My (work) Week of Oiselle
After my week of pure bliss with so many fierce women at the Olympic Trials, I wanted to return to my work world feeling equally empowered and ready to take on the challenges ahead. While the work that I do is very rewarding, it can also feel defeating and discouraging; sometimes the problems we all face, as humans, are overwhelming.
My work environment is very, shall we say, conservative? Not only am I held to very specific dress code regulations, thanks to daily contact with hospital patients, but I am also often called upon to participate in meetings with administrators and am expected to display some modicum of professionalism. The fact that I don't wear an actual suit to work is my only act of rebellion.
Since I have at my disposal a rather large collection of Oiselle apparel, I decided that I would challenge myself to create outfits each day of the week that incorporate some item of Oiselle...an item that can be seen on the outside, not underwear. One of my sister heroes (maybe Lauren Fleshman? Help me out!) once discussed her thoughts on the idea that what we wear can have a direct relationship to how we feel about ourselves; we "suit" up, like superheroes, with our armor for the day or for a race, and it can bring us power.
I am certainly no fashion plate; my conservative environment and the nature of my work take all the fun out of fashion and I'm no good at it, anyway. I can barely cook food without a recipe, so you can imagine what my outfits look like; I'm still hoping for an adult version of Garanimals. This little "project" did force me to think outside of my usual "uniform" and I hope to continue. Here are the details on some of my choices, as well as my thoughts on the items I chose.
Day 1: Gwen tank - The Gwen tank is no longer available; nevertheless, it is sublimely soft and perfect for work wear thanks to its delicious Lux fabric. My suggestion? Buy a Winona tank; thankfully, Sally Bergesen (master of Oiselle) finally tired of hearing us whine and brought it back. It's made of the same fabric, but I enjoy the fit more than I do that of the Gwen tank. I wore this under a black cardigan and over a long black skirt. Since I'm currently living in a "heat dome" (it's really a thing), wearing a wicking top under a work-appropriate layer is going to be my summer strategy from now on.
Day 2: Kimono short sleeve tee - The moment I first saw this beautiful piece of work, I knew I needed to add it to my collection; the combination of light, yet durable, fabric and beautiful details make it a no-brainer for workout-to-work-to-whatever. I've run in it, I've worn it on date night and now to work; on this day, I paired it with navy pants and a navy cardigan and received several compliments.
Day 3: Lux short sleeve top - So, as you may have noticed, I'm a fan of Oiselle's Lux fabric; if you haven't tried it, you are completely missing out. As Sally Bergesen says, "it's the cashmere of running," but I would add "and of life" because I am allergic to (most) items with wool. This item is not currently available, but I've linked to the long sleeve version; I can only hope it will be back one day. I paired this with some red pants and took along a lightweight cardigan for hospital weather.
Day 4: Izumo short sleeve - This is another one of those items that I just knew I had to have; in addition, I am totally addicted to the color bloom and not just because it matches my new glasses perfectly. I have other Oiselle items in this color, but I need to buy up all of it before it's gone. This top is SO light and breathable while also somehow opaque; I also have on a Verra bra (in the same color) and had no issue of feeling comfortable wearing this at work. I paired this with a linen skirt (that I never wear because I usually become mentally paralyzed when I try to figure out what to wear with it), nude flats and a heathered blue cardigan. My favorite outfit of the week.
Day 5: In the Fold tank - This is another oldie-but-goodie; I would compare it to the currently available Drape tank, in terms of fit, fabric and styling. I have two of these and they are so comfortable; perfect for when you need a little extra room in the middle or just need some space. Basic black pants and a lightweight black cardigan because, by Friday, the people I work with should just be thankful that I have clothes on.
This was a highly-enlightening exercise for me, in terms of utilizing the items I already have in a multipurpose way; too often, I get hung up on having specific items for specific functions (running clothes, yoga clothes, strength workout clothes, work clothes, reading clothes, etc.) and this helped me realize that all of my clothes can do all of the work. Well, the Oiselle ones, anyway, because they are built by fierce women to be worn by fierce women! It also, of course, justifies my need to supplement my collection with more versatile items...(*ehem*) I may have a shipment arriving today.