Friday, February 22, 2013

Suited Up

It was cold Thursday. Really cold. An approaching storm front, currently dumping buckets of snow throughout the Midwest, was steadily approaching the eastern seaboard, shoving ahead of it icy winds which made the mid-20s temperature feel like the mid-teens, according to the news. Ouch.

To ward off such intense chill, I pulled on my most comfortable "travel" slacks, vintage trousers I bought at JCPenney in the 1970s when I worked for the retailer in my twenties. Layered over long underwear from R.E.I., I added a cute new sweater from Boston Proper featuring a glittery snowflake of sequins and beads across the yoke and a rhinestone-studded pull on the half zipper. Over that I added a vintage black blazer by Gantos, a tiny formalwear boutique that was a favorite haunt of mine as a young adult in northern California. Alas, Gantos no longer exists, but it’s not for lack of wishing they did. I loved that store!

Over thermal hose and ski socks I pulled on a pair of decades-old, almond-toed platform booties by Cami for, and added twisty silver-wire earrings that were a birthday gift from my cousin Ruedi in Wyoming last fall. To keep my ears from freezing, I donned an ancient black fleece headband from Purgatory Ski Resort in Durango, Colorado, and added insulated driving gloves by Isotoner to warm my hands. With a thick black scarf wrapped around my neck as a final barrier against the wintry weather, I struck out on my long commute by car and subway from Baltimore County to the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. for a day of research.

I swear I get more compliments when I wear black than any other color, which seems odd to me, not that I’m complaining. The security guard at the Congressional Library told me I looked like I was on my way to a "fashion shoot".  Others made favorable comments about my snowflake sweater. Their remarks warmed me considerably, despite the day’s arctic temperature.

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