Feminism · Yoga

Hurricanes, Office Fashion and the Crazy Professor in the Women’s Studies Department

You can take the yoga teacher out of the yoga room, but…

Fashion Kitteh hates Yoga slobs….

For the past 5 or so years my daily wardrobe has consisted of yoga pants, organic tees and cozy wraps. When I started working full time again I definitely needed to make some shifts to my wardrobe.  You just can’t get away with yoga pants and wraps in the office, well maybe on Friday, but certainly not daily.  When I left my corporate pharma job, I vowed to never wear panty hose again.  Attire at the University is business casual for the most part, suits on meeting days, jeans on Fridays.  And yea, I have poured myself into panty hose more times in the past 3 months than I had in the past 6 years. The adjustment was brutal.

The curse of hurricane Sandy left me with a little blessing in disguise. It blessed me with a new wardrobe.

On the first night of the storm, portions of our roof blew off. We sustained water damage in nearly every room.  Other than the soggy carpets, the first thing I noticed was our office.  All of my yoga training binders and half of my yoga library were ruined. The piles of shoes not so neatly stacked in the corner, water logged.  Without power, we escaped to Vermont for 3 days of comfort. Upon our return, we began cleaning and taking inventory of the damaged items. That’s when I noticed the smell.  That musty-not-so-fresh-there-is-mold-growing-somewhere-smell.  My nose directed me straight to my closet. I opened the doors and found 75% of my clothes on the hangers damp and stinky. Leather boots, furry Uggs, a wardrobe of Lululemon, my favorite (still haven’t replaced them) jeans, a few suits and all the professional clothing I had begrudgingly put together for my new job.

Moldy. Stinky.

Stuffed in trash bags and sent to the dumpster. Gone.

Thankfully, Hubby is the more practical one in our relationship, so we were covered by insurance.

The thought of replacing a wardrobe was daunting to me.  I hate Jersey malls. [who the hell puts on make up and heels to go to the mall anyway? So rude!]  I haven’t been a big shopper since college where I successfully racked up over $5000 in debt to Victoria Secret, Urban Outfitters and Tower Records.  It took me years to pull my credit out of the Newbury Street gutter, and while I flirt with it often, I never want to climb back in. These days I spend my money on books, online programming (health, business, coaching, cooking), workshops,  kitchen tools and every so often, some new yoga junk.  I am not used to shopping for whole wardrobes that aren’t black and in a good organic + spandex blend.

The answer to my shopping woes was pretty simple….online.  Saved by the internets yet again! Thank you, Al Gore!

Etsy. Overstock. Bluefly.  +  45 mintues at the Jersey Shore outlets.  I successfully pieced together a new, professional-I-work-9-5-again wardrobe.   My shopping spree even included 4 new suits and dear God I hate suits!  I thought I did a pretty good job.  Then my perfectly pleasant, perfectly coiffed, always in the perfect pants suit co-worker commented…

“you always look so pretty…and flowy”

Fashion kiss of death.

Flowy…is most definitely a yogic adjective, not a corporate, I mean business one.

And then today, the IP Program Coordinator said, “I love your sweater. Damn, you have the wrap market cornered!” My only response was…I like to be cozy.  I think I should have consulted my Jersey-born, LBI raised niece. She would have forced me to stop being a yoga slob. Maybe the moral of the story is that I am meant to get my Ph.D. I can become that crazy professor with long silver hair, flowy skirts and obnoxious, chunky jewelry hand made from some tribe in Africa.  I will teach EcoFeminist Activism and go on tirades about how the patriarchy has violently caused a separation from nature. The 18 year old undergrads will talk about the crazy hippie, tree hugger  in the Women’s Studies department that does yoga in her office.

I will still wear a bra though.

Or I could ditch this whole corporate thing (again) and go back to teaching yoga. 🙂

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