12 January 2012

Dress-up for grown-ups

Tomorrow is a huge day: I start my new teaching job at a local university. I’ve been preparing for weeks, you guys. Hours on end, already. Honestly, I’m a bit nervous about this whole Dr. P business. So in addition to reading and preparing my lectures, I’ve also been distracting myself with the more fun parts of preparation. Which is how this scene transpired over the holiday break:

Sarah: [disappears into master-closet-dressing-room, shuffles around, makes clicking sounds]
Mr. P: [notices Sarah has been in the closet for, like, an hour you guys]
Mr. P: [knocks on door] What are you doing in there?
Sarah: Uhhhh....
Mr. P: [opens door, finds sweaters and pants everywhere with camera nearby]
Sarah: Playing dress-up?
Mr: P: Oh, ok. [walks away as if that’s not totally weird]

Annnnd that is why I am glad I married a man with two younger sisters.

But yeah, I was playing dress-up. See, I was basically a student from age five to twenty-eight. It’s true that graduate school is sort of a job in itself, and if you count my illustrious careers as city park staff, piano teacher, and university computer center student worker, I’ve had real jobs. But this is a reeeeeal job. Unlike my previous jobs, I can’t wear a hoodie and jeans every day. And I needed to see if I could stretch my existing wardrobe into a more professional one. A professorial one.

So I used what I had and mixed and matched and came up with one of the most embarrassing things I feel like I’ve shown you, almost as bad as the moldy shower.


Yes, I totally made that for myself to look at while getting dresses for class. Crazy? Yes. Fairly obsessive-compulsive? Yes. Fun? Yes.

My goal was to see what I liked to wear and “worked’, and what I ultimately decided looked stupid. It also helped me figure out what needs to be cleaned out of my closet. Trying on everything I might possibly wear at once show me what is versatile, what I should keep, and what items of clothing really can’t work and never will and should be purged.

Then I got a few more new sweaters and scarves for Christmas, which was freaking awesome, so I had to create a few more outfits. The blue cardigan in particular feels especially professorial, probably because the sister-in-law that gave it to me is, in fact, a professor.


Also there is no need to tell me that I look like I belong on the equestrian course in the last photo. Mr. P beat you to it. But those are my new boots and they look freaking awesome with jeans and I don’t think I can wear jeans to teach but I am going to make my new boots work.

Anyway, you may notice a running theme among all those photos: pants. That’s for two reasons. First, most of the class is during wintry months (class ends in April, believe it or not). But also, when I tried on skirts, I didn’t feel like the responsible and knowledgeable instructor; instead, I thought I looked like... well, like a college kid. Good to know how to age myself down, but that’s not helpful here. So for the most part, I think I’ll stick to pants, though I did find a few things that might work when it gets warmer.


So as ridiculous as it felt to play dress-up and take photos, it really did help me figure out what to wear and what to purge. I know many women only wear a small percentage of the clothes in their closet, and I think this helps me avoid that. Now, if only I can be as organized with my students as I’m trying to be with my closet...

4 comments:

Rachel C said...

I LOVE your new boots! I am jealous because I don't have any. :-(

Sarah said...

Thank you, I love them too! It took me a while to find ones I liked at a price I also liked. I found these on clearance at Marshall's so they were a bit marked, but hey, 70% off retail. Plus, I threw them on to run errands one day, right over the leggings and fuzzy socks I was wearing around the house. I have never felt so sophisticated in my pajamas in public ;)

Tina said...

"You is kind, you is smart, you is important."
You is going to do great.;-)
I love you!

Shanna said...

I loved the dress-up show! Everything you have goes together so well!!! If you only fit into my clothes, I'd let you go through my closet and do a photo set-up for me, then I wouldn't have to wonder what to wear some days..... :)