I know I just crowed about all of the cool clothes I got at a clothing swap earlier this week, but that didn't actually help me today when I was mining my closet for business attire to wear for some on-site client work.
My office doesn't have a dress code. It came up in a staff meeting recently and our CEO said the unofficial guideline could be summed up as, "Don't offend anyone." Then he corrected himself and said it was more along the lines of, "Don't offend lots of people."
So anything goes most of the time, but today was a rare exception. For most client visits over the years I've been able to get away with dark jeans, a nice top and shoes that aren't sneakers. For pitch meetings I've sometimes worn a jacket. Today's client, however, has a conservative dress code.
Until I started digging through my closet room, I didn't know quite what I would find. It turns out I'd ditched some of my older suits already, which was too bad because they would likely have fit now even though I'm sure they didn't at the time.
I tried on several pairs of oversized slacks that weren't going to work even with a belt. Finally I checked out a pair hidden under dry cleaner plastic and they were my current size. I had one decent suit jacket that fit, but it was missing two of its three buttons. Miraculously, I found one of the buttons that had fallen off and managed to locate the extra button that came with the jacket, still in its cellophane sleeve. Out came the sewing kit and I was that much closer to an outfit.
Then I needed a top to wear. I was pretty sure I had a sleeveless sweater shell on my clothing rack somewhere. It took a while, but I finally found it sandwiched between t-shirts. Fortunately I have a pair of comfortable Aerosole dress shoes that work with trouser socks, so pantyhose didn't need to be part of the equation.
Last but not least, I brought out my strand of real pearls because I figured this was a rare chance to wear them in a context that made sense.
My hair, well, the hair is how it is.
I'll have to come up with a variation on the outfit for Monday, but I think I can find a blouse and jacket or sweater combo that I can pair with the same pants to make it work. After that, it's back to t-shirts, capri pants and yoga sandals—and not a moment too soon.