It wasn’t until I had been at the law firm a couple of months before I started to really get into fashion. Before working at the firm, I worked at an elementary school, at a specialty grocery market (think a miniature mom-and-pop version of Whole Foods), and at a boutique which carried imported goods from India and Indonesia. My style, therefore reflected that- what I now know as somewhat tomboy chic with a hint of boho-y vibes. My daily uniform consisted of distressed jeans, a comfy v-neck, layered necklaces of natural stone, and as many sterling rings as I could fit on my tiny fingers. Makeup to me at the time meant maybe some mascara, if I really felt like dolling up.
But after a few months of working at the firm and watching the urbanite women parade the streets of Downtown in their five-inch pumps, silky blouses, and flawless makeup and hair, I felt out of place, even with my nicest skirt made from recycled saris. So, my very next paycheck I went out and bought myself a few new pieces, and got to work constructing my new look.
Monday morning I looked in the mirror and felt fierce. I almost didn’t recognize myself. There I stood, with my black blouse tucked into my black pencil skirt, cinched at the waist with a red snakeskin belt, four-inch pumps (I didn’t think I was ready for the five-inchers yet) and Russian red nails to match my Russian red lips. Let’s just say, I looked good.
So there I was, on the twelve-block journey to work waiting at a crosswalk for the light to turn green. It was one of those big, four lane wide, one-way avenues with everyone facing where I was about to walk. I had it in my head that once the light turned, I was going to strut across this urban catwalk looking like a million bucks, and of course, everyone else was going to see me and think, "Wow, there is a true urbanista." Trying to keep my gaze straight and act as though this was natural for me, I didn’t notice the ever-nearing pothole right in the middle of the street. Half way across the street, mid-stride, my heel caught on the the loose asphalt and I went soaring. My shoe went soaring. My phone went soaring. My purse went soaring. My face flushed and I quickly gathered my things and darted across the street wondering exactly how many people just saw my utterly humiliating crash.
Safely across, I was trying to discreetly slide my heel back on my foot when I heard a man’s voice, “Wow, that looks pretty bad,” he said, indicating towards my knee. Looking down, I saw a stream of Russian red blood dripping down my leg. But hey, at least it went with my outfit.
Needless to say, by the time I straggled into work, I looked a wreck. I started off feeling invincible - I mean, MY NAILS MATCHED MY LIPSTICK for crying out loud! My boss took one look at me and, well, I spent the rest of the day answering to “Miss Congeniality.”