May 4, 2007

looking good ain't cheap

I am off next week to some very interesting meetings about corporate community involvement. The centerpiece of my trip is a conference put on by the US Chamber's Business Civic Leadership Center. Should be very interesting. But I also have some other meetings set up with some pretty senior government and corporate leaders involved in solving problems in communities across the country.

So we figured my 10-year-old suit wasn't going to cut it, and we headed out to The Men's Wearhouse with one little credit card and a lot of angst.

Several hundred dollars later, I have what amounts to a whole new professional wardrobe. But if I'd gone to Macy's, I'd have paid twice as much. And if I'd gone to Nordstrom, I'd have paid twice as much for half the stuff. And Orlando, the store manager who helped me, was terrific. At no time did I feel entirely foolish for my lack of style and my outdated clothes, and he set me up with some flexible mix-n-match that will cover my entire trip and be useful for what I hope will be the next ten years.

Now I just have to get me a job that requires me to dress up more.

Side note: I feel really bad for the receptionists of the world who work in professional settings. They typically get paid the least in the office yet they have to wear expensive clothes and deal with The Public. How anyone could be a single mom receptionist is beyond me. Especially in a high priced area like the Bay Area.

Writing update: Nothing to report.


Lily said...

The receptionists and other low paid office workers/single mom types shop the clearance racks at Ross and other super discounters...their clothes look nice from a distance, cost next to nothing and can last a couple years if they are careful. For a couple hundred bucks a girl with a good eye can get 10 outfits (shoes extra). I know this, of course, because I have been there.

writtenwyrdd said...

In downtown SF, within 3 blocks of Market, you can find numerous discount clothes shops. I cruised them all when I worked in SF. (Sutter Street Station vicinity, mostly.) When I was a "suit" I used to love shopping--too much, actually. :)

And Men's Wearhouse is the bomb. My ex used to get all his clothes there, and he was a CPA who had to wear suits every day.