A comfortable fit

I’m into month three with the retail job, 25 hours or so a week of helping customers make the most of their experience in our store the best way I can.

It was time, I decided as the new year began, to buy some new work pants.

And a great price at the Warehouse store I visited with my dear wife Karen, too.

And a great price at the Warehouse store I visited with my dear wife Karen, too.

Jeans are the attire of choice for most of my colleagues in the store, including all the other cashiers. Best for the all-around demands of the job, including the rasslin’ of the carts from the parking lot corrals back to the store lobby entrance, I’d say.

That’s been a change from my past life of three decades as a reporter and editor at the big daily, where khakis were my go-to, in the office at my desk and out on the streets of the Central New York community.

My dear wife Karen went with me to the big box BJ’s Warehouse store, where I’d spied a really great price on their house brand when I went solo this week to buy a big bag of ground Dunkin’ Donuts regular for our daily morning pot of home-brewed coffee. The relaxed fit jeans looked well-made to me, even held right up next to the more familiar name that cost more than twice as much. They passed the wife inspection, too.

It’ll feel good to wear some spiffy new jeans to my shifts this week, yes it will.

What kind of clothes do you wear to work, and why? Where to you buy your clothes, and why? What’s your favorite outfit, and why?

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54 thoughts on “A comfortable fit

  1. So glad the job is going well quite a change from the one in your previous life! The jeans look excellent, why pay more when the unbranded ones are just as good.
    My last years at work I had to wear a uniform. I hated it at the time but it was a nesassary evil. On reflection it was a blessing free, neat and no worrying about what to wear in the morning!

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  2. Hi Mark, so you’ve gone with the “relaxed straight” look. hmmm. Do they do an “uptight gay” style designed to be left in the closet?

    I’ve sort of given up on jeans and tend to go for chinos or cords – preferably with elasticated waists! I’ll settle for comfort over fashion any day.

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  3. Well ,now a days my default outfit for the office(my kitchen table) is bower shorts and a shirt. When I was working it was black slacks and shoes,white shirt and a spiffy white jacket with apron. And of course a hat. The type depending on mood and joint. Of course my current office clothing wouldn’t work for everyone.

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  4. I wear my BDU pants from the army to my job. I have one pair that still fits that doesn’t have holes, plus a pair my Mom bought me last Christmas from Herbie Phillipson’s. Not real army BDUs, of course, but they’ll do. If only I could lose those last 15 pounds (it was the last 10 pounds, but I gained some), I could perhaps fit into the four pairs I was originally issued in 1997. Thanks for the opportunity to talk about them! I hope you are enjoying your retail gig, my Central New York friend!

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  5. Jeans or jean cut khakis. Below 60 gets a black 1/4 zip pull over; warmer weather a pique knit polo. Even though I work for myself I refer to these outfits as “my uniform”. There’s never a question as to what I’m going to wear, and that speeds things up considerably in the morning.

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  6. I wear my SAHM uniform. Jeans and t-shirts, yoga pants and oversized sweaters, sometimes it calls for pajama pants all day long. One day when I grow up and have to get a job outside the house, I hope I can find a place that allows me to wear the same thing. πŸ˜‰

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  7. Always loved uniforms, Mark, a throwback to the Catholic school girl days, I guess. It was the great equalizer. I had them again when I started for Hilton. Missed them when I moved to the back office where more “professional wardrobe” was required. Too bad.

    “Business casual” at most offices really put a dent in the formal suit business. Men’s Wearhouse…Buy 1, Get 2 Free. πŸ‘” πŸ‘” πŸ‘”

    I love jeans, never got to work in them. Glad to hear the new gig is working for you. ☺️

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    • I think it feels good to “suit up” when it’s a special occasion, not an everyday need. But that’s just me, Van. πŸ˜‰

      I never had to wear a uniform to work. That sounds like an interesting concept as you describe your feeling. I still have years left …

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  8. I give you credit, Mark. You could have sat home collecting benefits after you lost your job, like so many of my neighbors do, but you opted for the 25-hour-a-week retail stint to keep your finances and pride intact. Kudos to you. I’m hoping I can hang onto my day job for another 2 years until I reach full retirement age, but it’s getting iffier and iffier day by day. Fortunately, there are a lot of stores around here, as well as fast food chains, so if my day job did end too soon, I’m sure I could pick something else up. In some ways, it would be a relief to just go to work, do my job, and come home, without all the grief I get now.

    As for attire, it depends on the day. When I started the job 16 years ago, it was skirts and suit jackets, nylons and low heels. Then everyone went to business casual, so now its slacks, shirts and sweaters – except for days I have a closing, on which days I wear a business casual type pantsuit. I never wear skirts any more (hate nylons, and my legs aren’t what they were 16 years ago), and my footwear has become either white or black sneakers due to my plantar fasciitis. But trust me on this – if I could wear jeans to work every day, I would. So long as my jeans have an elastic waist band. πŸ™‚

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  9. glad your new gig is going well, and you’ve got the new jeans to prove it! i’m pretty casual at work, except on conference or special days. i’m usually sitting on the floor or in a mini-chair or at recess or in art, covered in all sorts of color. i usually shop pretty cheaply, at target or t.j. maxx, unless it’s for a special occasion. i wear sandals from april -november and longer if possible.)

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  10. I have always been allowed to wear jeans on overnights (Though for a brief period of time, they were required to be either black or khaki colored), but until just last summer, that was not the case for days if you were a regular salesfloor associate who didn’t work outside. Khakis were a requirement. I tried working in them for one week and went right back to the jeans… they’re not working man’s clothes.

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    • I wore khakis the first couple weeks on this job, Bill, and they weren’t right for the parking lot and other more physical aspect of my duties, I felt. Like the day they recruited me to help unload the trailer truck when Receiving was down a worker. Jeans just are a better fit in all ways, I find.

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  11. Since I outgrew my Osh Kosh overalls in 1985, I’ve been a Levi’s girl. I like them, they like me, they’re affordable, and they last forever. I’ve got a pair of Calvin Kleins I received as a gift. They somehow make me look long and slim, which makes me wonder if I shouldn’t buy more of them…but with someone else’s money? lol
    I hate clothes, really. So many choices, so many variables — it’s complicated for women.
    I very much enjoy flannel pajamas, because I very much enjoy being home. Or vice versa…
    As I type this, I’m wearing the long underwear I wore under my clothes on the walk I took earlier today, and I’m glad it’s not 28 in the house πŸ™‚
    Comfort is king!

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  12. Like the new jeans!!!!!! I wear scrubs to work. I could wear fancy clothes, but because I work in an environment filled with who knows what kind of microbes, it is better to have something that can removed as soon as I hit the door and put in the wash. How was retail during the Holiday season? Gets kind of crazy, but fun!!!!

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  13. Business casual here. I really love that we are in sweater-weather now (finally). On Fridays, we can wear jeans with a “nice” top of some sort or school-branded spirit wear instead.

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  14. I know jeans have existed for over 100 yrs, but there must be some generational gap for WWII fellows because both my granddad who just passed at 94 and my husband’s 95 yr old granddad ONLY wear khakis. I don’t recall a time in my LIFE when they wore jeans. Do you suppose it is because it’s harder to pull denim off when you age? None of the retirement home folks were donning jeans. And yet EVERYONE at church wears jeans. Some of the associate pastors even wear blinged-out cross pockets and frayed hems. Jeans are a wonderful determiner of one’s awareness of fashion. People mocked our pastor when he wore carpenter jeans recently. I lose it when I see people wearing light denim. Very Mom jeans.

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    • I think for a certain generation of which you speak, denim meant farmers-only. My grandmothers even called them dungarees, named after the art of working in fertilizer. Maybe that was the thought of you and hubby’s grandfathers were along those lines? No farmer, no jeans? Myself, no blinged-out pockets, and frayed hems only when they come naturally from over-wear. Mom jeans. That’s a good one, too, Kerbey. I know exactly what you mean.

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  15. I love that I’ve found your blog! I haven’t had a chance to read many of your posts yet, but this one caught my eye. I totally agree with you about buying a less expensive version of name brand labels if possible! I work in a super conservative industry, but thankfully I’m one of the only women I know who loves wearing heels and tights and pencils skirts, so I feel right at home! πŸ™‚

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  16. Glad you are well-outfitted for the job! Has it really been 3 months at the job? That went by fast (for me at least). πŸ™‚ I am a TJMax & Marshall’s connoisseur who always finds great bargains and nice stuff. My girlfriends always ask me how I find such good stuff there because they say they don’t have good luck. The key is to look between racks and behind things and to take your time. πŸ™‚

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    • I know your tastes are good, Mrs. B, so I’m glad you are calling me well-outfitted! πŸ™‚ Yes, January is my third month on the job. Time goes by so fast, my friend. Hey, your shopping strategies are now well-noted. Every nook and cranny. πŸ˜‰

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