Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Bonfire of the Business Casual by Gail Roughton



I've never been a clothes horse. I don't even like to shop. I mean, how many blouses or dresses can you flip through on the racks before they all run together and look alike? And slacks? Don't get me started. Maybe all black pants aren't created equal but after flipping through five or six of them, let alone ten, they sure seem to be. At least to me. Consequently, I frequently leave a store empty-handed after spending hours of careful consideration on what goes with what and what would work with what's already in my closet. Bleh. 


But praise the Lord and pass the biscuits, that's not something I'll have to worry about too much in the future 'cause I'm no longer a working woman. At least, not in the get up and go to the office sense of the word.  I'm retired.  I know everybody's getting tired of hearing that and I apologize but it's something I worked and waited for for so long I just can't stop myself. And one of the greatest fringe benefits of that is not getting up and sorting through the dreaded business casuals of my closet so as to walk out the door looking both semi-professional and feeling comfortable. 'Cause I tell you what, pants suits and business suits in general, not to mention dresses, let alone heels and I parted company a long time ago.  Nowadays, because spring has sprung down South,  it's jeans and tee shirts and Nikes. Soon to be shorts and tees and sandals, 'cause full summer's peaking its head over the horizon. When fall and winter approach, it'll be jeans and sweatpants, flannel shirts and sweatshirts. 

I actually considered burning the business casuals that I've worn ad nauseum for the past several years. And a couple of pieces probably need it, 'cause they've been worn to death.  Still, the practical side of me spoke up and reminded that occasionally I'd probably still need to dress "appropriately", so I restrained myself from building an actual bonfire and settled for an imaginary bonfire.  Good thing, too, because yesterday I ventured out of the country and drove myself into the big city to meet "my" girls for lunch.  (I think that's maybe the third time I've actually driven in the last three weeks and the other two times were just up the road and still inside the city limits of little ol' J'ville.) Even then, I didn't go full-blown business casual, I paired white jeans with a nice top and "real" shoes. And you know what? I actually enjoyed being semi-dressed up again. It's really nice every now and then, even if it's something I'll never miss on an everyday basis.  That thought made me more sympathetic toward one of my heroines, Tess Ames of Vanished. Talk about a culture shock. I mean, there she was, an up and coming career business woman on the fast track, all decked out in her power suits. A dense fog in the Bermuda Triangle, a plane crash, a different world. Literally. Talk about a bonfire of the business casual...



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