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A drycleaner is like a doctor except hopefully you see the drycleaner more often than you see the doctor. The intimacy comes from a fact we rarely acknowledge: that your drycleaner works with the clothes that you have worn on your body & brought to him or her soiled, stained, & wrinkled. It always feels funny to me to hand over my clothes in this state--
why should anyone other than a relative have to turn my clothes right side out, treat stains, or press my clothes?
Much like a doctor, you may prefer a drycleaner of the same sex so that you won't feel as embarrassed about your personal things. But typically drycleaners are men, it seems to me.
Drycleaners are indeed part miracle-workers with their skills at getting out difficult stains.
I sometimes wonder if drycleaners go into the business because they like clothes & fashion. Some are very well dressed, & most wear very clean and pressed clothing even if their outfits are casual workwear.
Many drycleaners are family-owned & operated. The big chains are often elitist, & I'd be hard pressed (ha!:) to understand why they're more expensive.
I've worked several jobs in the service industry in my life, the most memorable as a custodian at a university. I cleaned the student center & the chapel. In the chapel I would pick up tissues from the floor after a wedding or a funeral, throw away left-over flowers, & vacuum. The student center was a bit more frightening with every kind of mess. I would also empty trash cans in offices; here, I was granted access into individuals' personal space, & I noticed the photos on their desks, the art on their walls, & sometimes what they threw away.
We can ignore the intimate nature of our relationships with those who help care for our things, or we can acknowledge it with graciousness & friendship. I visited the drycleaner in our old neighborhood about once a week, & over time, Tony & I became friends. He's pursuing a business degree, & we'd often talk about his classes. He recently got married (see link to his wedding story below). He works in the drycleaner with his aunt & uncle. I miss him now that we've moved.
I think some of these are pretty cute, do you?
Color pocket tees...
I've been obsessed with burgundy with blue for some time (see post here) & have been amazed how many new outfits I've come up with thanks to this surprising color combination.
3 from Boden
Here are my latest outfits assembled with this color combo...
Just a minor variation--a decade-old blue-gray shirt from Target with the same H&M skirt, cabernet tights
Very cheap J. C.. Penny Joe Fresh skirt (around $2.97 in store), old wine/aubergine-colored GAP cardigan, new sleeveless thin white shirt from Abercrombie & Fitch to wear underneath, navy tights
Super old Boden merino sweater, same thin sleeveless Abercrombie shirt, old Banana Republic cord skirt, heather brown tights
Got any burgundy & blue? Have you tried wearing these colors together?
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Do you love/hate/lovehate Disney? I've been there (shocking!), but I had such a hard time finding a t-shirt there that I liked. After I left, I wished I'd bought one of the ones with Mickey's big yellow shoes--so cute!
Who's got an upcoming trip to Disney planned? Can I come?
A spotty post --based loosely on the book Oh My Oh My Oh Dinosaurs by Sandra Boynton
and spots muted from J. CREW.
People spotted in an elevator.
Someone in spots looking right at YOU to say GOODBYE because we're through.
If you're like me, you're already starting to panic about spring, the hardest season to dress for. Now I know why the stores start promoting the next season so early--so it won't take you by surprise when you wake up one morning, & it's 70 degrees out, & you need something fresh & bright. As soon as we cross the hump of January, it seems we lighten up & turn away from fall & winter browns.
The shirts below are from unlikely places. You may worry that they are teenibopper shirts, but my theory is that the teens are not ordering many of these shirts, which is why they're on sale. I've ordered these basic, grown-up style shirts from these stores, & I'm always amazed that even the sizing is normal, not small. The best part is the low prices.
I'm hoping a few of these will have me well prepared for spring, & I can wear them as a light layer under sweaters in the meantime. I love their tiny collars!
Pretty & sheer blouses (you'll need a cami underneath)
Easy sleeveless underneath a sweater--no bulk in the arms
Just a nice shirt
Black but whisper thin
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Whew! It was truly a challenge to find a new combination for work every day this past week. I was almost late each day! I nearly gave up mid-week, & my photographer (age 8) began to rebel against documenting the process.
The Challenge: Every day pair things I've never worn together, so I'm not wearing the same ole same ole.
The Rules are very liberal. Any change--from adding a scarf to wearing a different top, different tights, different shoes, even just different earrings--constitutes changing the outfit.
Suggestion: One thing that helped me with the challenge was putting clothes that I'm on the fence about into clear bins, stacked in the closet. I dug into the bins a couple times during this process to find an older, barely worn, unworn, or unpopular item, & I could also see more clearly what I did love in my closet without so much hanging there.
The Usual (& Unusual) Suspects
New, improved (?) outfits...
The shirt is from Old Navy & is at least a decade old. The Banana Republic sweater is about 5 years old & was on the chopping block. I like this outfit better than the Usual Suspect above :-)
I've owned the studded cardigan (Old Navy) for about 5 years but could never find a way to wear it. I'm pretty happy with how it looks with the new skirt, & I'm glad to wear it at last!
I love blue with burgundy, so I gave the floral shirt a try underneath my go-to crewneck even though the skirt has a damask pattern.
The shirt is from Target & about a decade old. The wrap cardigan is Boden & at least 5 years old. I almost always replace a cloth belt that comes with a wrap sweater with a leather belt--looks less like a bathrobe that way.
The dress is sort of plain, but I think replacing the cloth belt with the yellow belt (Fossil) helps.
The dress is 100% silk & very comfortable.
What I learned:
I had to dig deep into the recesses of my closet & into bins of clothes I haven't worn in years to find new combinations.
I learned that clothes don't go out of fashion as quickly as we think. Most of my new combos are drawn from shirts 5-10 years old, but I think I was able to assemble modern outfits from them. Classic button-downs & basic sweaters are always in style. It's ideal to pair & vary something new with something old to keep from looking outdated.
I came out of this Challenge with at least twice as many outfit options than I'd had before.
Did anyone take on the Challenge with me? How'd it go? Anyone ready to try it now?
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Do you remember the first clothing purchase you made just for yourself? Do you remember the first outfit you bought for a job interview?
Will you tell me about your first clothing purchase or about a purchase that served as a rite of passage for you?
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