OA: Samantha Stiles Column October 10, 2008

Wardrobe issues the cure for tough times

I’ve been in a rut lately.

A clothing rut.

Silly, I know, considering the state of the economy, but I’m trying to carry on and these are the things I worry about in trying times.

Why have all of my pants shrunk, and why, when I try to replace them, are all pant legs so wide, narrow, elastic, long, short, flared and expensive, etc. this season?

Ridiculous and frustrating.

I’m caught in an unusual predicament that I think most 20–somethings or 30–somethings reach at some point, all of us recent college grads thrust into full-time jobs.

There was an episode of “Project Runway” about this recently.

No longer am I a Junior, but am I pantsuits and scarves from the women’s department?

I’m in limbo between Hollister and Herberger’s.

Well, I don’t do rhinestones or embroidery on my pant pockets, but I also don’t do pleats or elastic waistbands.

On my budget, I have to buy tops and bottoms that transition not only from day to night, but weekday to weekend and season to season.

As I stand in various dressing rooms knowing that my options for pants are limited, I try to convince myself that, yes, these pants look OK.

They’ll do. I mean, I’m a newspaper reporter. Mostly, just my co-workers have to look at me.

But that’s a lie. I do leave the newsroom cave, and work clothes have become the majority of my wardrobe. I might as well like them.

So I’ve wound up with a closet full of work clothes I just sort of like, but mostly feel awkward and outdated.

I’m something straight out of a Dolly Parton song.

And when did it happen, the time when work clothes outnumbered play clothes? I own more pencil skirts than jeans. I never thought the day would come.

I’m in the midst of a clothing crisis in a town with limited shopping options.

No Banana Republic outlet, Express, J Crew, Limited or real Gap.

What happened to my wardrobe?

In high school, I was nominated for best dressed at senior prom. (Embarrassing, I know. But still ...) At one point in time, I put a little more effort into being fashion forward.

Now, each morning as I decide what to wear, more often than not I find myself slipping on the least wrinkled pants and a solid color top. I’ll layer with a necklace and find a comfortable pair of shoes.

Some days I’ll mix it up by wearing an uncomfortable pair of shoes.

I’m a candidate-in-waiting for “What Not to Wear” or “Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style.”

At any moment Stacy London and Clinton Kelly will come bursting into my home and yell at me for the baggy suits in my closet and the sweaters my family buys me for Christmas.

But ultimately, I’d get a free makeover out of it.

Since I’m on the subject of fashion, New York Moon Boutique & Salon is having a fashion show Rockin’ the Runway on Friday, Oct. 17, in front of the Wells Fargo Bank at Fourth and Main streets.

The show starts at 7 p.m. with live music by Charles King. Tickets cost $25 with proceeds benefitting the St. Mary’s Cancer Foundation.



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