Monday, November 16, 2015

In the mood to set up my office: which chair should I buy?

So I'm trying to decide between two chairs to put at my desk.  We recently added a desktop that my parents owned but didn't use (thanks Mom & Dad!), and I need a chair that have variable height, and that provides arm support.  The whole typing with my elbows hanging out in mid-air gives me a migraine.

The benefit of office chairs (as opposed to pretty chairs) is that they often give you variable height and arm support, but they don't often have adjustable arm support.  I had good chairs at my last few jobs that allowed me to change up the arm support height depending on whether I was typing or writing by hand.  I found this chair on Amazon for $75.

Pro: adjustable arm support, adjustable height, good price.
Con: ugly as hell.  Screams "office."

Our "office" is actually a little corner of our library, which is light and airy and lovely.  The last thing I want in that room is an ugly, black office chair.

However, I will buy an ugly black office chair if I have to.  But what are my other options?

This little number is super cute, a great color, has arms, and is height-adjustable, but the arms aren't adjustable.

I've also seen hacks where people have spray painted the base gold.

Lovely, right?  The gold makes it look like a much higher end chair.  The problem is, of course, that while it has arm rests, the arm rests aren't adjustable and may not be the right height for me.  Also, it's $200, which is more than double the Amazon chair.

Again, pro: arms, con: the arms are not adjustable.  So, it would depend on whether the arms are the right height for me.  I love the shape of this chair, it's so 1960s, which would go well with our library.  I also love that it's faux leather, which means it won't collect cat hair the way fabric does, interweaving it into the weft of the fabric to create a new, cat-based textile.  I could also do the same thing as the chair above, and paint the base gold.  The con, aside from the fact that it might not fit my body right, is that it's $150 - twice what the Amazon chair costs.  On the other hand, it's at least 10,000 times cuter than the Amazon chair.  That's worth something, right?

So, now I get to go to Ikea!  If the white chair works with my body, then I think I'll get it.  If not, then I'll have no other choice than to go the ugly route.  All things equal, which chair do you prefer?

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Not in the mood to be in a fashion conundrum

So I have a little riddle for you.  What should a thirty-five year old woman who has recently quit her (awful) job and who is now experiencing the much longed-for experience of being a housewife and homemaker wear during the day that is both practical to her activities, appropriate for being out in the world, and also not make her feel like a hideous monster?  Take into consideration that she lives in central Florida during an El Nino year, and it's mid-80s in November.

I guess the biggest reveal there is not the weather, it's warm this autumn, but the fact that I quit my job!  Woooooo!  

But the real issue is that it's hot as hell and I have no idea what to wear.  But it's not merely the weather that's causing this conundrum, it's also the fact that I'm no longer required to dress in office-appropriate clothing.  I've accumulated a lot of business and business-casual clothes since I graduated law school and realized I had only casual/ school-friendly clothing and no office-appropriate clothing.  Apparently I go in cycles.  What I need is a nice blend of business clothing and casual clothing.  

I think the real reason for the lack of blend is that lawyers have to dress much more conservatively than other office workers.  We have to go to court, and that means we have to wear suits.  I've never worn suits every day, but my office clothes are almost suit-level of conservativeness.  Even on casual Friday, it's only a few degrees less conservative than a suit.  This means that there's really very little overlap between my "work" clothes and my "casual" clothes.  Further confusing the mix is the difference between casual day and casual night clothes, and the fact that the weather is so damnably hot here in Tampa, and it almost seems as if I need four different wardrobes.  I mean, that wouldn't be the greatest tragedy in the world, but it's a bit wasteful, especially since I'm not bringing in an income.  Also, I've found that having a lot of clothing doesn't really help the "I have nothing to wear" problem.

So, let's break it down by need!

  1. Office clothes, for when I go to court and/or go back to work.  I have this pretty well covered.  I have suits and blazers and dresses and heels aplenty.  Of course, if I end up being unemployed for long and/or having kids, who knows whether these office clothes will be appropriate (or even fit) once I do go back to work.  But that's a problem for another day.  For now, I'm fine.  I shall buy no more office clothes!
  2. Casual day clothes.  Now this can be broken down into two categories:
    1. Housewiffery clothes, for when I'm working in and around the house, doing my housewife thing, cleaning, gardening, etc.  Currently, this category of clothing is essentially my gym clothes and my grungy gardening clothes - you know, old and not in great shape + exercise shoes.  It's not a good look.
    2. Clothes appropriate for leaving the house.  You know, clothes that don't make me feel like a monster.
  3. Casual evening clothes, for seeing friends, going on dates, etc.  Ordinarily I'd wear a pair of skinny jeans, a top, and some heels, but you know what?  IT'S TOO HOT FOR JEANS.  In November.  At night.
So it looks like I need to focus on 2.1 and 2.2, with a slight nod to 3.

I think I also need to do my hair and makeup, if not daily, at least a few times a week so that I feel more human. 

Naturally when trying to figure out pretty much anything, I turned to Pinterest.  But when I searched "cute casual outfits for summer," what did I get?  ALL JEANS.  Also, even though it's as hot as summer (November 17-18 are slated to have highs of 89 degrees.  It's going to be in the 80s on Thanksgiving.), it still gets dark early like Fall, and it seems depressing and just wrong to wear summery colors and clothes.  I mean, I could spend the day at the beach, but I don't want to look like it.  Fall is for darker colors, and layers, and textures.  How can I get that sense of fall in 85+ degree weather?  I guess I can do the colors of fall, but the lightweight fabrics and cuts of summer.  I bought this figgy dress, and if the weather complies, I can wear it with tights.  I can wear shorts, so long as they're more restrained than the wild, too-hot-to-care hedonism of summer.  I've been wearing my birkenstocks lately, which are dark leather and have a late summer quality to them.  I think that dresses and shorts should be my go-tos.  I just need some sleeveless tops to round out the wardrobe.

Now that we've solved that little problem, here's the bigger question: how does one dress for a day spent cleaning out closets and garages and gardening, yet not look like a grungy slub?  That is a hard nut to crack.  Pinterest is of no help, as it's nothing but hot bodies in leggings and sports bras.  I need something that's easy to move around in, has pockets for my iPhone (podcasts get me through the day thank you very much), isn't too precious because I spend a lot of time cleaning, and is comfortable and (at least somewhat) flattering (or at least isn't unflattering).  I think that might be too much to ask.

Anyone have any favorite exercise clothes?  Are exercise clothes the answer?  I'm getting mighty tired of wearing the same thing every day.  Help me!