All I wanted was a simple, professional looking shirt to wear for my 15-minute presentation at Botany on Monday. I did manage to find a shirt that will work. However, I also came away with shocking insight into my ideas of what looks "professional," "sciency" and "serious".
Beware: major ranting ahead.
I went to Motherhood Maternity to find The Shirt. Yes, Motherhood makes cheaply-assembled crappy clothes and is overpriced. It's also pretty much the only option in Logan for anything beyond maternity t-shirts and jeans. So I sucked it up and went in there. Overbearing, overeager salesperson aside, it was not terrible. But the three rounds of trying on shirts in the dressing room, coupled with excessive scrutiny on my part, made the task really suck.
Things that I realized I didn't like about the shirt options:
- Ribbons or bows. These are inherently feminine, and thus not "professional" or "serious" enough for what I needed. Yes, I recognize this is a bullshit assumption. I know I could pull off a cute skirt with a little bow on it and still look professional. But if you lived in my head you would understand that girly does not equal serious, so ribbons are out.
- Puffy sleeves. These are both too feminine and too matronly. I have never ever ever liked puffy sleeves and am not about to start now.
- That damn elastic between the boobs and the belly that's supposed to make me look more shapely and cute? Annoying as hell. It rides up in the back, causing a Quasimodo poof between my shoulder blades while emphasizing that the shirt was really cut for someone a little more well endowed than myself. Screw that. Oh, and if you put a ribbon ON TOP of this annoying elastic? Double no from me.
- Pleating that shows off the belly. Yes, I'm pregnant. Yes, I'm happy to be pregnant. No, I don't want my shirt screaming "LOOK AT MY FERTILE WOMB" from 50 yards away.
- Ditto on the boob pleating. I'm trying to look "professional" and "serious," which apparently in my brain means that I must look as androgynous or close to male as possible. Males do not have boobs. Therefore shirts that draw attention to my boobs are out.
I don't know where I'm going with this. I am totally fed up with myself for thinking like this, but glad that I recognize that I'm thinking like this. Where do I start with the reprogramming? How do I make it okay for myself to wear something feminine and cute AND think I still look professional. And why does it matter what anyone else thinks about what I'm wearing? Shouldn't they be paying more attention to the information I'm trying to share with them?
I was going to suggest the alternative of a professional conference in the nude, but... ummm... no. That opens up a whole nother can of worms, and I'm not ready to go there either.