Friday, December 2, 2016

Do you have a Wednesday dress?

How does my family know it's a Wednesday? Because I'm wearing the Wednesday Dress. Yep, I wear the same dress every Wednesday. I'm not really sure how or why this started. I just got ready for school one Wednesday morning, and my husband said, "Must be Wednesday!" I didn't really notice it then, but now I purposely wear the Wednesday dress every Wednesday. Can I tell you how nice it is to have one decision less to make on Wednesday mornings?

The rest of the week, I am forced to make annoying clothing decisions. I do not have time for this in the morning, and far too often, I end up wearing something that doesn't make me feel nearly as awesome as I feel in the WD.

Here are a few questions I've asked myself when getting dressed for work on non-Wednesday mornings:

  • How low will the waistband of these pants dip when I squat down to shelve a book?
  • Is this dress going to allow me to comfortably sit on the floor with students today?
  • Will this pretty white top be covered in marker/toner/glue/glitter/dust/boogers by the end of the day?
  • Is this scarf too long? Could it get caught in the laminator? Inadvertently flushed down the toilet?
  • Will these shoes still be comfortable after 10,000+ steps?
  • Will this skirt enable me to easily climb on a chair, table, or ladder to design a new bulletin board today?
  • Can I get away with not ironing this skirt?
  • Does what I'm wearing show any of the following: bra straps, panty lines, bra seams, cleavage (up-top or in the back)?
  • Is what I'm wearing see-through in any way?
  • Why can't today be Wednesday?

Good gravy, it's enough already.

I have decided it's time to create my own school uniform based on the awesomeness of the Wednesday Dress. Some might call this a "capsule wardrobe," but actually, I'm taking it a little further than that. A capsule wardrobe emphasizes a few basic, interchangeable pieces that can be mixed and matched. But that's kind of what I've been doing on non-Wednesdays. I'm mixing and matching a bunch of neutrals that do not inspire me at all. I still have to make decisions on how to combine them. I still have to decide how I want to add some color. I'm so tired of mixing and matching! My WD is a whole outfit, all by itself. I don't need to match it to anything if I don't want to. When I wear my WD, I feel more confident and professional than I do when I wear my regular "capsule" clothes. Wouldn't it make more sense for me to just invest in more of what I love rather than continuing to wear the same-old, same-old?


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WHAT MAKES THE WEDNESDAY DRESS SO PERFECT?


If I'm basing my personal uniform on the Wednesday Dress, I need to examine why I love it so much and feel so great wearing it. Well, for starters, it's black. It's a simple, flattering A-line cut. It has a classy, vintage-1950s look. Its pretty. It doesn't collect lint or static. It hides the tummy pudge. The full skirt reaches the floor when I shelve books. It's long...right at my knees or even slightly below. The boat neckline means it is neither low-cut nor right up around my neck. I don't have to wear a tank top underneath to hide my God-givens. It doesn't have any buttons. It resists wrinkles remarkably well. It matches every cardigan, scarf, chunky necklace, and pair of shoes I own. It cost less than dinner for two at Applebee's and is very likely the best clothing investment I've ever made.

See? I told you it was perfect!

To complement my new army of WDs, I've decided new personal uniform will consist of the following items that make my existing Wednesday Dress so awesome:

  • cropped cardigans in the same style but different colors
  • black leggings (winter)
  • knee-high black boots (winter)
  • black flats (summer)
  • funky, chunky, colorful, eye-grabbing ring or necklace (no more scarves for me--I've had a few unfortunate "mishaps...")

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A WEDNESDAY DRESS FOR THE REST OF THE WEEK


I have linked all my new "Wednesday Dresses" below. These are the exact items I ordered today, with reviews of the ones I have in my possession right now. Sadly, I won't get my new WDs for awhile. Though Amazon USA ships to China, recent changes in the way Amazon imports into China make it a major pain in the rear to get shipments out of Customs as a foreigner. I had them shipped to my sister and will get them when I go home this summer.

For the record, I am 5'6" (167 cm) tall and weigh about 155 pounds (70 kg). Clicking on the photo will take you to the Amazon link, where you can see the current price and lots of styles and patterns.

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DRESS STYLE #1


You are looking at the Original Wednesday Dress! Let's just take a moment to bask in its awesomeness...

...ahhhh...I swear I hear gentle birdsong when this dress comes out of the closet.

The material for this dress is nice and thick, which helps resist wrinkles. It hits right at my knees or even slightly below. It has an attached tie-belt that's about 1.5" wide and made of the same material as the dress itself. Just tie it in a bow at the back; it will stay tied all day long. It also has a high-waistline, great for hiding tummy pudge. I pair this one with the red cardigan, listed below.

I only have the black WD right now, but I just ordered several more patterns in the same style and size L. That one with the yellow flowers would be perfect for a summer wedding or graduation!






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DRESS STYLE #2


This is my Every-Other-Friday-Dress (EOFD?). It's so pretty that I worry every time I take it to the dry-cleaners. What would I do if something terrible happened to my EOFD?

This dress is well-made with a nice, thick material that resists wrinkles really well. If you do feel a need to iron it, the skirt is so full that it is actually possible to iron the skirt while wearing it. (Um...not that I've done that...of course not...) Any wrinkles I've experienced with this dress are relatively minor and come out easily when ironed.
It also pairs nicely with the cardigans I listed below, and it works with boots/leggings or black flats. If you are a heels kind of gal (or guy?), this dress would certainly work well with heels as well.

The belt is pretty long, so I secure the extra length with a thin black ponytail holder, which works perfectly and is practically invisible. I have worn this dress without the belt (by accident), and though I prefer the belt, it works fine either way. The belt loops are actually part of the dress, so you really can't see them, even if you don't wear the belt. Since the dress is sleeveless, I pair it with the black cardigan listed below.


I ordered a size L, which fits perfectly and is quite comfortable to wear. The skirt is very full and could be dressed up even further with a petticoat underneath.

The high-waistline and flare of the skirt are great for hiding tummy pudge!

Because I love this dress so much, I just ordered these three in the same style (all size L):




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ONE SKIRT


If you are more of a skirt-person, you might give these a try. They are pretty inexpensive, and the material is thick and well-made. It zips in the back, so no elastic waistband. I bought this skirt over the summer, and I love the length (knee-length) and the flare of the skirt. I've worn it a few times and get compliments every time I wear it.

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THE CARDIGANS


I currently have this cardigan in red, navy, and black, and I just today ordered more in white, kelly green, royal blue, purple, and magenta. Mine are all size M, which fits me perfectly. These are "cropped cardigans," so the bottom of the cardigan sits right at the high-waistline on the dresses above. You could wear a waist-length cardigan, but I'm not sure if a below-waist or longer cardigan would look as good with the flare of the skirt. I guess you could try it if you really love long cardigans.

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SWEATER LEGGINGS



There is no pair of leggings in existence that stay up on me. They are always too short (and pull down), or the waist is too loose. I have two of these leggings in black, and they do the best job that I've seen. They are definitely not perfect (still fall down to an extent), but I've not found a better pair yet. They aren't very thick--more like thick, opaque tights--so if you are looking for warmth, these won't provide that. Because they are relatively thin, they would work well underneath warmer pants for an added layer of heat. I love that they are textured to look like a cabled sweater. They are also long enough to stay in place when I wear them with boots.


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THE BOOTS


I bought these over the summer and have worn them every day for maybe the past month and a half. It's finally getting cold here in China now, with highs averaging around 45F or 10C during the day. These boots are comfy enough to wear all day long at school, and as they are fur-lined they most definitely keep my feet toasty. I like my boots to be wide-calf, and these do come in a wide-calf size. That said, if your calves are very wide, you may find these a bit snug. They work well for me, but I could see them being too tight for some people. There isn't much give in the calf-area of the boot.

I can't truly review these boots because I just ordered them today. They are here as an FYI.

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THE FLATS


For comfortable, "sensible" black flats, you really can't go wrong with Sketchers. I've bought Sketchers flats exclusively for years. They are comfortable and durable and can withstand my 10,000+ steps each day. I buy a new pair of these exact Sketchers flats (black, of course) when I come home every summer. I can run around school all day long in them!

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POCKETS! WE WANT POCKETS!


Okay, so there is one minor flaw in this perfect librarian wardrobe: there are no pockets in any of these dresses. Where are we supposed to keep our glasses, chapstick, pens, rubber bands, smart phone (Follett has two must-have Destiny apps!), scraps of paper, stapler, random change, extra bookmarks, Hershey's Kisses, and a million other things we might need at a moment's notice?
The solution? An apron! An apron will help protect our clothes from makerspace mishaps, and they have nice, deep pockets in case you want (or need) to be a walking circulation desk! Now, to invest in one of those wireless barcode scanners...

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So that's my new personal uniform, designed specifically with my daily library duties in mind. I realize not everyone loves wearing dresses or this style, but I'm putting this out there for those who do. Even if you don't like this look, I encourage you to think about what your perfect librarian uniform might look like. All-black with a colorful, library-related scarf could easily work. Or maybe white or ivory tops, dark bottoms, and a colorful blazer or long cardigan. We make enough decisions in a day; what to wear doesn't need to be one of them!








7 comments:

  1. I am in love with these! Have been looking for something like this for awhile. Thank you. I have gotten a few things stuck in the laminator now and it is terrifying!

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    1. I used to have very long hair, and I always tied it back when I used the laminator. Laminated hair would be very difficult to fix in the morning!

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  2. I can't thank you enough for this post! I will be returning to work as a school librarian in January & none of my pre-pregnancy pants fit. I'm dreading leaving my baby at day care, plus am upset at the prospect of either wearing maternity clothes still or blowing my budget buying all new pants in a bigger size. But the solution is these dresses!! In the past I attempted to wear the students' uniform: khakis and a polo, but I never felt professional enough. Not only are these dresses going to solve my baby-belly problem, they're also going to allow me to adopt a put-together, professional "uniform"! In addition to your suggestions, I also ordered Acevog Women 50's Vintage V-Neck Rockabilly Swing Party Cocktail Stretchy Dress and ACEVOG Audrey Hepburn Style 1950's 3 4 Sleeve Rockabilly Swing Evening Dress.

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    Replies
    1. I feel your pain! I've gained weight over the past six months (no baby, just laziness!), and I hardly have any pants that fit right now. Happy to help with your transition from baby back to work. I've done it twice, and it is super-difficult. At least you'll look fabulous!

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  3. Our art teacher came to visit me in the library recently, wearing her apron. This blog and the art teacher's apron have helped me decide on my uniform. I tire of trying on and matching clothes. To wear: black pants and a black T-shirt (long sleeved, short sleeved, or even sweater) plus the aprons which I will make out of fabulous librarian (or personal favorites) fabric!
    I love your Wednesday dress... but mostly I love the idea of having a dress to wear every Wednesday.
    Now I have the perfect uniform. The rest of my wardrobe money will be spent on living as I wish.
    Thanks!
    Rhonda

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    Replies
    1. Yay, Rhonda! I love the apron, too. I'm thinking some enterprising start-up could specialize in making cute, personalized for teachers and librarians and make a small bundle. I ALWAYS need an apron!

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