I went thrift shopping the other day to beef up my ‘professional attire’ collection. Most of what I own already wouldn’t make the ‘business professional’ cut (by a long, long stretch, unless ironic Titanic t-shirts with sludgy orange silkscreens of Leonardo DiCaprio are suddenly the rage with all walks of working professionals), so I figured it was time to get my ass in gear. The job interviews were getting more frequent, and there was only so many times I could wear the same two ‘classy’ outfits without somebody noticing something—wrinkles? Sweat? A nasty stale smell? Crusty deodorant? Yesterday’s lunch? Sooner or later, something about those recycled outfits was bound to give me away.
So... I hopped on my bike and proceeded to comb through the selections at my local Women in Need store. Given that I tend to get a bit carried away in thrift stores at the best of times, and given that I haven’t brought in a decent income of any sorts since… oh… around December 2005, I set myself a pretty strict budget, and I made a silent pledge that I would only look at things that met the following criteria:
- The ‘business professional’ criterion: Could I wear the item to work or to an interview and come across as put together/decent/conservative/safe enough? If not, no deal.
- The ‘it matches something I already own’ criterion: Do I already have something to wear with the top or bottom? If yes, then great; if not, I’d either have to purchase a coordinating item as well or put the item down. Back away from that random top!
- The ‘no drycleaning’ criterion: I don’t care if it’s the swankiest item in the whole store! Machine. Wash. Only.
With those rules in place, I immediately laid my eyes on my first purchase:
So yeah, it might be a tad too small, and it probably needs to be drycleaned, and I doubt I could pull the look off at my next job interview, but at least I already own pink or white socks to match. I still maintain some standards, after all!