It may not surprise you that I am sartorially challenged. From my perspective, I am clothingly oblivious, but still. Clothing is strictly functional as far as I'm concerned. It provides insulation, pockets to hold stuff and keeps private parts private. Everything else is just waste.
I don't understand the reasoning when I hear people say, "Nice Blouse," or "Cute shoes." I rarely hear a complement about my clothing and I wouldn't know how to take it if I did as I put in almost no effort to dress myself. I'm immediately suspicious of people who think I look nice because on most days, I look nothing short of generic. And I don't get clashing. What's wrong with stripes and plaids? The guy has a shirt and pants on. Isn't that enough?
I work in an office with a moderately nice dress code. Jeans and decent shirts seem to rule. Jeans are easy; I have three types: dark blue, faded blue and black. Easy. Shirts are another story. There are two types, as best as I can figure, polo and button-down. We can draw another distinction. I only wear short-sleeve shirts. When I find myself possessing long-sleeve shirts, I take them to a tailor and have them converted to short-sleeve. Otherwise, I might as well throw them out.
Due to wear & tear and the advancement of my waistline, I occasionally find myself in the market for new shirts. I usually shop by cruising the discount racks of Target or Shopko. The last three or four shirts purchased that way, however, turned out to require ironing after every wash. It shouldn't surprise you that I don't like ironing, either. I put my not inconsiderable intellect into solving a problem I didn't quite understand. How to buy new shirts that truly do not require any maintenance?
I started by paying attention to my existing wardrobe. Some shirts could get hung up after the wash with no wrinkles and some always wrinkled. It seems the ones that were 100% cotton wrinkled. OK, no more buying 100% cotton. Next, I noticed that some shirts that didn't wrinkle also didn't get worn very often. A look at the label showed that those were 100% polyester. They're awfully lightweight and feel kind of clingy. No more 100% polyester.
The shirts that worked best were a blend, 60% cotton and 40% poly. I have two shirts of that ilk, purchased on the same day from Kohl's Department Store. It was my first and only trip to Kohl's, and it was about a decade ago. These shirts are sweet. The material is a little heavy, they never wrinkle and have a subtle stripe pattern that matches whichever type of jeans I happen to wear. They're the Kohl's store brand, so I decided to go back to Kohl's to see if lightning would strike twice.
It did. They have a great selection of short-sleeve shirts and they just happened to be having a sale. Yay! Sales! I grabbed eight shirts matching my criteria and marched out with a wallet $178 lighter. $22 per shirt and I don't have to go shirt shopping for another decade? I shoulda bought more.
When I got home, I entered my credit card receipt into Quicken and got curious about when exactly I bought those two wonderful shirts I mentioned before. Yesterday was April 8, 2011. Quicken's search function pulled up the previous transaction, which happened on...
Huh. That's odd.
April 9, 2000. 11 years ago today.
I am, apparently, a creature of habit.