Tuesday, January 24, 2012

what we wear

It's like the wrap around a gift.  It's often the first impression.  It's our clothing.  Sometimes, our clothing is the only clue to our personalites.   It can build up or, likewise, destroy our image.  Like it or not, others relate to us through what we wear and the way we wear it.

This is certainly important in our professional lives.  Tips abound for what to wear to job interviews, company parties, "casual Fridays". 

My first job was working in a hotel restaurant in southern Colorado.  Most of our business came from tourism, and my restaurant cohorts and I ran around in our denim skirts, western shirts, - and yes - bandanas tied around our necks.  Our nametags were little metal sherrif badges.  Oh, the abuse. 

I guess when people come to Colorado, they want to see people dressed like "cow people" even if they're in a hotel.  On a side note, I have never actually tipped a cow, but I have tried and failed.  That is for an altogether different post, however...

Despite my failure as a cow tipper, I did collect many a tip at that restaurant job, and I don't doubt that a good percentage of those tips were inspired by my "cowgirl" uniform.

I've been a hotel desk clerk, wearing a dark blazer, dark skirt, and white blouse.  I've been a quality control inspector, wearing a white lab coat.  As an engineer, I usually wore a skirt, casual top, and sensible shoes.  Now, as a tutor, slacks (no jeans) or skirt and the casual top usually do it.

But crossing guard - now there's where clothing is of utmost importance.  First, I have to be seen, hence the orange vest.  Next, I must present an air of dominion over the traffic while always presenting an aura of calm nurturing and safety for the little ones.  Lastly, I must take into account the effect of the elements in any given weather conditions.  All of this taxes me greatly.  I've probably spent whole minutes planning my crossing guard clothing plan.

Today was windy blustery cloudy.  And I had just the ensemble.  Warm yet visible, comfy yet functional, sheltering yet flexible.  i.e. Wolfgang's heather grey track hoodie.  (Don't tell him, he wouldn't like it.  Hopefully he doesn't read this).

As I put on my final preparations before heading out into the zone, Chaco sized me up.

"Hmm.  You look like... The Unabomber".

I was going for convenience-store-thief-caught-on-surveillance-cam, but I guess Unabomber is an equally flattering statement.


  1. Kids have a way of speaking the very thoughts that cross their minds without filtering them first.

    At least we can laugh at their honesty!

  2. And sometimes, they are surprisingly dead on! You kinda do look like the unibomber. lol I'm just impressed he knew who the unibomber was - my kids would probably have compared me to a video game or Simpson's character. Cute post. :)

  3. I'd like to hear more about the cow tipping episode.

    And clothes do make the person. We all dress for an impact and you have certainly earned your stripes with the rounds of different uniform attire. Chaco hit close to the mark, but not quite. Need more hair and bigger glasses. Still, it is an impressive sight for a crossing guard. Woe be to the kid who crosses without your approval.

  4. Yes, tourists will want to see cowgirls, just as they expect to see the Guards at Buckingham Palace.

    If I was a crossing guard I would see if I could add a bazooka to my kit, just to make sure they stop...

    And I also want to hear about cow tipping, as opposed to cow-girl tipping :-)

  5. I think the popularity of hip hop has made hoodies acceptable. So many people in suburbia wear them.
    I will worry if you post about an urge to live in a wilderness cabin and implement a strategy to return the country to a pre-industrialized condition.
    Good post! :-)

  6. Oh gads, what a shame that young people even have to know about such things as Unibomber. You probably looked pretty cool to the kids that you helped cross the street.