Reminder: malls are soul sucking

Thursday I was rushing out the door and by some streak of genius I remembered I had PT and needed to take an outfit photo in the morning. Once I get into PT clothes (workout wear) it’s game over for any nice outfit photos because I become such a sweaty mess. I completely skipped last week’s photos because of that. So I took a quick phone photo in the long mirror in the basement. I wore all blue: denim top, navy pants, navy new (to me, but used from TRR) Jil Sander leather sneakers.

thursday

This is what happens when I get distracted from what I want to buy. What I wanted, was a black oxford style shoe. What I bought was a navy leather sneaker (they are actually really comfortable and I’ve worn them all weekend) and an Ann Demeulemeester black button down. I failed, but also won at the same time because I really like both the things I bought, so… it’s a tie?

shoes

Friday I wore the JS shoes again (and again on Saturday at a house warming party). They are keepers. My elephant top is so beat up and there are runs all over it when you see it up close, but for some reason I can’t quit this top and that is high praise for it. It’s perfect for warm weather and I always get compliments on it. This was definitely one of those instances where fast fashion wins. friday

Today I went to the mall in search of a bathing suit. I bought two from Target a few years ago and the bottoms of the bikini one had a sort of skirt on it. It was so shredded I was kinda embarrassed to wear it recently when Z and I went lake swimming. I got rid of it as soon as we got home. I wasn’t planning another bathing suit purchase but the father-in-law got a hot tub for Father’s Day and despite it being 90F outside they want us to come over today to go sit in it and have BBQ.

I searched Bloomingdales and Macys and nearly cried at the selection, let alone the fact that my size is mythical (size 4). Bloomingdales only had swim suits for woman who want all of their ass showing and Macys only had swimsuits with ten thousand tags on them saying: Tummy Control! Slimming! Look 10 lbs lighter with this slimming silhouette! (I shit you not on the last one – that was actually written on a tag on a whole rack of bathing suits.) Basically every Macy’s suit was hardcore spanx meant to squeeze the living soul out of anyone who dared wear them – not to mention there were none in my size.

The only time my size becomes available in bathing suits is when they go on sale for the upcoming season – in fucking March. We had 4 snow storms in March so buying a bathing suit wasn’t anywhere on my agenda. But the fact is there are such a limited amount of the small sizes made that even if I went shopping earlier in the season, I’d still be hard pressed to find it. I went into one of the smaller Land’s End shops and an SA tried to help me. I told her finding my size was the hardest part and when I mentioned it to her, she actually grimaced and said, “Well…. there might be one….. somewhere….” I was looking for a two piece, but I don’t like tankinis, which is all they had, so I left.

I checked Nordstrom Rack, but that was also a let down and walked across the whole mall back to where I parked. I did notice something though – half the shops were closed. The particular mall I was at is kinda known for being the “better” mall of a few in a 40 mile radius, but it was really depressing seeing all the junk on display and so many shops closed up. It felt a bit foreboding like –  The End is Nigh for this one. I noticed Macys is doing a Backstage department now that’s sorta like Nordstrom Rack, but for really cheap stuffs that don’t sell regularly at Macys? I don’t know. It just felt like I was walking into an inevitable thrift store of crap no one would want even if it was $1.00.

I did end up finding a bathing suit at a sporting goods store near the mall. The selection was minuscule but it helped me focus on finding something and they actually had my size. I paid a bit more than I would have liked, but the material seems good and will hopefully last longer than the Target swim suits.

 

Pants

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I think I have a pant addiction. It used to be running shoes, but since I won’t be running for a while my new thing is to obsess over the cut and style of pants. I just bought two more pairs before writing this post – both black (of course). I know a lot of people who just wear the same pants over and over and over with different tops. Maybe I’ll do the reverse where I wear one top constantly and change out the pants. That sounds very amusing to me, but I’ve also had a Scotch. Last minute meetings and coworkers blowing up at each other made for an interesting day at work.

What clothing addictions do you have? Any specific kind of item? Silk shirts? Cardigans? Shoes? Socks?

I also bought another pair of barefoot style shoes that look more professional than the ones in the top photo. I like the Lems (above) but something about them feels too casual. Maybe I just need to change out the shoe laces. I don’t really like them. Also, I already need to buff the EF shoes because I’m wearing them so much they are scuffing a lot faster than I realized. They are also really soft leather, which doesn’t help. I did get a compliment on them today though.

We are seeing Infinity War tonight with friends. It should be a lot of fun. I’m not a hardcore Marvel fan, but I like the movies because they are good action films and seeing them with a bunch of friends in a full theater makes it even more fun.

Buying all the things – black

The mule shoe hunt continues. After a failed DSW browse last weekend I went online and bought a pair of mules from Frye, but promptly returned them because I felt like I’d kill someone by flinging the shoes off my feet and hitting people in the head. It was cold this week anyway so I didn’t really need open backed shoes.

monday

Monday’s outfit: not caring. While these Brass Clothing ponte pants are nice, I’m kinda over them and only hate-wear them when I want a skinny black pant look. Note to self: get skinny black pants I want to wear, not hate-wear.

tuesday sweatertuesday

Tuesday: feeling black. The situ at work with one of my clients starting boiling today and half of a department at work was 86’d for incompetence. The director isn’t dicking around and will cut anyone not worth their salt. Unfortunately, that puts them in the situation of having all production work bottle-neck at their area.

Fun note: Although you can’t really tell too much from the photos, my arm muscles are fierce. I took off my cardigan for a bit and the GM  – halfway down the hall – noticed and said: Damn girl, you’ve got some guns! He asked me to flex for him. Aside from one of the other directors saying I look fit, this was the first time someone’s noticed my muscle gains. I take a certain amount of pride in that, although it’s making wearing skinny/ tight fitted clothes difficult. Most normal clothes aren’t made for muscular people.

wednesday

Wednesday: this day was doomed from the get-go. I had on an all Yohji outfit – all black again – and was so pleased with myself for it. I was actually wearing a skirt! And then I got toothpaste all over myself because I have butter fingers and my electric toothbrush went rogue on me. Looking back on it – yes, it was hilarious, but at the time I was miserable and late to work because I had to completely change my outfit.

The situ with the client boiled over and I was super stressed out most of the day. I felt flustered during our usual call and my boss came in and saved the day – like he normally does. I still have a lot to learn.

thursday

Thursday: work is getting even worse with delays and my client’s company taking their sweet time getting information to us so we can finish our inspections and get product out the door. My boss took me out to lunch to de-stress. He could tell I was struggling and we discussed where the whole situation was going wrong and how we could make it better and to assure me I’m doing a good job, but maybe my sense of responsibility is too severe because I’m taking things personally. I put a lot of weight on myself for being the liaison for the client when even he knows that not everything is in my control.

At first, I didn’t even want to go to lunch because I thought I should stay and work, but I’m glad we went out. Getting out of the office was nice and I was much more relaxed and “over it” the latter half of the day. I even called my client’s engineer to light a fire under his ass in getting us data and let him know: we cannot work on ANYTHING until we get his specs. *drop mic*

friday

Friday: the entire morning hours were wasted by shit data provided by the client’s team. One of his people got back to us at 2 pm: Uh… yeah, so all the numbers I gave you – they’re wrong. *head**desk* Over. It. It’s ALL on them now and I’m done wasting time. I tell our people to shut it down. We aren’t spending another second on this crap until they get their heads straight. A coworker laughed and told me I should’ve had a double scotch last night like she told me to. I said I only had a beer because I’d been drinking scotch every other night this week. The engineering group bust into laughter, saying: she’s one of us!

I started doing more work for another client this week and this new one is a real piece of work – not in the good way. She only hears what she wants and has laser focused tunnel vision where she basically ignores everything you say until you end up saying what she wants. I hate this bitch already. My boss says not to get involved with her game and just give her what the answer is once and let it go. Ignore the rest because it’s not worth getting pulled into it. She’ll continue with her Spanish Inquisition style bullshit but it’s not necessary to answer to it if what we’ve given her is correct in the first place.

And the last nail in this week’s coffin: no admin support for me. The one interviewee we all liked out of 80 applicants took a job elsewhere. We are at square one again and I’m no where near getting the help I need so I can focus more on learning my other roles. FML.

Saturday I got dressed, but didn’t take a photo. We went to see Isle of Dogs and it was fantastic. I’ve learned a lot of Japanese from watching so much anime so when some characters spoke Japanese in the film I could easily get the gist of what they were saying due to lots of words I recognized. It was nice being out with friends for a bit. Everyone has been in hermit mode this winter. We are also trying to resurrect Food Night, which is just one night out of the week (usually Wednesdays) when all the friends get together to have dinner and hang out.

sunday

Sunday (today): I wore my All-Bird shoes but I folded down the backs of them so I wore them mule-like. This allowed me to have mostly warm feet and not agitate my ankle. I went out to the mall to mule-shop again but came home empty handed. The mall was super depressing too. The selection was dismal at Bloomingdales and I noticed half of the Macy’s second floor was completely empty. I wonder if they’ll close that one down. I did see some nice Vince mules, but I knew I could get something more of what I wanted for cheaper online.

I ended up coming home and ordering the Gwen Slide by EF. I like how low heeled they are and I think they’ll go with the majority of my clothes. I find it funny how one of the reviews calls them “vamp” but she means it in a negative way. I think I’m guaranteed to like them then.

My mental state of mind has been very fragile lately. A lot of it has to do with work, clearly, but a lot of it also has to do with my ankle. I’ve had Z examine my legs several times this week and he’s assured me I’m being paranoid. There is no bump coming back on my bad leg. Because I’ve worn the brace for 4 months and kept my foot at a right angle, the natural bumps and creases in my skin around the ankle are completely smooth. My whole foot and ankle area is baby smooth soft as well and I hate it. Wearing house slippers hurt my feet because they are so incredibly sensitive now. And now that I’m moving my ankle and getting the natural creases in it again I’m getting overly paranoid and freaking out because those creases cause little bumps in the skin and that’s just it – it’s just skin, not a bump in relation to a torn tendon. I know that’s what it is and Z has constantly told me so, but I’m still freaked out a little. I do have a little bit of pain, but it’s more due to soreness in that area from moving it again. This week I spent more time doing slow, controlled stretches with a towel. I would only wear my boot in the morning and take it off mid day. I do more walking around at work than I realized, especially now that I’m chasing down more issues with production on my client’s work. I’ll probably do another week of half and half at work and add some different stretches this week to get more range of motion back. My left leg is so pitiful and weak!

This fragile state has also made me prone to therapy shopping. Gretchen’s post about not knowing how to dress herself really hit a chord with me. I feel the same way. I’ve lost 20 lbs since I was married  just over 3 years ago and before, dressing was never really an issue for me. Now, I’m questioning the fit of everything and not sure how I should look. I know I veer on the side of quirky and it’s deliberate because I hate the idea of dressing like everyone else. [side note: i’ve used the word “hate” a lot in this post – again state of mind…] However, sometimes I wonder if I’m trying too hard or if I’m letting mainstream ideals of dress crowd out my natural tendency to be rebellious. I still don’t know. All I do know is that when Gretchen wrote: “I don’t want to wear flowy, drapey, oversized things, I want hard, refined and BLACK.  I want rigid and crisp and clean.  Give me all the Yohji Yamamoto please.” a light switch turned on and so did my OCD button because I went online, spend three days debating on items and yesterday bought 3 black items of clothing from Yohji Yamamoto and Issey Miyake. Whether or not they work out is TBD. It may take a week or so to get them because they are all coming from Japan. If they do work out – and I have a feeling they will – I have planned a post about shopping for these designers because they are all second hand from discounters. But for now, yes, I’m having a moment too – more due to general stress from outside issues. And for now – give me, too, all the black, crisp clothes from Japanese designers please. And a fucking pair of mules.

In favor of enough

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The last photo was taken today. I put on the pants just for this photo and then took them off and put on the jeans I had been wearing beforehand and put my shoe/boot back on. I simply wanted to take a photo to show the pants I got from Uniqlo today before I wash them.

I also wanted to show the jacket I’m wearing as well. I’ve not worn this jacket in over a year (maybe even closer to two years), but I never got rid of it. For some reason, it escaped many of my KonMari purges since we’ve moved into this house. I’ve had this jacket for nearly 10 years. It’s from Old Navy and for many years I lived in it. It was the only in-between weather jacket I had that worked for spring/autumn weather. It was warm enough to wear on 50-ish days and provided just enough protection from light rain/drizzle despite being entirely cotton (canvas on the outside – not weather proof – flannel plaid inside). This jacket made sense for wearing today. It’s drizzling with a few heavy rain storms. Although the jacket is old and faded a little, it still works great and I do think it looks nice.

This jacket made me glad I didn’t purge it even though I’ve not worn it in a long time. As I drove to the mall I thought about other clothes I’d gotten rid of and somehow kinda wished I hadn’t. There was a big, black sweater I had and I still think about it. I’m really not sure why I got rid of it, but I know I was in the thick of the whole “less is more” minimalist mantra at the time. I’d read the KonMari book and we were getting ready to move and I was so proud of myself for giving away/donating/trashing so many bags of stuff we didn’t need… or did we?

Now, I really hate that “less is more” mantra. It pisses me off because I fell into it’s gimmicky trap. I got rid of things I still think about, but at the time convinced myself I could do without. I wasn’t really listening to myself – I was listening to how cool it sounded to say I could get rid of so much stuff. The reality is: less is less.

4 years ago I had 2 pairs of jeans and 1 pair of pants. Currently, I have

  • 2 pairs of jeans
  • 3 pairs of black pants
  • 2 pairs of navy pants
  • 1 pair of brown pants
  • and 2 pairs of denim pants.

Today I bought a pair of olive pants. And I still intend on buying more pants. Why?  My circumstances are a lot different now than they were 4 years ago. I’m in a job where I need to wear nicer clothes and having a variety to choose from helps me greatly. With my old job, I could wear whatever I wanted so I didn’t think about wearing more than what I had simply because I didn’t care about how I looked. Now I do care and now I want more options to choose from. It doesn’t mean I’m going to buy ALL THE PANTS, but simply enough pants to cover all seasons and allow me a variety for each.

That’s another thing I realized. I remember writing here how I wanted to have a small wardrobe that had pieces I could layer throughout the year. Um…. yeah, let’s face reality a bit. I live on the east coast and summers here get up to 100F and winters get down to -12F. I need a wardrobe big enough to accommodate those extremes. A few layers won’t cut it. I need clothes that are meant to be worn in extreme weather conditions. Sure those clothes may only get worn a few months out of the year, but they are worth it because they protect me and are necessary for this environment. Do I still have more clothes than I may actually need? Probably, but I’m tired of feeling like I shouldn’t have as much as I do. It’s like I’ve felt some sort of guilt over…. nothing. I do wear all of my clothes, so why should I feel bad for buying a little more I know I’ll add into the rotation? I don’t intend on buying clothes for the sake of buying clothes, I’m buying them because they fill a gap.

[This is really sounding like I’m writing all of this to justify today’s purchase and future purchases to myself – huh? So let’s just call it what it is – justification and writing therapy to get these thoughts out of my head. Here is the 4th wall moment. Now let’s continue….]

So, I bought a pair of pants today. I was thinking a lot about the Pas de Calais pants that are really expensive. I decided to look around at places where I’d bought clothes before and saw Uniqlo came out with a new kind of pant: a cotton/linen blend. They looked good online, but their sizing can be a bit weird for me so I drove out to the mall to try them on. They fit perfectly and the beige kind were opaque enough for me as well. Part of the reason why I don’t have light colored pants is because I wear black underwear 99.999% of the time. But the Uniqlo ones had the perfect amount of coverage and they are incredibly comfortable. I’d been looking for an in-between weather kind of pants and these fit the bill perfectly. I also like the length and I can roll them up when it gets warmer and make them look a little better with different shoe combinations. I was shocked at how much I really liked these pants. When I saw these in the olive color I knew I’d want them because in the back of my head I’ve been coveting a good pair of olive pants for at least 6 months now. I can wear these with plenty of shirts already in my wardrobe. I considered this purchase a major score for myself. I almost bought the beige ones as well to call it a day, but then I stopped and put them back.

I planned on buying the beige ones as a way of passing on the Pas de Calais pants.  However, I realized I do in fact want those Pas de Calais pants. I’m allowed to have pants that cost $29.90 and pants that cost $320.00 in my wardrobe. I found their online shop and they have them in beige. They look really nice and I don’t need yet another pair of black pants. They are expensive and if need be, I can return them. I haven’t decided when I’ll buy them, but I do plan on it. Maybe when the weather gets a little bit warmer (and to see if they go on sale anytime soon). Eventually, there will be yet another pair of pants in my collection and then I think I will have enough.

Moderation is key and always has been, even if it takes us a damn long time to get there. It’s not about buying too much or showing off how little we have. It’s all about having enough and my enough is going to be very different from everyone elses’ enough.