you never forget your first…

…tank top, that is.

This morning I was rummaging through my dresser for something to wear and came across this green camisole. I’ve had it for a few years, but it’s still comfortable and vibrant. I don’t have documentation of the shirt from today (I didn’t end up wearing it), but to give you an idea, I dug through the depths of my photo archives on the ‘book and found a picture of it. Don’t pay attention to my silly expression, this was from the summer 2007, if I recall correctly. Summer, open fields, getting ready for a kickball game, why wouldn’t I be silly?

Seeing this tank top in my drawer brought back a flood of memories. Which is strange, because it seems like an insignificant purchase, but for some reason it’s really stuck with me: this tank top was the first ever “spaghetti strap tank top” I ever wore. Which meant I had a score of years behind me (literally) in which my tank tops fit much more Puritanical standards.

Story time!

When I was in high school (read: finally old enough to go clothes shopping on my own and making money in which to buy clothes on a semi-regular basis), I still heard my mom’s voice in my head when I stood on line at the cash register even if she wasn’t standing next to me at the time. It wasn’t a bad voice, it was a practical one: How often are you going to wear that? You know you can’t wear that to school, right? You just bought a pair of sunglasses, do you really need another one?

I’m quite like my mother, and I embrace that. I also adhere to “the rules” whenever possible, especially when they’re easy enough to abide by, which resulted in very few of those oh-so-typical clothing arguments that young girls have with their parents. It was nice.

Anyway. In high school, you couldn’t wear tank tops that had straps less than an inch-wide (and yet pants with words splayed across your derriere were fine). And since layering and cardigans weren’t really “in” back in the day, I didn’t think to wear tanks underneath anything else. In addition, since I was working a few days a week and they weren’t acceptable work attire, spaghetti straps just didn’t seem practical for me. And if you’ve learned nothing about me except for one thing, it’s that I like to be practical.

I do remember eventually buying this tank top, which is either a good sign of a good memory, or a sad reflection of the life I lead that causes absolute minutiae to be remembered vividly. But either way, I still remember. I was at the mall in college and I was in H&M buying something else. They had a table set up of these tank tops, and I bought two in different colors. I did still hear my mom in my head telling me that I shouldn’t wear them by themselves, that they were too skimpy, and “dress for the job you want”, etc. But at the very least, I figured they would make a good alternative to the million t-shirts I used for pajamas. So I told my inside-my-head mother not to worry, picked them up off the table, and went to check-out. Four years later, I am a camisole buying champ, I haven’t looked back since. 

Zero to two in five minutes flat! And I do still have both of them, because they’re comfortable and fitted but stretchy and go underneath just about everything. They’ve become part of Halloween costumes, underneath sweaters, my standard “quickly get dressed to run an errand” uniform. So Mom, whether or not they were appropriate for high school or work is another matter altogether, but you can’t deny I’ve gotten my moneys worth!

conference couture (picture of a bear inside!)

I had the opportunity to go to a conference for work this week. I’m not the biggest financial aid superstar in the world (nor do I want to be), but seeing all of those very passionate people rubbed off on me a little bit. I suppose that while sometimes my job seems monotonous and uninspiring, I have to put it in perspective: I’m helping students get through their education, and hopefully to something better later on. Plus I was able to do some networking, and caught up with some folks I had met at my training earlier this year.

Okay, gushing time over. I noticed that a lot of my colleagues had really terrible taste in clothing. I’m sure most of them didn’t care, but I did see at least one fannypack (seriously), and black socks with brown dress shoes. At first I tried chalking it up to the fact that they live “upstate”, but then I realized that was rude of me! There were plenty of well-dressed people from every region, so I took it back and apologized in my head to anyone I may have had fleeting offensive thoughts about.

Yesterday we had some free time (read: I skipped a session my boss said I didn’t have to go to), so I wandered around Turning Stone, the casino/resort we had the conference at. I just drank in all of the fall colors, it made me really miss having autumnal colors here in the city (besides in advertisements in Dunkin Donuts, that is). There were a lot of “I love the city, no I hate it, no I really do like it” moments as I got to spend a few days away from it.

But, on to the point of this post: I also happened to like the outfit I was wearing yesterday, and wanted to share it. My other outfits weren’t blog-worthy, but I was proud of this one. The dress was simple enough, but I loved how the mustard in the sweater looked with my apple-red nails. I’m not sure if you can see that fine detail in this picture, but I think I pulled off “I-didn’t-iron-my-clothes-and-they-were-stuffed-in-a-carry-on-bag” look, yes?

I took a few other pictures that I figured I would share. I’ve only been to a few casinos, but this one was pretty nice. It helped that it was paid for by work (except for money I lost on the tables), and that I had a great hotel room in which to do homework in (yes, I brought homework with me). My boss took a very Mom-like picture of me and my friends at the banquet, which will not be posted here. Partly because I’m sure I’ll never see it, but mostly because it was embarrassing.

See, I told you there would be a bear in here somewhere!