The office

I am ashamed to say since I began working from home, my closet has become my office. I seem to spend more time in there than I ever did before trying to create acceptable outfits to wear. My former 'go to' wardrobe of jackets or cardigans, slacks or skirts, and belts and scarfs hang way in the back now, like outtakes on the editor's floor. Only dress down Friday attire remains of my former news reporter self, though even this collection is so sprinkled with exercise clothes, t-shirts and oversized sweaters it's not just my eggs that are scrambled each morning.

My brain has especially struggled to put anything at all on my body what with the blazing hot weather we've been having. Jeans or pants are obviously way too warm and wearing shorts at my age feels weird except for when I'm walking the dog or gardening. So I alternate between a handful of tops and the two pairs of capris and two summer skirts that I own. Unfortunately for me, the one piece of fashion advice I've always followed is to delete garments that haven't been worn in one or two seasons. Since I am naturally adept at editing, and haven't been home much during the day over the past decade of summers, I have very little left in my closet from which to chose even though I keep looking.



Of course it wouldn't be so difficult if there were air conditioning in the house. Neither my husband nor I knew just how warm it could become inside since we were away at work. And even now that I know, and I sweat all day long in my unpresentable shorts and t-shirts, he fails to comprehend the severity of the situation. It's as if he's forcing me to go to air conditioned malls and shop for all of those clothes I need to replace. It's either that or stay home in the cool basement with only intermittent wifi, the TV and a good book. The latter gets pretty stifling at times.

Figuring out fashion from trends, let alone what's appropriate for the weather, has me so confused at this age that I find myself awake in the middle of the night in my closet arranging everything according to color and occasion. Mostly I'm down to certain shades for certain seasons, like red, dark green and black in winter; blue, light green and gray for spring; pink, white and beige in the summer; and yellow, orange and brown in the fall. Thank goodness boots are appropriate in all but the summer season in upstate New York, at which time flip flops and sandals suffice.

I do this midnight organizing in an attempt to make dressing easier and because the malls are too far away from where I live anyway. Every now and then I hit gold with a forgotten jacket or blouse discovered way back on a shelf. I quickly grab it in hopes of accessorizing or updating a look and I then go back to bed feeling satisfied.

But the truth is I'm growing tired of all of the decision-making and would like someone else to do it for me. Recently, I was fortunate to have my sister in town to help me decide what to pack for a short trip. Everyone dresses better with advice and encouragement - thus all of the fashion magazines and blogs out there - and I've missed having my sisters and my college-aged daughter around to help me out. I've embarrassed myself often either underdressing or overdressing for events, even though the old fashioned etiquette books say you can never over do it.

My mantra has been if you can't dress up for weddings and funerals, when can you? On the premise of honoring love and memorializing life, I relish the chance to wear the few good dresses, heels and special jewelry I own. Besides, I don't go to the opera and highly doubt I'll be attending red carpet events nor visiting the queen any time soon. Nonetheless, I've found myself inappropriately attired compared to women my age who are wearing sun dresses and slacks to weddings, for example, and orange and blue to funerals, not just black.

I love my jeans and loungewear like everybody else, but this 20-something generation's dress down, saggy, bleached and torn up temperament has me yearning for a day in the future when we all wear sensible clothing. It would solve my sleepless nights for one and make public places more presentable and positive looking for us all. I've read that fabrics of the future may be woven with smart fibers that automatically heat or cool and even change color and shape according to the wearer's whim. Now that would be cool, not to mention save me a lot time in my new quasi office.

Besides, there's no wifi in there either.

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