Monday, January 17, 2011

Day One of Suiting Up

When I was in the sixth grade, I bought my first J.Crew skirt. It was beautiful- navy with swirly cream designs. It made me feel oh so chic and I liked to practice my French while wearing it.

Fast forward to this past Sunday: I was visiting friends and I mention I need new jeans. I've needed them for a few months, actually, but I hardly go shopping because, well, it's boring. I only go shopping if I need something, like jeans.

Oh, and suits.

For 13 years of my life, I wore uniforms. I went from a jumper to a skort (feminized shorts) to a wool skirt, all different plaids. I lived in monogrammed polos, wore the same sweatshirts with my school's name on it as everyone else, and had brown penny loafers.

I loved wearing my uniform. I didn't get it when people said they wanted to express their individuality- everyone I knew wore their uniform differently. I loved not having to think about what I was going to wear, the biggest problem being the morning search for mostly-clean, unwrinkled clothes.

Then came college, where I learned to dress myself everyday. You laugh, yes, but imagine not having this kind of stress in your life before! It was then that I noticed that most people fell into uniform-like patterns, wearing the same type of clothing every day, even if it wasn't the exact same outfit. I grew rather fond of dresses myself, especially a blue jersey jumper with pockets from the Gap. (Perfect for layering in any weather, especially winter!)

This is why I bought two suits yesterday at J.Crew. One is a medium gray and the other is navy. When I told my friend Goose, he asked who I was, as if wearing a suit changed me as a person. 

But I'm not a full-time journalist anymore. I don't have my daily run-ins with sources, who would be suspicious of me for being too-well dressed. I work in an office now, where I still write articles (currently one on parking exchanges, which have nothing to do with parking lots) but I am also in more situations with clients which means, frankly, how I dress matters.

So, I suit up.

Wearing a suit today has been a strangely liberating experience. I thought I would be much more adverse to it than I am. I am loving it: matching merino wool pants and jacket, ruffly blouse, black penny loafers. You know, the works. As you can tell, my matchy-matchy style has really changed over the years:

Other good things about this past weekend's visit: wine and spaghetti dinners with friends, fro-yo with E at the Red Mango, the best local Irish pub with a live band, Sunday brunch and peppermint moccachinos, and lessons in learning how to tawlk with a Southern drawl.

I said "fer" instead of saying "for" and that was about as far as I advanced. (I already say y'all because of the summers I spent down in SC and Latin.) Have I mentioned how much I love the South? How much I wish I was Southern? I learned this weekend that the only way I can become Southern is to marry a Southern man and move to the South. Not sure how I am going to accomplish this in the Midwest... Ah, tainted by my Northern roots! But I'm going to Georgia in February to visit Vivy, so I'll scheme more then. :)

A few good reads for the day:

"Intellectual combat is bad, and not just bad, ineffective." on Ignatius Insight
--an argument against intellectual apologetics & an excerpt from an interview with Cardinal Dulles on apologetics

"A Congress that Reasserts Its Power" by George Will at The Washington Post
--American exceptionalism, any one? I was always taught there is no such thing...

"In His Weakness, He is Strong: A Review of The King's Speech" by Elijah Davidson on Patheos

"The American family: torn by a culture of rejection" by Carolyn Moynihan on MercatorNet
--I love mentions of the 1965 Moynihan Report

Also, a blog review of The Dilemma that I really like. I saw the movie on Saturday with a few friends and was fairly surprised by it. I wouldn't highly recommend it, but it was definitely thought-provoking. (warning: minor spoilers in review)

Also, I found my mom's pictures from Christmas last night and must share this one with y'all of my sister, our little cousin whom my sister taught to use a camera, and myself.

So cute! Have a happy Monday, y'all! Stay warm.


  1. I still have the first suit I ever bought. It's navy with grey pinstripes and when I put it on I feel finished and confident. I reject any idea that suits are matronly or stuffy--their lines and colors are classic!

  2. I love how both you and Bess almost simultaneously wrote about new purchases in your life. Actually come to think of it, so did Viv with her new Kindle. Maybe that should be my next update. Sorry it's been so long. Exams and life thinking has put the Longtimetraveller on hiatus momentarily. Hopefully he will be back soon.

  3. Yes please, Ben!

    Sarah, I am literally in love with wearing this suit. I feel warm, very feminine and put together. One of the lawyers in Dad's firm asked me if I was trying to outdress them. ;)

  4. Yay welcome to adulthood... Woohoo responsibility!

  5. GO SEE THE KING'S SPEECH! RIGHT NOW! (It's up here at the Neon, FYI. :-)