The other day, I grabbed my suit jacket off the coat rack to head off to some lawyer-like thing, and my coworker, who was standing in the doorway, said, "Uh, your dress has a hole in the back."
I pulled my skirt around, and there it was: the back seam had started to come apart. Just a little, but enough that I handed her the information for my afternoon lawyerly situation because I could not possibly stand in front of a group of people with a hole in the back seam of my dress.
Instead, I put my workout pants on under my dress and went shopping.
Because I had to, you see. I couldn't remain in the dress with the steadily-growing hole in the back. It looked odd with capri yoga pants underneath. And I didn't want to put on my tank top and yoga pants at work.
Shopping was basically a requirement. I was forced to shop. Circumstances forced me into shopping.
Okay, look: I bought a dress off the clearance rack at the G@P. It's not like I went crazy. They let me wear it out of the store - I leaned over and the clerk cut the tag out of the neck while the dress was on my body - and I managed to resist that other cute blazer there and the dress and blazer at @nn T@ylor. I was practically practical.
Then I went next door to the not-my-favorite tea place that I did not know had a branch in the mall, and I got tea, and the woman working there told me that she loved my dress, first thing, before anything else, and we talked about dresses and how she has trouble wearing them over her 8 month pregnant belly because they get too short in front, but then the line built up and she had to actually work.
I used to never be able to shop for clothes on my own. There was the third culture kid thing and the nerd kid thing. I didn't trust myself.
But then someone said to me today, "I was so glad when you and [colleague] started coming around, because I thought, "Finally! Other girls who care about looking nice!"
Oh, Gone West, you casual town. I love you, but I refuse to dress like you. Not anymore. Not since I have found my own style.
Now I face the dilemma of what to do with the $12.99 at goodwill dress that split up the back seam. It's a cute dress, if only a cheap knit from t@rget that probably cost less to buy in the first place than I paid at goodwill. But all the seams are coming apart. My roommate has a sewing machine, but there is no predicting when I'll get to it.
I am going to sew my own dresses some day, but I may need to live closer to my mom before I risk it.