doesn't work for me. I used to think I should have at least a few things in my closet that fit that description, should an occasion come up that I need to be sort of dressed up, like a pair of dressy slacks and jacket of some sort. But you know what? Those things look silly on me. I can't pull off that look without feeling ridiculous. So I quit trying to find something professional that doesn't actually suit me, and went for the jeans. Just when I was ready to give up, I hit pay dirt at Banana Republic. Normally, BR is too expensive, but everything was 25% off, and everything I found was already on sale, so I think I paid about half the original price on everything. The important thing here is that I found two pairs of jeans and some skinny corduroys (because as it turns out I can pull of skinny jeans better than I thought), plus a corduroy jacket - all of which fit me perfectly, all of which are very comfortable, and all of which will be professional enough for my guest teaching gig if I wear my rockin' boots and nice earrings.

I'm an artist, after all. I'll wear what I like.


Jessi said…
Maybe I should be an artist too. Have fun at BC and rock the boots!
Do your thing, lady! I bet you'll look smashing!
Mrs. Allroro said…
Sounds cool! You most definitely rock jeans.

If you want to find a skirt, you could try TJ MAXX or Marshalls. (Go to the clearance "bottoms" section and the skirts will be grouped by size, so at least you'd be able to see pretty quickly if they did or didn't.) I'm not surprised you found stuff at Banana Republic. They're classic with an edge. I used to like the Gap, but lately they have fewer classic pieces and more trendy stuff. I still occasionally peruse the clearance racks, though. Have you tried Ann Taylor? I like them because they are one of the only stores that has clothes to fit me well, and they tend to carry very classic and well-made stuff, with great sale prices (especially at The Loft). They have petites now, too.
gay said…
i know what you mean, i love to shop for clothes and i do have a closet full but the last time i went out shopping for relativly conservative clothes i was frustrated aggravated andit took hours to find something i woudl even put on and i still hate it! not me at all. although i do love the look of pencil skirts but have no reason to wear one! i usually wear rockin boots and a hippie skirt for those occasions! have fun i'm sure you'll look great!

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