My "Little Black Dress" (Heads up, it's not your LBD.)
Every woman has that signature piece in her wardrobe, maybe it's an LBD (Little Black Dress), a pair of red pumps, that blouse that hits her curves in just the right places, an infinity scarf, skinny jeans that show off her Beyoncé butt, or a boyfriend T that looks way better on her than it ever did on him. No matter what the piece may be, it's her go to when she wants to look amazing and confident and comfortable in her own skin.
I, too, have a signature piece in my wardrobe. Now, if you don't know my style, let me break it down for you. First, I have to talk about my non-professional attire, which consists of two looks: day aka workout clothes and night aka pajamas. If I'm not working, I'm working out and when I'm done working out I'm still wearing work out clothes. And no, I don't mean that I go home and shower and put on the latest Kate Hudson brand outfit and Nike sneaks meant for coolness and not exercise. I mean, I work out in the morning and then I never change. I wear those stinky running tights and sports bra all day long. All of my weekend shirts are race shirts. My feet hurt after running, so I do switch shoes. I wear Tevas. Seriously; my last pair just ripped apart from over use. At some point in the late afternoon, I've had enough of smelling like dried sweat so I bathe and then switch into my evening uniform: all fleece. Only on the hottest of days do I deviate from over sized fleece PJ's, a performance race shirt and some sort of sweater, usually fleece. Oh, and always fleece socks. (Did I tell you that, when it starts to get cold, I like to pair my Tevas with fleece socks?) Underwear is never an option with either of my ensembles, sunshine or stars.
Now that you know about my signature weekend wardrobe pieces, let's talk business. So, 99.99% of my professional clothing comes from a second hand store or from someone else's wardrobe. Lucky for me, we have some awesome consignment shops locally and I have friends with really good style. I call my work style business eclectic. I throw in something slightly fun, like a very bright color or mismatched prints. Except, not like what you see recommended in vogue. Somehow it looks a little more Pippy Longstocking. I love striped and argyle socks, my favorite shoes are green Dansko clogs and I love to pair them with wide leg corduroy pants. A former colleague called this my 1990's Mount Holyoke Look. (To which I always replied, "You can take the woman out of Mount Holyoke but you can't take the Mount Holyoke out of the woman.")Now here is where we get to my real signature wardrobe piece. Along with the socks, the cords, and the clogs, I have a type of top I like to wear and that top is a....
Before you start LOL'ing at me take a look at this http://famouspeopleinturtlenecks.tumblr.com/ where you will see that all sorts of people, like the weird guy on Criminal Minds, Snoop Dogg, and Ron Burgundy, also love sporting turtlenecks. And, I chose those folks specifically. Not Lorde and Jessica Beil, Taylor Swift or Kate Moss who look smokin' hot in their turtlenecks. When I wear a turtleneck I look like Ron Burgundy. But I feel like Steve Jobs. When I wear a good old cotton neck hugger, I feel like I am a visionary and entrepreneur who is on the verge of changing the world. I feel safe and warm and comfortable. It's like wearing a blankie on my neck all day long. It's like drinking a good cup of coffee or taking a nap in the sunshine. Mmmm, turtleneck.
Turtlenecks have always been a part of my wardrobe, as is documented in my eighth grade photo where I donned a gold turtleneck with what appears to be mom jeans. Interestingly, a love of sporting a skivvy (international turtleneck term which does not mean panties) runs in the family. My brother, Jared, wore a matching gold mock turtleneck that year in his junior portrait and my dad, Frank, has a rainbow of turtlenecks in his closet. (I should mention that I also have several fleece "weekend" turtlenecks and several running turtlenecks.)
I recently took a selfie while wearing one of my work turtlenecks. I was trying to capture the coolness of my hair but I was totally caught off guard by how weird I looked. I sent it to a friend to see if I was reading the situation correctly. I asked why I looked like I was headed to Bingo and she wrote back a very short command, "Stop wearing turtlenecks." I get it. Turtlenecks, besides being totally uncool, hide the sexiest part of a woman's body, her clavicle. It's true. Studies (you know, from tumblr) show that men find the clavicle to be the sexiest part of a woman. So, even if I wore a turtleneck with no pants, I would still not be sexy. Honestly, that would just be scary. There's a reason why Jennifer Beals in Flashdance is the hottest woman ever. See for yourself. https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/83/06/67/830667e7de45dcc28faf10ddfa03b660.jpg.
I know my friend is right but I can't help myself. This morning, as I dressed for work, I choose a cute, black and white pencil skirt, an off-white sweater and...then I stood there, debating. Should I pick a black button up? The sweater would be so itchy around my neck! Or a nice cowl neck sweater, which seemed like a reasonable compromise but then my neck would be so chilly. I took a deep breathe and pulled a gray turtleneck from the shelf, slipped in on and tucked in it! Yep, I tuck the turtleneck! I felt great all day, from start to finish. I didn't create the latest apple product nor did I find the un sub because of my photographic memory and pure genius, but my neck was warm and not itchy and I had no goals to find tonight's date, at work, through showing off my sexy clavicle.
Then, after a long day's work, I got home, took off my turtleneck and put on...you guessed it, a nice fleece turtleneck. Can't beat that BFT (Big Fleece Turtleneck. Sweet signature piece. Sweet dreams to me.