Finding a New Normal

Old Navy Very Casual?

Old Navy Very Casual?

So… thanks for being kind, understanding, supportive folks while we re-calibrate here in the woods.   One week and two days into the new job and I’m starting to not feel lost.  To be fair, the guys – I work with four men in the podunk branch – have been great about making sure I’ve felt “at home” from day #1, but the database I spend most of my time with and I are getting acquainted so I don’t have to ask for help so very often, and it’s not all overwhelmingly new anymore.

I have no idea where and how blogging will fit into things.  I’m shocked at how off-kilter I am just adding an hour to my work day.  Full disclosure… it’s significantly more than that, really.  I used to work 8-4, with about a 15 minute commute, but as things slowed down at the former employer’s, I’d gotten ridiculously sloppy about wandering in later and later.  So… 7-4 is more like about 90 minutes longer, even though I do get a proper lunch hour now.  The good news is that my commute is averaging about 20 minutes.  Every minute I stay at work past 4pm compounds the traffic I have to battle on the way home, but it hasn’t been as bad as I feared… yet.

And it’s CASUAL attire.  VERY casual attire.  I’m struggling to not be over-dressed, and yet, to feel comfortable.  It’s funny… I’ve always had this struggle with my very casual, jeans and boots “farm” self and my preppy heart.  I’d gotten rather business-preppified over the last couple of years, and now, particularly with a parts room that REALLY wants some quality time with me, I have to really dig deeply in my closet and find shop-friendly attire that doesn’t feel too sloppy to be in town for me.

Can y’all help a girl out?  I know truly casual offices are the norm in lots of places.  Ironically, this summer I told a League leader that I envied her very relaxed, no dress code office.  (Not that I had a dress code at the inlaws’… but …)  For those of you who do it, how do you straddle being very casual and still feeling put together?

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This entry was posted in Fashion.

13 comments on “Finding a New Normal

  1. Sounds like you’re settling in, Channon. I’m not at all surprised about the time difference. Minutes can make a difference, especially when it comes to “rush hour.”

    You already know I am absolutely no help when it comes to any type of attire. I wish it weren’t so.

    Thank you so much for sharing, Channon. Good luck with the adjustments….

  2. Marjie says:

    I’m glad you are settling in so well; it’s hard to get accustomed to a new environment. Can’t help you with the attire, since I can stay in my dressing gown until noon if I want – and often do – because my office is off my kitchen.

  3. Blond Duck says:

    Maybe jeans and button downs?

  4. Working at home allows me to be as casual as I want…but working in a shop environment may actually give more restrictions. You will figure this out! It may be that you don’t have to be quite as casual as the men. Who knows? Maybe they would appreciate a woman who looks like a woman at work. 🙂

  5. Mary says:

    It might help to keep a “dress up” bag in the car for days when you have to do something after work that requires a bit more style. You could keep a dressier pair of shoes, a different jacket, an item of jewelry and/or a scarf to fancy up whatever basics you may have on that day. Once the work day ends, you can add/subtract to get into your comfort zone for things like JL meetings, dinner, etc.

  6. Nancy says:

    So good to hear that you are becoming more accustomed with the database and that your life is falling back into alignment – establishing a routine is the first step in feeling comfortable in a new job. May your commute continue to be manageable.

  7. Kathy says:

    Glad to hear you are getting accustomed to your new routine. It takes a little while. When I started this job in January I added an extra hour to my workday too, but the payoff is a 4-hour Friday, each & every week.

  8. Katherine says:

    Your farm self needs to take your preppy self to Ralph Lauren’s fall sale.

    http://www.ralphlauren.com/product/index.jsp?productId=20796906&cp=2943768.12993083&ab=ln_nodivision_cs6_bestunder%2450&view=99&parentPage=family.

    It will probably take a few more weeks for the rhythm of the routine to kick in and for you to feel less off kilter. You’re a tough lady and I know you can put your mark on the job!

  9. kathy boyer says:

    Cannot help. Wearing scrubs for over 30 years makes me incapable of knowing “Business” attire.
    You hang in there. I KNOW You’ll be dressed just right. How about casual with a knitted fancy scarf or shawl??

  10. Blond Duck says:

    What about blazers?

  11. Nichole says:

    First off, I hope that you’re using your lunch hour to not only fuel the body, but the mind as well… getting some knitting time in maybe?
    Casual, but put together…. a nice pair of jeans with a decent top (blouse, sweater or even a nice tee). Scarves help fancy it up… as do the jewelry. Good booties help too. You can do it!

  12. AlisonH says:

    It’s okay to dress such that you know you look good. Said the woman who… we had an H family reunion a few years ago and a certain sister-in-law seemed actually a little put out that I was wearing silk blouses every day. I tried to mollify her by telling her I got them at an Orvis outlet for ten bucks each and they’re the most comfortable thing in all temps.

    Maybe I started something for her, who knows.

  13. Krystle says:

    We are more casual to business casual. I usually wear one dressier element, balanced out with a casual element. I, like my mother, am more inclined, and feel more comfortable wearing skirts and dresses, so I am learning how to add fun accessories that play them down a bit. I wear my boots a lot with jeans (denim, and colorful) and button-ups or sweaters, and I find that to create a good balance at this time of year. It’s tricky bc most of the time my supervisor is in leggings and longer length cardigans over plain tees…very casual!
    You’ll get the hang of it and find your “new normal” soon!

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