Quick Change Artist

It’s a darn good thing the elevators in my office building don’t have security cameras.
…at least I hope they don’t.

For those of us who commute to work on our own steam (and on our own two legs), it’s a constant issue to dress for the walk and for work.  Office pants hemmed the perfect length for office spiky heels are inches too long for walking sneakers. Skirts, on the other hand, are just fine with sneakers, and you learn to work the Working Girl vibe… but then you’re dealing with ride-up where the giant bag that carries your jacket hits your hip.

In the fall, winter, and spring, the walk-to-work switcheroo is fairly easy… once you get past hemlines, the actual transition is mostly a matter of outerwear and footwear. In these cooperative seasons, the elevator line-up at the end of my walk is a veritable bevy of Superman Booths, just waiting to help me get super-dressed, super-fast. Unzip the coat! Hope the hat hasn’t completely squashed my hair! Pull off the gloves and stuff them in pockets! Slip off the sneakers or rainboots! Swap them for heels from my giant purse! Stand-up straight! Smooth hair!

Provided no one from the other 15 floors wants to get on, voila! 45 seconds is plenty of time to go from frowsy-fall-walker to polished-desk-sitter.

But in the summer months? You’re not only planning for the heat and the absolute minimum-of-nice-clothes-sweat-upon, but also for the eventual freeze-out you’ll have to endure in over-eager air conditioning. Summer walk-to-work transformation means pulling on over-shirts, buttoning up cardigans, rolling down pants and sleeves, taking hair out of ponytails, and then getting out of sweaty sneakers into sophisticated heels. Depending on the heat and the garment of choice, the swap may also include other, more delicate adjustments to pin and tuck straps and hooks.

So far, the trusty elevators have kept my secret sweaty-summer-stroller identity safe. In three years, I’ve never been caught with more than my shoes off, and only one at that.

As long as I have 15 floors, the world may never know.


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