Monday, May 11, 2009

how many outfits?

One irritation of being a female geologist is the sheer amount of clothing you have to buy, at no small expense.

I've bitched here and here about the cost/difficulty of finding field clothing for small females. It's not insignificant, considering you really do need enough clothing for 2 weeks of fieldwork in any weather conditions.

Then, you may spend long stretches in the office, so you need full office attire (not easy to find for a short, slightly-built female, as I complained about here).

After a couple years, I'd finally found all the clothing I needed: raingear that fit and kept me dry, cold weather gear, breathable bras for when it's a million degrees out, acceptable button-down shirts, etc. Then I went to grad school.

I am not a particularly vain person. However, my field clothing is strictly that - for field use only. It is utterly logo-free, indestructable, militantly sexless, and chosen without any regard for how it looks (other than being clean and non form-fitting), because just finding stuff that fits is nigh-impossible. When I'm not at work, I like to wear stuff that's comfortable, not utterly out of style, and that I actually enjoy wearing.

By the time I'd gotten to grad school, my non-work wardrobe had seriously atrophied. I was wearing one beloved pair of pants, a backup pair of jeans I didn't like very much, and a couple favorite shirts on the weekends, and that was about all I had. But in grad school, I wore non-work clothing every day. So I got a third wardrobe.

The problem with all this stuff is that I didn't have room for it in grad school, and I had to drag it all over creation until I finally settled in this new, non-grad school area and by the time I was ready to contemplate wearing field and office clothing again, my ass had grown and I needed all new stuff anyhow. Grrr.

1 comment:

Silver Fox said...

I always seem to pack far more items of clothing when working or going to meetings (or anywhere!) than most other people - I hate having the wrong clothes for changing weather (and for unknown conditions). And I have several stacks of different sizes and kinds of jeans/pants in the closet -every now and then, I have to retry everything on and resort. Some should probably be pitched by now!