Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Disaster preparedness

The country has been beset by a remarkable number of natural disasters and near-disasters this spring, pulling our elected officials out of their offices and into some harrowing conditions. As you might imagine, in that moment no one can really stop and think too hard about, "What do I wear?"

In wardrobe, as in so many other areas of life, it is for these emergencies that we prepare, well in advance. If your entire stack of casual clothes are, at least, the right colors, a good fit and free from damage, then you can just grab and go - whatever was on the top of the pile will serve you well. Why are you holding on to that shirt with the stain, or the pants that are too short anyway? Cleaning out your closet gives you the tools to be comfortable and prepared when the moment strikes, so you can focus on what's important.

My example for today is Senator Mary Landrieu, surveying flood protections in Baton Rouge:

This shirt fits her well, is a good color for her, and has enough structure (by having a collar) to give it some shape and look put together. If she has a whole drawer full of these, she's in good shape.


  1. I don't think showing up in a skirt/suit jacket is right for a disaster but she's so young/casual looking that I would not have thought she was a US Senator.

    I appreciate that it's hot and sticky there and she's out in 7 feet of flood water, but I think a cloth shirt with a collar and rolled up sleeves might have made her easier to distinguish.

    Doesn't someone in that situation want to look like they have the authority to divert resources to the crisis? That's not what I'm thinking when I see her.

  2. I see your point, but the kind of shirt you're describing presents two challenges: 1. It requires an iron which makes it hard to pack for difficult conditions and 2. Shirts with buttons can be especially problematic for women with a larger bust.

    For this particular person, I think her choice works.

  3. You're right about the iron and button-up shirts on busty women. She is seen moving around a lot and the modest knit shirt, that isn't wrinkly, helps her appear to be actively doing something.

    May a knit polo with "Senator Landrieu" as the logo?