I remember when I moved to New York and had to get my first suit. However, what resulted wasn’t actually a suit, per se (I was eating a diet of canned corn and rice and sleeping on a pile of my own clothing at the time, if that gives you any idea of my living situation). I’d never really spent more than $40 on any piece of clothing in my life and swathed myself in all the ratty sweaters, torn jeans and worn-in boots that came in abundance from Iowa’s healthy crop of thrift stores. This suit thing was a big deal: I was convinced that all of my lofty aspirations for life in New York would come from acquiring some super-shouldered power suit. (And it had to be new. I thought that my closet full of used, “quirky” clothes just wouldn’t cut the cheese.) In the end I acquired cheap separates from H&M and looked like a poor woman’s parody of 9 to 5, weeping into my innumerable gin and tonics after endless days answering phones as a nameless temp in Midtown.
However, I soon exited my stint on New York’s version of The Office for greener, more creative, pastures. In fact, all of the jobs I loved resulted from being my (slightly ratty) self. Wearing oversize tiger sweaters and a turban was a deal maker, not a deal breaker! Having the option to wear whatever I’d like to work is a privilege of which I never tire. In fact, I should take advantage of it more often. Palazzo pants and a tube top? Why the hell not!
One thing I can say: now that I don’t have to wear pencil skirts and heels…I’m kind of all about it. (Dressing like Nancy Drew is just more fun when you’re not working in a sea of Old Navy-casual separates.) Even more so, the thought of being an arch, bemused 1930s diva in a slightly androgynous suit makes me shiver in anticipation. Garbo? Dietrich? My hands are sweating!
Givenchy’s pre-fall 2010 collection is just the kind of formal stiffness I crave (love the boxiness of the jackets and the knee-highs). Now all I need is a formal event. You get your top hat and I’ll fetch my accent and walking stick. Let’s hit the Waldorf Astoria for cocktails.