I caught sight of myself in the mirror after a day at work and I had to do a double take. I spent my day looking like THAT? (I’m sure there was a precipitous decline in deportment from the beginning of the day, but the actual outfit and hairstyle came in the door the same as they went out.) It’s a good thing I work with polite colleagues and students who don’t criticize (at least not to my face) because I would have a hard time looking at me all day long!
In response to my mirror glance, I had to quickly change into my pajamas and bury the clothes I wore in the nether regions of my closet. Better I burn them! What seems like a good idea in the morning (just throw some clothes on and blast out the door in the least amount of time possible) seldom works out in the stark light of day.
After donning my pink supergirl pajamas I went straight to the blogosphere to garner some inspiration and see what diva teachers might be wearing to work (other than those nasty cow sweatshirts, and apple earrings and Christmas sweaters that nearly kept me out of the teaching field altogether).
At WHAT I WORE I found that the angular look is in. Given my pleasant plumpness, I am not going to be able to pull that one off. Jessica Quirk’s FULL GLITZ described her method for putting on three layers of lacquers on her nails including “Black on Black” and “Gilty Pleasures,” and all on a Saturday morning! Not gonna happen for this gal who doesn’t want to draw attention to her stubby fingers and who appears to be losing the toenail on her right foot.
CLOSET COLLAGE suggests electric fur accents, and the scary thing is, I find that suggestion strangely compelling. Better to stay away from blogs that lean toward the eccentric since I’m already well known for my Miss Frizzle wardrobe.
When asked for fashion advice, Rachel Zoe, fashion consultant to the stars said, “I always carry Smashbox Limitless Liquid Liner and Tatcha Japanese Blotting papers - they’re perfect for on the go touchups!” I’ll have to run out and get those products at the local drugstore this evening. Heaven knows, I’m always performing touch-ups on the go! Oh what, they’re only available at glitzy stores on Hollywood Boulevard? That’s a crying shame because they could probably turn my whole life around.
I found these fashion blogs so disheartening; I decided to go to the CUTE section of tumblr.com just to see what charming little blogs I could read to take my mind off of my shocking fashion choices. While not a huge fan of pets and all things animal, it was hard to resist the ANIMALS WITH CASTS (that’s CASTS, folks, not CATS!) blog and another one, ANIMALS WITH STUFFED ANIMALS. They both made me guffaw and realize that if people want a good laugh, I am happy to provide it by virtue of my wardrobe and fashion faux paws (pun definitely intended).
It’s tempting to start a “WHAT LEAH WORE TO WORK TODAY” blog showing my daily mishaps and messes, but even me, as self-deprecating as I can be, am just a bit too vain for that.
In a final bid for a bit of advice/encouragement, I thought clicking on the BEAUTY blogs might garner me some inspiration or at least teach me how to apply mascara so it’s not a dripping mess by lunch time (I DO tend to cry in class quite regularly), or how to keep lipstick from bleeding into my horrendously chapped lips, leaving me looking like someone with a head injury. Instead I got: Remove dark under eye circles by soaking a cotton ball in cold milk and dabbing around under eye area. Rinse your face after 15 minutes. Sorry, that’s not going to work. I’m working on becoming a vegan and don’t want to be tempted by milk. (I might give in to temptation and try it if they suggested dabbing my dark circles with cheese or ice cream).
How about: Soften pillow crease lines that were left on your face by splashing warm water on your skin, then massaging area with moisturizer. If you’re anywhere in the over 40 category, don’t bother. Been there, tried that. The creases are there until at least 10:30. The best you can do is put a deep part in your hair so it covers your creases or wear really bright lipstick on your chapped lips to take the attention away from those pillow creases. The horror!
I know it’s not all about appearance, but it is important to have a comportment that suggests professionalism and meets some basic rules of fashion. If not, people may not have faith in one’s abilities no matter how gifted you might be in your chosen profession. I know students are much more likely to pay attention to me if I am not draped in drab gray from head to foot and I look like Cousin It with my hair obscuring my face. A bit of color, a jaunty pony tail, a waist-cinching belt…anything that gets them to look at me and not have them have to shield their eyes immediately.
- Try on my clothes and be sure that nothing sags or drags or drapes. (Obviously I have no standards in the stark light of early day.)
- Find a brush so I’ll actually be able to do something with my tangled mat in the morning.
- Set my alarm and actually get myself into bed before midnight so I can feel (and look) at least vaguely refreshed.
- Finally, think about following the one rule that seems to work for me: “Keep It Simple, Stupid.” A pair of black pants and pumps, a white collared shirt and a vee necked sweater in a slightly brighter color than black? You can’t go wrong. So long as there are no stains or crumbs or rips or snags.