Would someone please design a line of Garanimals for adults who work from home? Do you remember Garranimals—a line of children's clothing created by Sears which featured tags with animals on them? If you matched tags with the same animal on top as bottom, then you would be stylin'. A monkey tag top was certain to coordinate with a monkey tag pant, a lion top with lion bottoms, you get the gist....
Last night I attended a fundraiser as a guest of one of my clients. This was an evening event held at the Hanover Theatre, so attendees had to dress appropriately. I was very happy to get the invite because the event was for a good cause and I respect and enjoy working my clients, so I knew the evening would be enjoyable. I was accompanying a customer that I knew would make the evening pure fun.
Fun until the question arrises...WHAT DO I WEAR?
My home office wardrobe is pretty basic. In the summer it's my son's left-over college search road-trip t-shirt collection and shorts. In the fall, it's the same t-shirt collection with a navy blue v-neck sweater and jeans. In the winter, it's the multi-season t-shirt collection, with the navy v-neck sweater, jeans and a fleece vest that I bought from Old Navy for eight bucks - also navy. In the spring, the ensemble is the same, the layering might be more or less depending on the temperature.
Each day, returning from walking my dog in the early morning as I unlock the door to my office, I watch with envy as neighbors to my right and left depart for their work days looking like they stepped out of an Ann Taylor catalog. They both have color coordinated, up-to-date outfits, fashionable shoes and even accessories! I'm up and out pretty early with the dog - so my "look " is kind of "just-got-out-of-bed- suburban". (J-GOBS for short)
I own three suits: two for winter, one for spring/summer, but even those are looking dated (maybe because I've had them through two presidential elections).
As a home office graphic designer, I probably get out to see clients three or four times a week, so I can get away with repeating the same suits - because I usually don't have to see the same customer twice in the same week. After seeing all the fashionably dressed business women last night, I've come to the conclusion that the suits must be replaced.
I make my living designing logos, brochures, packaging, print ads, store fronts and websites from my spacious home office. I can coordinate the color of the walls in my home, furnishings, and even color coordinate meals, but when I shop for business clothing all sense of design is completely lost.
Spending time trying on clothes requires copious amounts of effort, so I buy whatever the mannequin is wearing at the store I'm in at the time. I figure that if the store designer thought an outfit was stylish enough to put it on a mannequin than it would probably work for me, too. With great excitement, I bring my purchases home, daydreaming about how I'm going to "wow" my customers when they see me in my new power outfit.
After I try the outfit on at home, it hits me that I'm 5' 3" and if I remember correctly the mannequin was about 6' with legs as long as my entire body. As I look at my reflection in the mirror, I find out at home that a hot pink blazer might not look the same on me as it did on my plastic friend. And why are there six inches of extra fabric on the hem of my new pants? That damn mannequin looked so trendy and confident under the lights at Macy's. Most times, I don't have enough time to return to the store to exchange the outfit, so I just wear my new purchase anyway. This has to stop!
Last night, there were women at the fundraiser that knew what they were doing when they stepped out - they're used to looking great because they have to dress for the office every day. They wore great suits and separates and looked really put together...
So, if anyone knows of a line of clothing for this short, middle-aged home office graphic designer, please let me know. Otherwise, I'm just going to buy more updated versions of my plain old gray, navy and beige suits. If you know of a clothing line that has tags to help me pick tops and bottoms, even better!