Do the clothes make the man?

You’ve all heard the phrase, right? “The clothes make the man.”

While I strongly react to the sexist, consumerist, and classist implications of this idiom, I’m finding myself reflecting upon it this morning because yesterday, I went shopping.

“What?!?! Hold the phone !” you say. “She’s unemployed! Where are our government dollars going to- heels and pearls?” Well, no. My government dollars haven’t kicked in yet despite being unemployed for 3 weeks now (wait for a post on that later) and, thankfully, I have a savings account.

I went shopping yesterday because I have an “interview” tomorrow. It’s somewhere between an informational and an exploratory conversation about a specific opportunity. It’s very exciting. And, it happens to be for a company where suits are the norm, which is a slight problem…

I’ve had the privilege of working at small non-profits for the past nine years, which means I’ve also benefited from a relaxed dress code. Suits, dresses, and heels have all made their appearances- for donor meetings, gala events, and lectures- but the day-to-day norm has included a liberal amount jeans and t-shirts. At my last position, my boss often wore a hoodie to work on cooler days and we joked about flannel pajamas.

My wardrobe does include a range of suits and dresses; unfortunately, they’re all in the wrong sizes. In the last year, I’ve struggled with weight gain and am finding my trousers a tad too tight. I’m in a double-digit size I’m not excited about (though I’ve a different blog altogether to talk about that), yet the first rule of interviewing (as it is in giving a lecture) is to wear something you’re comfortable in. So, I went shopping.

And, it was fantastic. I have to give props here to Anne Taylor Loft. First, they have a suit sale going on right now (thank you karma). Second, their sizes run from 0-18 and they usually keep a good run of stock in the “middle range” (10-14) so that the average shopper can find their size. Third, they’ve got classic pieces that are easy to make more funky or conservative depending on your needs.

So, I left with a suit, a pair of trousers, a woolen wrap, and 4 shirts. With a 30% discount from a lovely sales girl, I came in significantly under my budget, so I went to Victoria’s Secret.

Again, do the clothes make the man? Or, rather, the woman in my case? No. But, a well-fitting bra is essential to comfort. And, let’s face it, matching undies are a phenomenal treat. I found 2 bras that I loved and managed to score one for free thanks to a discount.

So, now I’m set for tomorrow. Do the clothes make the man? No. But they do make her comfortable and help reduce distraction. Now that I’ve a range of outfits I can create as I go forth with informational interviewing over the next few weeks, I’m confident that I’ll feel comfortable and able to focus on the task at hand- selling my skills and *not* worrying about my waistband.


One comment

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The Universe is my Classroom: Every encounter is an opportunity to both teach and learn

Running with science

The science of healthy living

Clementine Morrigan

Writer, Poet, Rebel Scholar, Working Witch

Chanyado. Shade. Respite from the sun. A place under the tree to rest my head, and wiggle my toes out in the sun.

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