A boot up the rear for productivity


What was I thinking when I chose the red, white and blue T shirt and yoga pants for my class this morning? This outfit looks bloody awful and now I feel bloody awful. Generally speaking I’m the chirpy type in exercise classes – anything to speed up the clock! Honestly, I looked 20 years my senior. The silhouette was shapeless and the colours were dastardly. The yoga pants were excessively drapey (viscose/lycra mix) and I looked ‘schlumpy’. Schlumpy is a word we use in our family when we feel we look, well, not ourselves, a bit daggy.

Quick aside – didn’t you just love Antz? Fast forward to 1:25 to learn about schlumpy!




This post from Coletterie’s wardrobe architect series got me thinking. One person commented that the change from svelte 30/40yo to slightly pudgy perimenopausal 50 something was really getting her down – she had nothing to wear and was stuck in elastic waisted pants and oversized T shirts. This is pretty common I think. Its not called the change for nothing! Around 50, life circumstances seem to go into a tailspin. Loss of a job, marriage break up, kids leaving home, illness and even slight weight gain gets me all worked up. Before you know it a new pattern has been established. Skills that took us years to hone – like getting up, getting dressed and getting out the door, slide into oblivion replaced by a second cuppa and “why have a shower now, when I could have it just before hubby gets home?”.

I’ll tell you why you should get dressed in the morning. Because when the nice new girl moves in next door, you won’t feel able to go and say “hello”. You will cower in the shade of the garden wall and hope she doesn’t see you not fully dressed or showered by 11am. You will start to open the door only a crack to the nice fella from Auspost who always calls you by name and he will wonder what the hell is going on – thats why.

Quite by accident I stopped meeting ‘the hags’ for coffee in the mornings due to pressing matters, then more pressing matters, then slightly less pressing matters. Eventually I found myself avoiding going to coffee because I was more productive in the morning without ‘wasting’ an hour meeting the ‘hags’. Coffee had been a ritual for a few years, then it dwindled to nothing.

Just as accidentally I started meeting my buddy G for coffee in the morning again this week, as I had last year. The necessity to get out the door dressed respectably has really changed things for me. Firstly, I have to shower and think about what will look acceptable in public rather than traipsing around in the 17yo maternity dress (no kidding) or my trackies. Secondly, I actually go and talk with another human which is really important for me because I can tend to be reclusive. The more I don’t see people, the more I don’t see people. Its a downward spiral the internet can’t solve.

Because of the reestablishment of the morning coffee ritual my sewing has suffered a little. I had always found my ‘sewjo’ was at its very best early morning before the onslaught of the day’s emails, tasks and appointments. I don’t have a REAL job, but I do some really important stuff – no really I do. But I can’t quite spill till its over ‘cos baddies might drag me away and torture me! Problem is, the stuff I do has no name, its volunteer and its done on my lonesome or by email – got a tear in your eye yet?

Tomorrow’s resolution. “I will get up in the morning and dress like I’m going for coffee or an appointment. I’ll give that self drafted red/white and blue T shirt one more go and if its still the antidote to Prozac – out it goes!”. The navy yoga pant’s days are numbered too. I much prefer my Lululemon yoga pants, “yes” they’re not made by me and thats ok!

And another thing self… get started on that bullet journal thing because these bits of paper everywhere are choking your productivity.

Other things that might entertain and inform!

Here is a really interesting post by Novita on Japanese school uniforms – unlike school uniform culture here in Oz thats for sure.

Good grief, Sonny Boy Jim just showed me how to embed – there’s no stopping me now!


Add yours →

  1. This is so interesting, L. I am not yet at the “change,” but it is coming, and I’m a little bit worried about that! And I don’t think you look schlumpy- I like the striped top. All that said, I can relate to this post quite a bit, as being an introvert I am probably inclined to spend way too much time by myself. The way I solve that problem is by having insistent friends who just come by and let themselves in uninvited (such as last evening! :)) or making sure I have a volunteer commitment outside of the house. Still, it’s very easy for me to be a bit more reclusive than is healthy because it’s possible that I find books at least as interesting as people at times. PS I have to check out this bullet journal thing because I am a copious note taker.

    • Its great that there are some people who will just thrust themselves into your life isn’t it?! I’ll let you know how I go with the journal. Various apps haven’t worked for me, there’s nothing quite like pen and paper I think, it seems so retro. But you also draw don’t you? Double benefit, you can draw in the journal too!

  2. I think the problem with this outfit is neither the t-shirt nor the pants, it’s the combination of both. The t-shirt would look wonderful on slim leggings, while these drapey yoga pants generally look better with a snug-fit camisole or t-shirt. Cheers!

  3. Interesting post. First I like the striped shirt and the pants. I think Helene is right they just need to be worn separately. I too am a bit of a stay at home and must work on that, but I have improved my around the house wardrobe by wearing a lot of the things I used to keep for “best” because “best” doesn’t come around all that often. The highlight of the week is usually a shopping trip or visit to the library. I love the idea of the bullet journal as I am an inveterate scribbler on scraps of paper and have recently set up an alphabetical notebook to record all the various sewing hints and ideas I come across on the internet. The scraps always disappeared just when I needed them. Online apps just don’t work for me and I can’t lug my computer around in my handbag. 🙂 The bullet journal looks ideal.

    • Thanks KaSchu (BTW is that an onomatapoeic sneeze?), I’ve started the bullet journal today – will report progress. IO often wondered about a card filing system for sewing tips and references? I’m feeling the need to shorten the sleeves on the T and then embrace or toss. I always thought the brain was an ideal onboard computer, but as I age I’m not so sure!!

  4. I have to talk myself out of the schlumpies often. Getting myself together in the morning (even if I’m working from home) does the trick every time, though I think we deserve a slippers+muumuu “eff-it” day every once in a while so the put-together days feel heroic.

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