Dear Ms. Bean,
I recently quit my job as a paralegal and started my own dog-walking business. Needless to say, my wardrobe needs some revamping. What basics should I buy to get me through summer and early fall?
From the legal world to the dog world… Wait, is there a difference? Oh, dear. Did I just insult attorneys? Darn it. I’ve been trying to stop doing that because it’s unoriginal, clichÃ©, and very stupid. Lawyers are our friends. So let’s talk about your new work clothes instead.
Your self-employed status and casual line of work mean that you can wear anything your little heart desires. Along with furry clients and fresh air, this is one of the best parts of your new gig. However, you still need to be practical. Here’s the minimum of what you’ll want.
First, browse Abercrombie or J.Crew to find a good pair of cargo shorts or pants. This style often has low side pockets, which are better than ones in the back. Are you really going to layer a mound of keys on top of your butt? I didn’t think so. Pockets will also hold treats and those little blue poop bags.
Next, you’ll be in the elements. As soon as this hellish heat wave ends, you will need a vest for chilly summer nights. This one from Patagonia is lightweight, soft, and made from recycled materials. Also, get some raingear â€” boots and a jacket. Some dogs are prissy when it comes to water, but most don’t mind and take their sweet time even in a torrential downpour. Target.com has some great boots that are less than $20. Please don’t spend more than this on shoes made entirely of rubber and glue.
You’ll also want some washable tee shirts, preferably in a style that no one in an office would ever dream of wearing to work. This is to make them jealous and happy at the same time. Trust me, when the girl in the nylons and ill-fitting suit sees your retro-hip purple tank and with neon details, she smiles to herself and thinks, “I need to quit this damn job.” See how fashion inspires?
Lastly, wear comfy shoes and carry a small messenger style bag. I can’t vouch for the shoes but this bag by a company called Crumpler is virtually indestructible. Really!
Cargo pant from Abercrombie
â€œwhat up dog?â€? logo tank from Uncle Dan’s (Lincoln Avenue), www.udans.com
Synchilla Vest from www.patagonia.com
Zelda Polka Dot Gusset Rain Boots from www.target.com
Crumpler Messenger Bag from www.crumplerbags.com
Adidas Daroga Lea W shoe from www.zappos.com
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