I walked into work on Monday morning wearing a shin-length straight skirt from H&M and a plain white muscle tee from Zara with gladiator sandals by Isabel Marant. In theory, the outfit was cool. I should have looked like a cross between a not-girl-not-yet-woman who rides her bike to pop-up shops on Sundays and fills her basket with fresh organic fruit to distribute as she sees fit. The skirt, yellow and embellished was kind of Burberry-ish and the tank was unassuming enough that its style could never be co-opted even if the skirt’s could.
The shoes complimented the ankle-grazer in the same way that a fax machine compliments white fish, which is to say they had nothing in common save for the fact that a handful of Jews use both.
A quick but determined glance into a full-length mirror before I left for work confirmed that it was not just theory that called this outfit cool.
The reflection did not lie.
Until, that is, I discovered with the help of a shop window bouncing at me a similar though not parallel reflection, that it did.
The skirt was all wrong. It wasn’t low cut enough, or high waist enough and that affected the tee. The beads on the skirt kept kicking me. The ankle straps on the gladiator sandals weren’t as proportionate as they should have been and by 9:30AM, I wanted to go back to start and demand a re-do. I wouldn’t, though, because I was already seated at my desk and it would have been dramatic to turn around now. So I got to thinking: what do you do when you hate what you’re wearing but are stuck with it.
Here’s what I’ve come up with:
1. Go to the nearest private mirror and fuck with your hair. Joog-it-up. If you’re sporting a comb-over, turn it into a middle part. If it’s up, put it down. If it’s down, pig tail that shit.
2. Depending on what you’re wearing and whether there are layers, you should think about detaching A from B. Meaning: if you’re wearing a jean jacket and a t-shirt, take the jean jacket and place it around your waist to look like a Bowery kid or around your shoulders to look like
Amelia Diamond a Stepford Wife. If you’re wearing pants, cuff them. If they’re already cuffed, uncuff them. Are they kind of big on you? Role the waist line up one time and call it Margiela.
3. Lipstick. I know, I know, I said I don’t wear makeup. But that’s only because I like to like how I feel. And sometimes, to like how I feel is to apply a red lip, which seems to say, yes, Susan Sarandon, I am a working woman. (This was a Step Mom reference in case that isn’t clear).
4. Have a scarf? Tie it around your waist and call it a dramatic sache.
5. Do you keep any sartorially inclined accoutrements in or under your desk? You should.
And if all else fails, you can always cut off your own arms or legs to detract attention from the outfit and go home early with plausible reason! How do you combat the stuck-with-a-shitty-outfit blues? -Leandra Medine