Monday, November 7, 2011

'Home/work' togs

My no-dishwasher, no-driver, no-maid, no-cook, no-durwan lifestyle has a habit of getting mucky.

Especially since the gardeners and complex maintenance staff have decided they'd rather not come in our gate.

Perhaps they found it too arduous or too taxing to remember to move our coir doormat to wash the driveway. To avoid removing the leaves mulching the base of my hibiscus bushes when they mow. To stop trimming plants in some misguided lopsided fashion, making odd wall-high green parallelograms — when you only need to prune overgrowth and let the tree grow up and out of your way.

So it turns out I need a whole household army's worth of clothing to wear through my 'homework' hours. After all, friends and family and neighbours apparently have that many people in that many sets of clothes marching around on a daily basis, not to mention their own clothes for home, work, and play!

But still, the teeter-totter pile I had on the bench was getting to me. I needed a trimmer team of togs.

Since my daily dealings turn me—by turns—into (i) gardener, (ii) cook, (iii) cleaner, (iv) dishwasher, (v) online worker ant,* and additionally, at times, (vi) mercury-at-the-door, I figured I needed at least a couple of outfits for each function. One goes in the wash while I wear the other to wash up—that's the idea, anyway. That makes a dozen dress-up get-ups.

And because I'm also a paranoid android—which is how I got to overstuffed suitcases, crammed cabinets, and startlingly tall stacks in the first place—I thought I'd add three for emergency trails and tribulations (washer's dead! power back-up's failed! it rained on me, out of season! I sopped up spilt soup with my tunic!).

That's how I've ended up with 15 slightly scruffy to barely presentable outfits this morning. Made up of:
  1. Blue-green printed salwar-kameez set
  2. Black block-printed kameez
  3. Black knit churidar
  4. Striped maroon tunic
  5. Green-on-beige block-printed wraparound skirt
  6. Green-on-green T-shirt
  7. Blue-and-black striped 'fisherman's pants'
  8. Waffle-weave navy T-shirt
  9. Grey T-shirt (basic)
  10. Flock-printed black-and-blue T-shirt
  11. Blue-grey 'fisherman's pants'
  12. White elephant-appliqued T-shirt
  13. Multicoloured printed T-shirt (sadly sorta stained)
  14. Dark grey stretch pants
  15. Dark grey embroidered T-shirt
  16. Teal green T-shirt
  17. Grey T-shirt (v-neck, warm)
  18. Rose-printed red-and-cream skirt
  19. Old white salwar
  20. Navy-and-red tunic
  21. Blue striped tunic/kurta
  22. Pink printed kurta
  23. Brown 'tracksuit' loungewear (I actually bought them to wear around our chilly home in Delhi; fleecy on the inside, they aren't exactly the right fabric for actual activewear)
  24. and, of course, a pair of tattered-hem indigo jeans
So the stack's still tall, but has at least stopped teetering. Footwear at home is a pair of purple rubber thongs. As for the currently active sportswear, that consists of:
  1. Grey Dri-Fit capris
  2. White Dri-Fit T-shirt
  3. Black Dri-Fit capris
  4. Black Dri-Fit T-shirt
  5. Black swimsuit
  6. Black gym shoes
This set of activewear may not see as much use in these cooler months, though, so I should seriously consider bagging them up until spring.

Meanwhile, the nightclothes are currently an unruly horde, and assorted camisoles from the underwear drawer, plus the grey and teal T-shirts above, tend to migrate into the melee every so often:
  1. Green kaftan
  2. Red kaftan
  3. Flannellette 'holiday'-print nightshirt and pajamas
  4. Pink pajamas
  5. Pink-and-brown printed pajamas
Turns out 4 & 5 are cross-seasonal and make good travel companions too, especially if putting up in a hostel.

*I did try not having extra clothes for working out of home. Really, I did. But it didn't work out so well because: (a) I often had to switch from worker bee to general dogsbody in a jiffy, and wearing 'outside' clothes made the switch too scary for their life expectancy; (b) 'going to work' in the truly ratty, stained, bleached, paint- and sauce-splattered suits meant I was too conscious of what I wore: the opposite of what I'm trying to achieve; (c) some of the 'real clothes' are inherited from days in an office chair, and don't play so well when sitting tailor-fashion.

The good news: it's still a huge saving of space and money to not have a 'real-working-person's wardrobe'!

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