Friday, February 27, 2009

Wardrobe dysfunction

So, yesterday:
  • I got up and changed (#1) into the jeans and sweater I'd been wearing the night before.
  • After breakfast I assessed the road conditions, decided that cycling was an option, and changed (#2) into my cycling gear.
  • I got to work, showered, and changed (#3) into my work clothes.
  • After work, I changed (#4) back into my cycling clothes, and biked to the pool.
  • I changed (#5) into my attractive swimming costume, swimming cap and goggles* combo.
  • After a decent work out and a brief rinse off, I put my wet stuff back in a plastic bag*, changed (#6) back into my bike gear, and rode home.
  • I then had a proper shower and changed (#7) back into jeans and a t-shirt.
  • At bed time I changed (#8) into my sleeping t-shirt.

Changing my clothes eight times in one day seems a little excessive. And it is, even for me; my weekday average is probably five or six times. Other than not showering / sleeping in my cycling gear / changing straight into my cycling gear in the morning (not ideal because I usually have MacTavish and/or at least one kitty on my lap during breakfast, and the lycra is too slippery), I don't think there's any way to improve the situation.

But hey, it's not too annoying, really. Except for when I'm a bit dopey in the morning and don't quite assemble my work outfit properly before stuffing it in my bag. Recent infractions include:
  • Forgetting to take my fleece jacket back to work after washing it (it usually lives on my office chair), and then having the option of wearing either no jacket or a (not very warm) fluorescent orange cycling jacket with attractive reflective strips to the coffee house on a sub-zero winter's day.
  • Only having a black bra to go under a somewhat see-through white shirt.
  • Black pants, brown boots (or vice versa).
  • Brown boots, no socks.
  • Cords and boots combo that made me go "swoosh-click" with every step, making people turn round and stare. Honestly, I have a hard enough time matching my clothes visually, if I have to start matching them acoustically as well, I'm screwed.

Proper grown-ups with normal lives, who get dressed for work at home and then commute by car or transit, don't have these problems. But when my commute will soon transition from views of snowy mountains to warmer rides through tunnels of cherry blossom, I think I can put up with a few infractions and a visit or two from the fashion police.


*Yay! I learned my lesson from last week. Now to keep up the good work.


  1. Or you could just do like the Scandinavians and the Dutch that commute to work by bike: ride in your work clothes!

  2. Ugh, gross and sweaty... Some people do that here, too.

    I'll admit to occasionally riding home in my clothes if I go to the pub after work on a Friday (don't want to change into my bike gear in a pub toilet), but then I wash them the next day.

  3. When I was cycle commuting I had a couple of nasty incidents where I forgot to pack underwear and/or shoes so I started (1) packing my clothes the night before, (2) leaving one or two pairs of shoes at work and (3) leaving a spare set of underwear in my desk at work. Never looked back!

  4. I keep a couple of pairs of "work only" shoes in my locker, but I usually wear my nicer ones, which I need at home, too. I haven't resorted to keeping underwear in my desk though! I don't have my own office and I just know someone would eventually see them!

  5. Not being a bike commuter, I guess my normal change-number when working would be 3 to 4, depending on what I do after work. Maybe 5, sometimes. On non-work days, it could be almost any number. I think we should call it the change number. One could rate one's day that way then. Oh, and does a change of shoes count as a whole change - that could up my number in winter by a huge amount!

  6. Haha - I never had my own office until my current position but you can put your underwear in a small bag (even a ziplock bag) and tuck it into the back of a desk drawer. The strange thing is that once I did that, I never forgot to pack the underwear at home - ever!

  7. SF, shoes don't count, otherwise I'd be in doube digits. On weekends in town I think I'd only be at 2, maybe 3.

    PiT, the bag makes sense!

  8. OK, I am sitting at my desk chuckling as I have this mental image of Cath's boss madly looking through her desk some day when she is away - not meaning anything by it, but trying to find something that MUST be in Cath's desk (grant proposal draft, etc). I am picturing the facial expression when drawer #2 is opened and a bag of panties is discovered. HA HA HA HA HA. Sorry, mate, but you have to admit the potential humor here!

  9. Noooooooooo that's just wrong!


    Anyway, I have a locker. Two, actually.

  10. There are just SO many ways to take this conversation, all of which are amusing me. Best done over a drink, though, and not in writing!

  11. Yes, that kind of mental imagery require much etOH.

  12. Mermaid, Cath: lol (1st time I've used that expression, but really, it's just totally true: panties in baggie in desk!!).

  13. Nosy boss? Not so much... Mermaid once came by my desk while I wasn't there, and my boss came out of his office (right next to my desk) while she was rummaging through all my stuff to find a post-it and pen to leave me a note. He'd never met her before - but just ignored her and let her get on with it! I lock my valuables in my desk now...

  14. I'm not a big fan of dress socks, but you can't wear white socks with dress pants. So I've become a huge fan of black athletic socks ... no one seems to notice I'm cheating on my wardrobe!

    Or at least, they're not saying anything to me about it. Of course, wearing black anklet socks with Dockers is probably getting noticed by someone. *sigh*

  15. Welcome, Thomas!

    I think that sounds like an acceptable solution. As long as there are no white socks with dark pants, or socks of any kind with sandals.

  16. i had a friend once who would use the gym at her office. she lived over an hour from work so she's just shower at work and then go on up to her office after the gym. one time i got a phone call: "crystal! i am wearing a see-thru white sweater and i forgot my bra at home!" my advice was to just leave as quickly as possible. what did she end up doing? applying clear packaging tape all over her chest as to avoid "nippage"

  17. I agree with Lisbeth, as any good Dutch girl would ;) Cycle to work in your work clothes! Of course, I don't recommend this when you have to cycle uphill to work, but I think I gathered from your stories that it is more a downhill thing?
    Or how about having breakfast in your sleeping shirt?

  18. My support scientist works fairly close to work, so they'll bike now and again. While we do have a shower here, they swear by rubbing alcohol. It appears that a quick wipe down will eradicate all odors, allowing one to then dress in work clothes without having to take a shower.

  19. Crystal, how is it possible to be at the gym with no bra?! Even a sports bra would be better than tape...

    Nina, I do indeed cycle mostly downhill to work, but there are some uphill stretches too. There's also the hair issue - my options are as follows:

    1) wash it the night before, have horrible straggly non-curly hair at work the next day.

    2) wash it as soon as I get up, blow dry, turn into puff ball, put helmet on, be at work with combo puffball / helmet hair.

    3) wash it as soon as I get up, don't blow dry, put helmet on wet hair, have awful helmet hair at work.

    4) wash it at work, blow dry, turn into puffball

    5) wash it at work, don't blow dry, have wet hair for the first hour or two, but nice curls the rest of the day.

    I use option 5... and rubbing alcohol would probably not be very good for my hair...


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