Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Chronically under-dressed

I have a friend who confessed once to the blog-o-sphere that she's chronically under-dressed. I remember reading that blog, admiring her wit, and moving on with my life.

However, now that I'm making a foray into the semi-professional world of education, where BYU-I and high school requirements request that I dress more professionally, I'm realizing that I might be chronically under-dressed as well.

I never really thought of this, although in retrospect, Sundays should have given me a clue. I spend every Sunday looking at my closet and trying to figure out what to wear...not necessarily because I'm very picky, but because I just don't own a lot of non-casual things.

Once jeans and t-shirts were out of the picture, I discovered that apparently that's what I've been wearing for the last few years. Without my standard jeans and Harry Potter/band t-shirts, I found that I have approximately 7 outfits to wear to school. I guess I could get more creative with the mixing and matching, but frankly, I AM picky.

I mean, 7 outfits is a decent amount, but when you consider the 5-day school week, that means that after about a week and a half, I have cycle through again. And as much as I would like to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe, our two-digit spending amount per week doesn't really permit it.

Which makes the Rexburg Clothing Swap one of the best ideas I've ever had.

(Okay, it wasn't JUST my idea. But I pushed for it to happen.) A friend owns a clothing boutique in town, and she offered to host the event. We made flyers telling people to bring their old clothes tagged at garage sale price, and that night, we spent the evening haggling, trading, and buying. Everyone gets a new wardrobe, and no one has to spend a lot of money. 

My wardrobe is now rounded out with the addition of 7 shirts, 2 pairs of pants, 2 skirts, 3 sweaters, and 1 blazer. The total cost? A little under $20. A third world solution to a first world problem.

Seriously, people. Organize a clothing swap. Our leftover clothing items were donated to the local Family Crisis Center. So we all got new clothes, saved money, reduced waste, reduced consumerism, donated to a good cause, and enjoyed one another's company. 

Oh, and I also got this awesome green crushed velvet beaded skirt that someone said "looked like something a drama teacher would wear." I looked up, replied, "Man, I haven't worn something like that since the last time I organized a Ren Faire," and handed over a dollar. I'm gonna wear it to school this week.


  1. I remember coming up against the same problem when I started student teaching. And I don't, unless I absolutely have to, wear skirts. Ever. So I had to go buy a lot of pairs of dress pants. Blah.

    That clothing swap idea sounds fantastic! I'll have to see if I can't get something like that going down here in Phoenix.

    On a side note, I know you can't discuss your students on here (and I'm glad you're smart about that), but have you ever said WHERE you're student teaching? I'm so curious cause I student taught around those parts too and I'm wondering where you are...

  2. I use to have the opposite problem and over dress everywhere. I did it to feel more confident about myself, which worked, but now that I'm a mom I think I've fallen into frumpytown. I miss dressing up. It made me feel ALIVE. Gosh , I sound ridiculous. I'm so sick today, you have no idea. Just need to get off the internet and sleep.

  3. Don't move to New York. You'll always feel that way. It did teach me a good lesson though. If you dress well, you'll never feel out of place.

    I agree with Jules. It makes you feel more confident.

    It's a strange transition and granted, except for teaching, I've only had jobs where jeans were standard attire. But even trying a little bit gives you a better feeling about yourself. Like you're not ready to go to bed at any moment.

  4. Clothes in our modern life represent 50% or maybe more of the total judgmental equation people apply when they meet/see you especially in the professional life, so it never hurts to get a beautiful and confident look no matter the price, and what you did is very clever, i enjoy reading your blog a lot^^

  5. Solidarity, sister. Also, let's see the goods.

  6. May I PLEASE see a picture of the day you wore your new green skirt? You can text me a cell phone picture if you don't want to post it on the WWW...I'm just a superficial outfit blogger who wants to see it!

  7. Clothing swaps are amazing. Also amazing is having a sister 22 months my senior who I can share clothes with... even though we are 100 km apart.