I went shopping for work clothes today. My work wardrobe is currently stored in Cleveland, where it was 56 degrees today. In Phoenix, it was 100. Back in Ohio, I have pulled out a wool sweater as early as September 11th, and worn a winter weight wool skirt as late as May 15th.
Here, I have no clue what to wear. Most of my summer clothing is too casual for this office anyway. The dress code? "A suit is never a bad idea. When in doubt, don't wear it to work." Oh, dear. When you've only recently decided that a colored top is acceptable with a black & white print skirt, and your purse does not have to be only black or brown, and were puzzled by the whole stockings/closed toe shoe revelation, this means more confusion and a few steps back in style. I really wish I had a personal shopper sometimes. Why can't I exploit a relative with a shopping addiction for my own benefit? I hate hunting clothes.
So what do I have to wear to work?
2 square neck sweaters, one black & one purple, from Ann Taylor Loft. All those 60's inspired, Mad Men fashions? Not quite working my curves. These are absurdly flattering though.
1 suit jacket with 2 pairs black pants. 1 pair has to be hemmed, and I should mark my shoes with numbers and match them to particular pants. Yes, I know, Kerry in pants! I hate pants! I wear skirts in January in Ohio, officially marking me as crazy. As per my mom's suggestion, I went to JC Penney. They had no skirts though, and most of the blouses are weird. Look, I have blouse issues anyway--It took me a long time to learn that I am so stacked, I can't wear them. Not unless I had a nice fellow in Hong Kong making them for me, at least. But I don't think female civil servants are allowed to emulate Gatsby in such a fashion.
My tan suit. Yes, they've seen it 3 times. It's tan/sand/beige/whatever. It goes with all my sweaters.
A collection of short sleeved cotton and silk sweaters in a variety of colors.
An odd brown sleeveless top that was on supersale. I tried it on and thought flattering and wearable with the tan suit. It's got a slit front but conceals cleavage, covers waist and hips. Dusie had the same reaction, that it's fundamentally weird but appropriate.
Black & white print skirt, knee length.
Other clothes that might be mixed in, but either they don't fit or I need dress tape or something else for them.
I do think I have a style, or at least themes that repeat throughout the clothes I like best. I just have a lot of trouble a) affording clothes that fit that I like and b) taking chances with my wardrobe.