Dressing for Success, My Way

In my life before that of a writer I often interacted with the sales staff of upscale hotels. One of the sales managers left her position to sell high-end products from home via the Internet and telephone.

“My plan is to get up at the usual time Monday through Friday,” she told me, “put on my business attire and make-up, same as I did with my regular job. That way I won’t forget I’m still working and sticking to my nine-to-five routine will be much easier.”

Hmm, I wonder how long that lasted.

When I left the outside workforce to write fulltime, one of the first things I changed was my mode of dress: from skirts and jackets and mid-heel pumps that got ditched on my return home each day to comfortable knitwear and slip-on clogs that took me from morning to night for all casual activities. And like my acquaintance from the hotel and in deference to Hubby D, I started each day with an appropriate lathering of facial war paint. And still do—that is, the make-up and casual wear. Today’s shoes aren’t quite as cloggy as before—more on the order of super lightweight flatties. Either style allows me to get where I’m going in a hurry, much as the mid-heel pumps once did but from lack of use now make me feel like I’m about to fall on my face. Alternating between the heels and the flatties might resolve this balancing act but for reasons not worth figuring out, I can’t be bothered.

During that previous life when the five offspring were still living at home, my favorite after-work outfit was a velour jumpsuit, its most striking feature a shade of fuchsia the offspring considered repulsive. But hey, what did they know about style vs. comfort. I wore that jumpsuit so much it soon became known around the house as Mom’s woobie after the beloved woobie from Mr. Mom. I loved my woobie and could’ve worn it to bed and shopping the next day and no one would’ve been the wiser because it never wrinkled or needed special care. Everyone in the family hated it, except Hubby D who knew better than to critique any item in my wardrobe.

Fast forward to this past December when D and I were Christmas shopping at Walmart, a place I rarely ventured without good cause and certainly not to buy clothes for myself. That is until I passed a rack filled with sleepwear marked down to a new low discount. I ran my hand across the merchandise, just as I would’ve done in any TJ Maxx or Marshall’s or Dillard’s. Whoa, what have we here? Black pajama bottoms, ultra-soft and light-weight knitwear, great for lounging or sleeping. To leave those bottoms behind would’ve been unthinkable so I bought them.

Two weeks later when we were visiting eldest son and family in Cody, Wyoming, I stopped by their local Walmart with D, on the off-chance of finding another pair of the lightweight bottoms. Only this time I found a matching top and bottom, same brand, same ultra-soft knit fabric but in a different color—purple. To leave this top and bottom behind would’ve been another unthinkable so I bought them.

Last week D happened to mention an end-of-the-season clearance at our local Walmart.

“Hmm, maybe I should take a look.”

The look he gave me was one of disbelief.

Did I care? No.

Oh, yeah, this time I really hit the jackpot, one that should last me for several seasons. Same brand, same ultra-soft knitwear, three complete sets of pj’s, plus an extra bottom, all color-coordinated to mix and match with those I already have.

Talk about 24/7 versatility to the extreme. I visualize myself slipping into a pair of black bottoms and print top after a nice hot shower, then settling down to watch The Vikings slaughter each other and their neighbors on the History Channel. I’ll sleep through the night in that same outfit, get up the next morning and have breakfast in it. Need to pick up a few groceries? No problem, just throw on my coat and no one will know the diff. Might as well leave the outfit on to prepare our noon-day meal. It still looks good enough to eat in, so I will. This time of the year my afternoons are dedicated to writing—what better way to concentrate than in these comfortable loungers. Ah-h, well what do you know. It’s another evening and time for my shower. After which I think I’ll slip into another ultra-soft and lightweight outfit. My new woobie, not just one but in multiple sets.

What about you? How do you dress for success?

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About Loretta Giacoletto

Loretta Giacoletto is an American writer of family sagas, mysteries, and contemporary fiction, all of which contain elements of crime. She divides her time between the St. Louis Metropolitan area and Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks where she writes fiction, essays, and her bi-monthly blog, Loretta on Life, while her husband Dominic cruises the waters for bass and crappie. Their five children have left the once chaotic nest but occasionally return for her to-die-for ravioli and roasted peppers topped with garlic-laden bagna càuda. An avid traveler, she has visited numerous countries in Europe and Asia but Italy remains her favorite, especially the area from where her family originates: the Piedmont region near the Italian Alps. - See more at: http://www.loretta-giacoletto.com
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