For now, anyway. Since I started said new job, I have had to resuscitate my work wardrobe, and have discovered what a sorry state it’s in. Everything feels out of date and/or too tight. Last week I retired a mandarin blouse that I bought at Hawaii’s Hilo Hattie’s, where Wiggles and I vacationed about 10 years ago – in Hawaii, not at Hilo Hattie’s (though we did spend a very LONG day there). Anyway, the top flattened out my breasts in a most unflattering way and when I finally took a good look at it, while the shirt was naturally and strategically draped to hide the pouch that I have developed as a result of being in my mid-40s and at home near my favorite appliance, the refrigerator, I realized it had to go. Ditto to the sexy little off-white skirt that I used to wear with a wide brown belt. Boo-boo watched me while I tried it on and I could tell, just from the way she averted her puppy eyes, that it could no longer take up a coveted place in my closet. (And you should see my closet, by the way. I like to describe it as a delicate ecosystem. One false move and the whole thing might implode into a cloud of undifferentiated matter, in size 8 or 10.) This two-item purge was only what happened this week.
With many 5-day weeks looming, I knew something had to be done. Right near my new office is a Dress Barn, a chain that I could not believe had an outpost in NYC and was a mere block away from my office. So one day after work last week, I held my breath and went in. There were suits (who wears suits these days?) and tops with three-quarter length sleeves (and I don’t wear those anymore, since my forearms and hands are freakishly long and thin) but there WERE some fun work dresses. I tried on a few and gosh darn it, one of them fit me beautifully. I did have to get some help from one of the salesgirls in yanking up the zipper, but even in her broken English, she said to me with real feeling, “That looks good!” when I paraded around the dressing room, practicing bending over, turning around, all my usual moves.
So while I’m feeling a little chunky, Dress Barn seems to be my new best friend.