We all know that I've been needing some clothes.  Well, over the weekend, two shopping elves who shall remain anonymous (although their names rhyme with Catherine and Claire) took me to a big outlet mall in Charleston.  Their goal was to significantly boost my wardrobe, while keeping me from becoming immediately overwhelmed and heading home to make do with my ripped jeans, grease-stained cargo pants, and "This is what a feminist looks like" tshirt.  Their plan was clever:  one sat outside and visit with me, while the other was in a store filling a dressing room with clothes.  Then when we received a call, the two of us who were outside went into the store, and I stripped and started putting things on.

Several different factors made this expedition work:
  1. I didn't have to look at the clothing racks at all.  I've discovered that this is incredibly overwhelming--having to prowl around in the store and choose things on racks.  Too much information, and no way to make sense of it.  I would rather be back home.  
  2. Just having a dressing room full of things, though, isn't stressful.  And I don't mind being naked in front of my girlfriends.
  3. I was allowed to say no, and no one got their feelings hurt.  For a number of items, the second it got onto my body, I said, "No, I won't wear this," and the elves said, "Alright, hand it over," and they made it disappear.  Very rarely did I have to defend a choice.  If I didn't like it, it went away.
  4. Some of the clothing was experimental.  The elves had grabbed it out of curiosity, not because they thought it was perfect for me.  Most of these ended up in the "No, I won't wear this" category, but I did get to see myself in some different options.
It was a fun day, there were cookies involved, and I ended up with some very professional gear.  Check me out:  a blazer and pants that are long enough (I believe that's why I'm stepping on Benya:  to show off the length of the pants).  In the next month I have a public lecture in Georgia, the National Women's Studies Association Conference, and a number of other significant meetings and events, and I will have clothes to wear.  Not the most important issue, of course--the most important issue is to have things to say, and I'm good on that front.  But looking professional can't hurt.


The Mom said...

Yea, friends who rhyme with Catherine and Claire! Thank you for taking care of my daughter. I know I'd have been no help, as I don't like shopping much more than she does. I also have less imagination when it comes to what's going to look good. I'm so glad she has such good friends!

Cassie said...

Brilliant tactics, C's! And great new duds to make you look and feel spiffy. Can't go wrong there. Glad you had a fun and successful shopping outing. :)

Aaron Piepmeier said...

good to see you haven't changed the Piepmeier classic style (blue button-up).

Alison said...

The blue button-up was the ONE item I picked off a rack myself! Isn't that funny?

Erica said...

You look great! Glad to see your wardrobe is coming together :) On an unrelated note, have you seen this? http://downsyndromepregnancy.org/ It is a free e-book for expectant parents -- not exactly useful for you now, but might be relevant for the work you are doing.

Quiche said...

Professional + cuteness quality (: Awesome! Catherine and Claire, you rock as Alison's friends!