Uncategorized | August 24, 2004

Last Friday, Evelyn brought her eight-year-old daughter Phoebe to work for the afternoon. I’d heard from her mother that she loves clothes. I asked her if she’d assembled her first day back-to-school outfit yet. She told me she was still thinking about it. She admitted that last year in the second grade she had made a few fashion mistakes and it wasn’t going to happen again. I laughed as she told me clothes were pretty important in grade school. “It’s horrible when you mess up.”

I knew what she meant. As a college instructor, I can feel my class’s disproval when my outfits are off. I teach at Stephens, one of the few women’s colleges left in the country. It has a thriving fashion program. My students are not averse to telling me when I get it wrong and the few times I get it right. They really worked me over last year for wearing straight-leg jeans instead of bootcut.

Sunday night, my husband passed by the door of my at-home office, stopped, and laughed. I was trying on outfits for the first day of class. After three possibilities, I decided to keep it basic—black linen trousers and a well-coordinated white linen top.

All was well, until I got caught in an unexpected downpour. I stood in front of my second class with wet hair, blotched makeup, and damp clinging linen. Thankfully, tomorrow is another day and another chance for the perfect outfit.