Having grown up with Office Space and all manner of modern eschewing tradition, I struggle with my own stance on dressing up for work (“dress for the job you want!”) or being comfortable. I do meet clients about once a week, and attend meetings where I represent my firm…but most days I am buddy-buddy with my Herman Miller office chair and double-monitor computer, in the office, away from light and the critical public.
ERGO, I usually spend most of my disposable clothing income on stuff that I wear on the weekends. Jeans, loafers and sneakers, tees and polos. Vests. I have a running bi-monthly trip to Brooks Brothers where I get Extra Slim Fit dress shirts (that happily skirt the line between uncomfortable tight and breezy belly-disguising) for work, and I buy Lands End khakis for those times I need to look the part…like a young engineer. Otherwise, I try to spend as little on workwear as possible.
Lately I have found that my favorite “office lounge” uniform is jeans and a Lululemon polo. Not exactly groundbreaking, but here is the exciting bit: Their tops fit like a dream, are about the same price as a Lacoste polo (sometimes cheaper if on sale or at the outlet), and feel 100x higher quality. Why? Because instead of constructing them of pique cotton, which shrinks, pills, and loses color vibrancy, Lululemon makes theirs out of polyester, spandex, nylon, and other synthetic fabrics…fabrics that clearly, from experience, are far more durable than pique cotton.
I have 3 polos so far…all purchased at the outlet for CHEAP! Well…$49. Cheap by Lululemon and Alex English standards. I have a black one (wearing as I write), which has a pleasant thicker feel and a smooth, sleek sheen to the surface. I have a “peppermint” one, which if you can imagine, is actually quite appropriately called “peppermint” – it’s comprised of horizontal light green and white micro-stripes, giving it an ethereal green glow. And last – I have a gray one that is more like brushed stainless steel. That one is a little looser than the first two, and a bit lighter. They are all great to wear, though, and have so far survived plenty of washes without deteriorating like my Lacoste Silver Croc one did. Never again.
If you haven’t ever checked out Lululemon…you should. It’s a yogawear company with a dedicated yogi following, but if you ask me, they’re cutting themselves off at the downward dog by only marketing to the yoga community. Their clothes are great for anything. I wear them everywhere!