The Loh Life is writer/performer Sandra Tsing Loh's weekly take on life, family, and pop culture in early 21st century Southern California.
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Business Dress, Part Two: Skirting the Issue

Shopping with Sandra Tsing Loh.

It's not that I'm not LEANING IN.  It's just that I'm leaning in to a laptop sitting on a bed piled with laundry.  Which is to say like some 40 million Americans, who famously do NOT include employees of Yahoo, I telecommute.

The great thing about working from home is kids get picked up, dogs get walked, cable guys gain entry, the slow cooker slow-cooks.  The bad thing?  Like a mole underground going blind from the darkness, you morph into this not-ready-for-primetime blob.  Your body becomes soft, hair frizzy, eyebrows unthreaded, your legs turn into puffy sweatpants.  That's the sad thing - You'd think telecommuters would exercise a lot, but we just do more laundry while our brethren are spinning at lunch.

Which brings me to the skirt.

I suddenly had an important business presentation, which required professional dress.  Blinking like a mole, I peered into the forest of my closet, past the t-shirts and yoga pants, into that deeper, more Narnian section, and - ?  There was the jumbled row of separates I bought in an earlier kamikaze mission at Ross for Less that either need ironing or dry cleaning.  I don't know if it's the unruliness of my electric toothbrush, but a disturbing number of items boast flecks of toothpaste.

Okay: there's one good blazer and one good shirt and all they need is a skirt, the perfect business skirt.  I can tell you exactly what it is.  It is a smooth, black sheath that goes just below the knee, camouflaging all ills.  Speaking of the upper thighs, I have no idea why American women of a certain age-or any age-continue to insist on wearing jeans.  It's a national disaster.  I'm sure the French are laughing at us.

Fact: women are bigger in the hips.  We're vase-shaped.  We should be wearing breezy, floaty skirts.  But no: it's all about pants in denim, the worst fabric.  Every day starts with self-loathing - You painfully button yourself into your jeans as a punishment for what you ate the day before - So you can spend the whole day feeling bad about yourself, and you know what?  You look bad!  But all will change - I will gain the confidence I need - with this skirt.  And I know where to find it.

Old Town Pasadena.  J. Crew.

Waving off the salesladies, I stride purposefully - surgically - to the back, and there it is!  A row of perfect black skirts.

With just one problem.

My hardworking, big-hipped sisters have beaten me to the punch.

As I rip through the rack, I realize J. Crew is out of any black skirts that are not either a size two or zero!  Green skirts, though?  White skirts?  Take your pick!

Next week: Lookin' like a Jamaican crab shack.