Sunday, August 1, 2010

What makes you happy?

I like to say in my other life I was a teacher.  In this life I am now a retail manager/wannabe fashionista.  I'm not sure why I feel the need to distinguish what I am because really I am many, many things to every person who knows me.  Plus, I'm still a teacher at work every single time one of my associates or clients learn something new.  I may not be planning lessons or grading papers or having parent/teacher conferences, but I am studying the latest trends and making them approachable for clients of any age, coaching my associates to be the best they can, and dealing with client service issues sometimes too.  Over the past two years I have sometimes struggled with whether or not retail is where I want to live and for the moment realized I do and that it isn't so cray for me to spend my day playing dress up.  My mom and dad both love to tell stories about how as soon as I was old enough to dress myself I would change clothes several times a day.  The first question I ask myself when I wake up is "what am I going to wear today?"  If it is an important event like a night out, a meeting with someone, or even a style event at work I can't think about anything else related to the event until I answer the "what am I going to wear question."

My style is slowly evolving over the past two years or so.  I am constantly working to dress my age.  I think women can find themselves struggling at certain ages to look age appropriate.  Specifically, women in their early to mid 20's who are just starting careers and want to look professional, but not stuffy or like they are still in high school and then women in their mid 40's to 50's that still want to be fashionable, but not look like they are dressing like their daughters.  I get to help these women find something to suit their age and life.  It is so much fun.  I had a client yesterday that was so excited when she came into our store.  She was a first grade teacher and probably approaching 40.  It was her first time in our store and after trying on two tops she said to me "I thought this store was just for young people, but you really carry things I can wear too."  I told her that was my favorite thing about our store, we dress women of all ages.  She browsed around and found a few other things to try on and I would go and give my opinion on the fit.  While she was trying things on she told me "I am having so much fun!"  Fantastic!  That is what we want-our clients to have fun.  You know what?  I had fun too because she was so excited about finding two tops she loved to start this school year.  Our last client of the day was a mom who had been searching for pants that fit.  She said she had no butt anymore and pants would just sag on her.  She started off with the wrong style and I said I really think you need to try this other style.  She jumped up and down when she put them on and said finally pants that fit!  She was sooooo excited.  I was excited for her. It was a great way to end the day...

I started my day by answering the ultimate question "what am I going to wear today?"  I purchased a skirt two weeks ago that I absolutely love.  I don't usually wear skirts at work, mostly because they don't usually fit me well or look flattering.  I LOVE this skirt.  It even has horizontal stripes and I bought it anyway, secretly wondering if the husband was going to say he hated it.  (For the record, he likes it too although that could be because it is a little shorter than most skirts/dresses I wear.)  I was inspired by the way our mannequin was dressed to add a little color to my outfit.  I typically wear the skirt with a black tank, black cardigan, and my black slingback heels (that I can wear approx 4 hrs before I need to put on my black wedge sandals with a slightly lower heel).  Yesterday I wore my skirt with a purple petal tee from last season, a jean jacket, and the bootie shoes that are so in style.  Facebook friends: the risk was wearing the bootie shoes with my skirt.  I hadn't worn the shoes with anything other than pants and I'm still not totally confident in wearing them with skirts, but everyone loved it yesterday (other than the husband) so I guess it worked.  Dee, the store manager, and I had been pulling outfits on Friday for our DM to come try on and Dee said one trend she hadn't been able to talk herself into was the bootie shoes.  I agreed that I just couldn't do it, BUT that got me thinking...I have some of the bootie shoes, why not try it?  So I did.  See... (Please excuse the pic quality b/c these were taken at the very end of the night and I was really very tired and apparently crooked.)

I also talked myself into purchasing a pair of Converse tennis shoes when I went to TJMaxx on Friday.  I had a Friday night free and so I met the husband in Trussville and we wandered the Borders, TJMaxx, Target, and Bed Bath and Beyond to name a few.  I found the perfect pair of Converse and they were a great price $24.99.  They made me happy.
I was anxious to wear them so I decided to wear them in to work.  If I didn't have to go to work then I think this is the outfit I would have worn instead.  Unfortunately, Converse tennis shoes are not appropriate work attire.
I can't wait to think up new outfits to wear with the Converse.  I do that you know.  Find something I love and create outfits around the new piece.  I don't know if it is the fun color or the fact that they are so comfy, but I instantly feel happy when I put the shoes on.  I may have to be careful not to wear out the happy in them.