Fashion inertia

It was drawn to my attention recently that journalists don’t know how to dress. Young women sometimes enter the field knowing how to dress, but within five years, they’ve lost their style.

I certainly was a lot more stylish when I was a newspaper reporter than I am now. In fact, I was overdressed for most of the first year I worked for a newspaper in Northwest Washington. Inevitably, I’d be wearing the wrong shoes, or a skirt, on the day I had to chase down a wayward whale. Or pick daffodils.

When I worked in the state capital, I rarely wore jeans, because you never knew when you might have to cover an event with the governor in attendance. I remember the exact outfit I wore when I first met the governor. Knee-length black skirt, sheer blue-green top over a tank top. You know what I was wearing when I saw the governor two months ago? Khakis, a T-shirt and hiking shoes.

In my defense, it was an outdoor event on a summer day, but many other people in attendance seemed to think it was a skirt/suit and tie affair. (The governor, as I recall, was wearing a button-down shirt and white pants, so not overly formal.)

Is my lack of style a result of being a journalist for 10 years…or is it the result of working as a journalist for an outdoorsy operation in the Pacific Northwest? I went to a work-related funeral last month and was one of maybe five women wearing a black skirt. I would have fit in fine in my khakis, T-shirt and hiking shoes.

The unfortunate side effect of never wearing anything other than jeans, khakis, T-shirt, sweatshirt or fleece is that I am not current on cute outfits for going to a nice dinner or a concert (or a funeral). At this time, I do not have any “nice pants” that fit. I have a few dresses, but they don’t look quite right with the “special shoes” I have to wear for my broken foot.