Baring Arms: Business Dress and Other Issues for a MidLife WAHM
This morning was a mad rush. I mean, a madder rush than usual, because instead of kicking back to write at home after making the kid’s lunch and seeing her off to school, I had to comb through my limited wardrobe to cover the LA Auto Show. In other words: business dress; a category of clothing I don’t wear often.
And since the light in the closet has gone out (again!) and the sun still hadn’t risen, that meant hunting around with a flashlight until I found the pretty Banana Republic blouse and slacks I’d purchased for a conference over the summer.
Then came the big decision: Jacket or no jacket?
Can You Dress for Success AND Comfort in Mid-Life?
I realize that conventional fashion wisdom says that women of a certain age should always cover up. Something about flabby upper arms being disturbing to people…I guess. But I’ll tell you – I think the sweat that pours out of me during a good hot flash is way more offensive than the sight of my arms — and if I don’t care what they look like, why should you?
Then again, there was rain in the forecast today. So I grabbed the black jacket that was my favorite back when I held an office job. It still fit, but…
It’s got HUGE padded shoulders. Has it really been hanging in the closet THAT long?
I set it aside and took a more recent one off its hanger. I bought it four years ago, after losing 56 pounds. Unfortunately, I’ve gained 25 of them back and I don’t think I can button it shut any longer. But at least, the shoulders are nice and rounded. I was ready to go.
Uh, no. Not until I did something about my face.
My current lifestyle allows me to get away with going out sans makeup – but that won’t do in a business situation. When I was young, I enjoyed the transformation a little under eye concealer and eye shadow provided. Now, there isn’t enough foundation in the world to hide the dark puffy circles under my eyes. Plus, it’s really hard to apply makeup there without glasses to see what I’m doing. (Note to family and friends: a lighted magnifying mirror would make an excellent gift for me.)
You can only work with the tools you’ve got. I put on a little shadow, mascara and lipstick and called it a day.
Mid morning at the auto show, I caught a glimpse of myself in the ladies room mirror and saw that the proportions of the jacket were completely wrong for the slacks and blouse (although the case could be made that the problem is with the proportions of ME). About an hour later, I got one of those hot flashes. I walked to my car out in the parking lot and got rid of the jacket.
One of the great things about being older is that you don’t sweat the small stuff. You just sweat.
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