My First Suit: A Journey Into Adulthood...Kinda
Yesterday, after five hours and a mild panic attack, I bought a suit.
I think this makes me an adult. I always dreamed of making my way downtown (walking fast, faces pass…) with an Chanel suit, Louboutin pumps, and D&G tote bag. To me, that was adulthood. Guess what? I was wrong.
In addition to a suit, I got a cold hard dose of reality. And now, I will pass this reality onto you in the form of suit buying tips.
I decided to work my way up. After all, didn’t someone great say a good pair of shoes can change your life? If not, I’m saying it.
Since I am the cliche broke college student, I had to forgo the coveted red soles, but I wasn’t prepared to give up style. I marched myself (okay, I actually drove) to the nearest DSW and headed straight to the sale aisle. And there they were: black, pointed toe, leather stilettos. 80 percent off.
I put those bad boys on and strutted straight out the door to take over the world. Well, thats what I like to imagine happened anyway. Actually, I sent a picture to my business professional expert sister. Her exact response was, “Serena. NO.” Apparently, they were too tall, too skinny and too pointed.
Dose of reality #1: Aim for a low sensible heel that can work with pants or skirts.
I wanted pants, my mom pushed for a skirt. Since she was wielding the credit card, I was inclined to agree. As I walked into the first department store, I was confident that I would try on two, maybe three suits and they would all look fantastic.
Boy, was I wrong.
They all may look the same on the rack, but in the harshly lit dressing room with unforgiving mirrors, each suit highlighted a different flaw. In one, my legs looked stumpy, in another I had man shoulders. And to add insult to injury, I came to find out, suits run small.
Dose #2: Size up. I ended up going two sizes above my usual, just so I could sit comfortably.
Finally, at the sixth store, just as I was about to give up hope and go to my interview in leggings, I saw two promising options. One was a stylish blue with subtle polkadots; the other a grey tweed with a high waisted skirt. To the fitting room I went, mom and sister in tow. I chose the grey. It was maybe a little more conservative than I would like, but it would do.
Dose #3: Nothing is perfect. At least not on my budget. The Chanel I dreamed of was nowhere in sight and I’m sure if I was three inches taller and ten pounds lighter, everything would have fit much better. But we all need to manage our expectations.
All that was left was the shirt. I thought this would be the fun part. I would find a shirt to perfectly convey my personality and bring everything together. It was fun, for the most part. At store number seven, I found three options (all on sale!). Once again, I headed to the fitting room. The first option’s buttons pulled at my chest; it was vetoed. But with the second one came dose of reality #4.
Dose #4: Just because you are buying grown up clothes, doesn’t mean you don’t need your mom.
The shirt was a little too tight, so it was also vetoed. When I went to take it off, I got stuck. I couldn’t move my arms enough to lift it over my head. Hello, panic. Nice to see you, again.
Luckily, my mom was right outside the door. I beckoned her in and with one look at my helpless face and, God bless her, she did everything she could to hold in her laughter. I am almost 21 years old, the proud owner of a suit, and I still need my mom to help me get dressed. Thankfully, shirt number three was a winner. I didn’t think I could stand being confined to another dressing room.
Today, I put on my suit and shoes and stood looking in the mirror. Looking back at me was an adult. Not the designer wearing, espresso drinking adult I imagined, but she would do…for now.
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