Monday, January 31, 2011

Dress for Success

In a previous post, Karen touched on a subject that is near and dear to my heart – workplace attire. As you already know, I manage a team of consultants focusing on operational risk for a financial institution. Additionally, I am a budget conscious mommy, who continues to work on losing “baby” weight (ha!). So when I went to pack for an upcoming business trip, a thousand thoughts were running through my head:

• How many shoes will fit in my carry-on?

• What coat should I bring? (headed to warmer weather!)

• Are these pants dressy enough?

• Do I need to pack my suit?

• Does my suit still fit?

• Does my purse fit into my laptop bag?

On and on it goes…especially the dark thoughts I have about the person that invented pantyhose (it had to be a man!).

This is in distinct contrast to “helping” my husband pack for his business trip. For his 4 day business trip, it took approximately 2 hours to pack (and my hubby is a bit picky!). Three suits, 4 dress shirts, 4 ties, 2 pairs of dress pants, 2 pairs of dress shoes, a couple of polo shirts, a pair of khakis, dress socks, t-shirts, underwear, and shorts. Really? Two hours? I am lucky if I can narrow down my shoe choices in 2 hours!

In today’s “business casual” environment, there are a myriad of choices for women, while men can easily go with a dress shirt and khaki pants. And while I would like to think I am fashionable, I believe I may have missed that train about the time A & B were born. When I go shoe shopping now, all I see when I look at heels is bending down to pick up toys or trying to make it down the stairs in the morning carrying my laptop bag and pillow pets! And even if I did try to dress up for work, well, pretty much anything I own has some kind of stain on it (and yes, I should have stock in All and Downy!).

In addition to attempting to look professional, I have to stay on a budget. Not easy to be “hip” and “cool” when this season’s looks are not on clearance. Plus, since I am trying to lose weight (down 2 pounds since Jan. 1st), I hate to purchase something new. And I don’t think my mommy thighs fit into skinny jeans!

So what does this mean for me? Well, you will be seeing me in the same sweaters, black pants, tan pants and shirts for a long time. Hopefully, I can give them a new spin with a cool scarf from Egypt or clearance boots from Kohls. And just as an FYI - I would not be offended if you submitted me for “What Not to Wear.”

In the mean time, A & B will be stylin’ as always. Thank goodness they wear the same size!!

Jean Anne

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