CHARLESTON, W.Va. - When friends express self-conscious reservations about exercising at a gym, I always tell them that unless you want to be looked at, no one is looking at you.
I'm beginning to believe that the same thing applies to work, as well - specifically as it regards office attire. No one remembers what you wear from one day to the next, so don't sweat it.
Far be it from me to advocate looking slovenly - I am one of a handful of slaves to the cravat who continues wearing neckwear to the newsroom long after our dress policy has been relaxed.
But unlike my early years in the working world, I don't think I care anymore what I'm wearing.
I used to strive for a variety in my appearance that matched my morning mood - urban professional one day, then maybe rumpled and professorial the next.
And, who knows? Maybe I'd catch the eye of a certain someone, wherever or whoever she might be. Miss Right could have been anywhere; I had to be ready.
These days, I'm beginning to look at my duds as more of a uniform. Plain oxford - maybe white, maybe blue. A striped print to mix things up - or gingham if I'm feeling particularly saucy. Sweater vest as needed. Some form of khakis. Necktie. Leather shoes. Bing.
Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Just be sure to rotate your shoes.
I'm actually thinking back to the days when a few of us on the copy desk toyed with the idea of newsroom coveralls: Step right in and - zip - you're dressed to handle the misplaced apostrophe or dangling preposition.
(Ideally, they'd be Carhartt's - something resistant to industrial-strength ink and weak-ass coffee - with a neat name patch on it. Mine would say "Peewee.")