Expanding into a realm of business attire hasn’t really been in my financial plans in the last decade. In fact, I had hoped after University graduation I could wear sweatpants 75% of the time (please note: this is an actual goal taken from Holly Higgins life planning exercise, circa 2004). Unfortunately this goal didn't really match up to: meetings, speaking, presenting, educating and wine-ing and dining people, so I had to forfeit that goal and embrace stiffer clothes I often had previously regarded as "less comfortable" - although likely far more flattering than cut off sweats.

I slowly accumulated dressier clothing. Long working stints of bike touring and marketing athletic clothing prolonged the need for things like: a black business suit, grey skirt, plain white blouses. I am so bored even writing that sentence I had to stifle a yawn. Crystal saved my skin earlier in the year by lending my half her beautiful business wardrobe, and as I slowly accumulated from clothing sales, consignment, and the closet of Hillary I have tried to be mindful to keep 'me' in the clothing as much as possible. Not to be too trendy. Not to be too far removed, either. Find a balance between business and the being me. Inserting the colour orange where possible, things like that.

Liseanne and I were scouring the racks of Purr last week when I came across a plain black button up with white pearly buttons. I tried it on. A little bit funky, a little bit classic. This would work for work... and better yet, I'd actually chose to wear it on my own. I forked over $40 for this deal off the sale rack and we walked back to work for the afternoon.

I am sitting in a meeting yesterday and the lights are being dimmed. A presentation is about to happen, and I sit, a visitor in another department. Twenty odd people. My notebook is out, my pen is poised. I am the model of attentive employee. I go to roll up my sleeves of my beautiful new black shirt and I notice something is wrong with my buttons.

Not just one button, but all of my pearly white buttons are glowing. Not only are they emanating an iridescent light, but inside of the small round buttons is a skull. Also glowing.

I play a brief game with myself. Options. 1. Sit in meeting, pretend not to notice my shirt is glowing. 2. Sit in meeting, make witty comment about buttons, implying I knew they were actually glow-in-the-dark skulls. So very Halloween. 3. Make a beeline to the door, pray to God on the way back to my office I have a sweater or something to cover it up. I look around the room and make a mental note of the people at the table, deciding that being appropriately dressed was going to win out over being that chick that was wearing that shirt.

I am mercifully saved by a black cardigan that is shoved under my desk between two 24 cases of beer, my recycle bin and a pair of sneakers. I offer a THANK YOU to the powers that be as I scurry down the hallway back to my meeting.

I sit back down. Pick up the pen. I am ready to go. My blackberry beeps.


Alexander McQueen does skull nails.