This morning I had my first big kick-off meeting with my newest freelancing gig, which once again highlighted that after a decade of working from home, there is nothing harder in the world than waking up, showering, putting on actual proper clothing, and getting my ass out the door on time anytime before noon. Which, I know is exactly what literal bajillions of people manage to do just fine every morning, and really: Color me genuinely impressed. Like serious props, guys. I don't know how you do it, because I'm terrible at it.
The main issue this morning was the completely self-inflicted crisis of not having much in the way of a Professional Wardrobe anymore. I have one nice black suit, a couple okay dresses, a bunch of really, reallllllllly old separates that scream "business casual circa early 2000s" and absolutely zero office-appropriate shoes to pair with any of it. And yet I never, ever remember how limited my options are until I have a meeting to be at in like, an hour.
The office I was visiting is business casual so the suit felt like overkill (not to mention my black footwear choices are either sandals/flip flops or stilettos/fuck-me heels), but as a consultant/contractor I always feel compelled to dress up slightly more professional than the bare minimum. Wait. I have a blazer somewhere! Blazers are still a thing, right? Where's the blazer?
(Said blazer, by the way, was purchased at a J. Crew Factory Store in the year of our lord 1999. And that's NOT an exaggeration, that's a damn brag, because that's a good purchase. Invest in your classic pieces! Unless you can get them cheaper because of a slightly irregular lining seam! )
So I worked backwards from the blazer, found a super old, inoffensive-but-not-particularly stylish beige skirt that oh-thank-God-still-zipped and only had a couple visible stains on the waistband, which I then covered up with a slightly newer printed top that I probably panic-purchased the LAST time I had a client who wanted frequent in-person meetings in a business casual setting. Then penny loafers for that added touch of classic frump and "I am afraid I will break my ankle on your slippery lobby floors" look.
Would it kill me to just buy a couple nice pairs of pants and sensible pumps? Apparently it would, yes. Thanks for asking.
Anyway, the meeting went FINE. It's going to be a great mix of Stuff I Do All the Time, Stuff I've Done Before But Haven't In Awhile, and stuff that's like THIS IS BRAND-NEW INFORMATION. (And yes, I will be continuing to write here and at AlphaMom and for all my other jobs/clients; this is just bumping me up closer to a full-time 40-hour week, which our household budget is hella jammed about.)
I did not fall down, accidentally drop an F-bomb, or break anything expensive while I was there.
Then I came home and rapid-fire discovered:
1) My shirt had a faint-yet-noticeable stain, right on my left boob.
Kinda looks like Florida?
2) My cats are why I can't have nice things big vases with fake flowers from IKEA.
WAT I DOOOO?