Preparing for RTO

My firm launched its large-scale, triumphant return-to-office — to the accompaniment of much free food — last week. Judging by the notable difference on D.C. roads and in the Metro system between the last full week of March and the first full week of April, I think many other D.C. offices had a similar plan. This suggests to me that some of you may also be settling into a new hybrid schedule, mixing some office appearances with remote work? If so, you may be needing the Directorate more than ever.

Thus I pledge to you to master the WordPress 2030, or whatever this updated, counter-intuitive platform is, and start posting at least once a week on a regular basis.

And, as a special bonus-threat, I’ll set up another Zoom for early June. Sound fun?*

The Directrice dons ludicrous pants to prepare for RTO

I don’t know why I freaked out; I have two years’ accumulated acquisitions with which to challenge and excite my co-workers

Even I, after dressing up for the last two years in jackets, hard pants, and statement necklaces to work in my dining room, had a moment of panic trying to think of something to wear on Day 1.+

I have some new spring dresses (new from 2019 and 2020) that have never been to the office. But it’s been a little cold, too cold for bare legs and light fabrics. Wanting to nevertheless, look more like spring and less like the Grim Reaper in my reliable winter greys and black, I sifted through my pants and found these heavy weight, light-colored, khakis that I bought from JCrew last fall. Perfect!

When I saw that JCrew was offering its foundational khaki and wool trousers in cuts featuring elasticized waists, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. But I figured I’d give them a try.

I saw the elasticized-waist pants and thought, “This is what the pandemic has done to us”
Can we recover?

I wondered, would Brooks Brothers be next, offering men’s classic three-button suits, with elasticized trousers?

I am of two minds.

On the one hand, I think I look like a gigantic baby in these pants. They look exactly like the pull-on pants — with lots of room for a diaper — that are put on infants and toddlers.**

On the other hand, they’re kind of cute? The wide legs and slightly cropped length, finished with a deep (three inches) top-stitched hem, provide a little flair.

Interestingly, they were not comfortable until I’d worn them four or five times. Initially, the elastic was brutally tight. I think we’ve reached a place of mutual understanding, but suppose I could still have it extended by an inch or so or replaced with a lighter-tension elastic.

Baby pants nearly killed me the first time I wore them

“Pants this wide,” she said emphatically, “must be worn with a fitted top.”++

And thusly I have paired them with a charming (and very old) black blouse with sculptural sleeves and an abstract brooch that looks like a cluster of, depending on your mindset, pearls or breasts.

The brooch is neither pearls, nor breasts. It’s a group of papier-mache balls.

Finishing things off is a bag that I love, but almost never use. Historically, its held correspondence and reading under an end table in my living room, but during the pandemic it has been holding resistance bands and light handweights for my weekly Zoom meeting with the trainer who is trying to whip me into . . . less bad shape.

Multipurpose bag, pretty enough to tuck under a table in the living room

This bag is made of a very traditional red toile fabric that has been covered with a shiny PVC. Navy leather trim is the finishing detail.

Today it holds, among other things, a to-and-from mask, an office mask, an emergency mask, and a back-up office mask.

Bag could probably hold two hundred masks

A Directrice Quiz: I went to the symphony on March 26 (technically spring, but still March . . . so, winter), for the first time since early 2020. I thought hard about what would strike the right note: going-out, festive but serious, and more wintry than not. Final clue: I wore something that has a nickname on this blog. Please submit your best guess in the comment section. The winner will be offered the opportunity to make the keynote address at our next Directorate meeting.

* So optimistic am I, I located and read my Directrice book proposal last weekend. It’s pretty amusing. Perhapsleberry I will finish it and send it to a potential editor. I have someone in mind.

+ I think my panic was related more to the meterological v. astronomical spring conflict. It is spring according to the calendar, but it’s cold. Remember: Match fabrics to the temperature and colors to the season.

** I look like a giant, adult baby — which immediately makes me think of Aunt Baby. Do you remember Aunt Baby from Seinfeld? When George Constanza strikes upon the idea of increasing his parents’ life insurance as a path to easy money, he starts asking about family medical histories. Among them, he wants to know more about “Aunt Baby” — so named because she would have been George’s aunt, had she not died of “problems, internal” at the age of 7, decades before George was born. I think we can agree, only family could come up with a moniker as awful as “Aunt Baby.”

++ As I type this, I am wearing the Aunt Baby pants with an untucked shirt and sweater and I have to say, I like it. I think I am aligning with the over-sized trend currently on the runways. Stay tuned.

6 thoughts on “Preparing for RTO”

  1. Hello, as I own a very similar pair of pants but with a zipper, I will just say, great pants! I wear mine with a pair of heavier moto boots and a short jacket in the winter. All very comfortable.

  2. I’d love another Zoom call with the Directrice! The last one was wonderful.

    I’ve become a fan of pants with elastic waists. I live in tropical Mexico, so I live in light cotton capri pants (with elastic waists) and light cotton tops. And light cotton sundresses. Well, you get the idea.

  3. Oh, delightful to look forward to another Zoom!

    And to more frequent installments of The Directrice!

    And to having places to wear things–to my new office, when I become a therapist, which will happen after I graduate in May and New York State processes my paperwork. So, you know, not for a while.

  4. It can’t be the Pieced Wonder can it? The Wonder is a spring/summer dress unless the Directrice somehow layered it… hmm something to think about…

  5. Did you wear the Rubicon dress with a layer over?? Inquiring minds want to know. I’d love a zoom invite again – hopefully to make this one!

  6. I’m wracking my brain for nick-named items from your closet, but I’m with Rhizophora, I can only come up with the Pieced Wonder. And by your own admission you *never* wear it, so I’m intrigued as to whether you actually unleashed it in a fit of sartorial daring, or if there’s another piece that I’ve failed to recall (which I believe to be the more likely scenario).


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