One Shirt Four Ways: 4 Full Outfits Using One OCBD

One of the essential skills for building a versatile wardrobe affordably is learning how to use any single clothing item in a variety of ways. This magic allows you to utilize a single shirt into several outfits that range across the style spectrum from rugged casual to business casual. Today we will look at how to use a basic gray oxford cloth button-down shirt in 4 very different outfits.

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Outfits: Attending the Symphony (at Home)

I love attending cultural events. It’s one of the very few activities that I get excited to leave the house for. The Mrs. and I get all dressed up, her in a favorite dress, me usually in a blazer and tie. We often go for dinner or drinks first, parking somewhere that we can walk to both dinner and the venue. We spend an evening enjoying a lovely performance while sitting quietly (but not passively) together. It’s an introvert couple’s dream date.

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Now is the Perfect Opportunity to Be Indispensable

Our lives, culture, and society are changing with every day that passes right now.  As our world struggles to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, the patterns and habits we are accustomed to are rapidly shifting.  For many of us, these shifts include major changes in our workplaces.  

Like many of you, I’m having my first experience of truly working from home due to my office closing our physical space.  Sure, I’ve done a day from home once or twice before, but that is so different than what’s happening now. My firm is closed indefinitely.  

Others aren’t struggling with being stuck at home, but instead are struggling with having to be out there, stocking our store shelves, caring for our sick, keeping our basic systems of energy and utilities running.  

No matter the circumstances you find yourself facing, one truth is clear: now is the time to be indispensable in your job.

No matter the circumstances you find yourself facing, one truth is clear:
now is the time to be indispensable in your job.  

As each day brings new challenges and problems to our workplaces, the people in charge are going to start noticing the folks that stand out.  Those people are going to be the ones that not only survive this strange period of time but actually come out ahead in the aftermath.  

Every new critical issue that pops up will need someone to step forward and say “I’ll handle that”.  Every shift that gets thinner due to illness or fear will need some stalwart employees to show up and get the work done.  Every unknown path your company has to take will need a trailblazer to say “I’ll go first.”  

I’m a proponent of working hard, constant learning, and being dependable every day, all year long, when it comes to my job.  I do not always like to go to work.  There are many days that I would like to take a mental health day, or slack my way through work hours, or half-ass the draft of some document.  But I choose to show up and do the work because I want to be a valuable employee instead of just another ass in a chair.  

The unfortunate reality is that many folks are going to be impacted if businesses shut down or jobs are cut.  Not everyone is going to make it through the next several weeks or months with their job and paycheck intact.  

But the wonderful thing is that this moment in time is presenting a unique opportunity for people who are willing to show up, stand up, and put in the effort.  

But the wonderful thing is that this moment in time is presenting a unique opportunity for people who are willing to show up, stand up, and put in the effort.  

Valuable employees are noticed by people in important positions.  Managers notice who works hard, who does quality work, who picks up someone else’s slack, and who coasts through the day.  

Valuable employees, the ones not coasting, are an important asset to any company.  They are the people that management makes exceptions for or rewards at the end of the year.  They are the ones that people rely on and respect. They are the ones that companies want to hold on to.

And right now, at this critical moment, anyone has the chance to become a valuable employee.  

And it’s simple. When someone sends an email that says “We need someone to develop a way to track status for X” or someone asks “Can anyone work a few extra hours?” or your manager mentions how X store is really struggling, you simply respond “I can help with that”.  

That’s it.  

You raise your hand.  You step forward to volunteer to spearhead something. You figure out a solution and you go to your boss with it.  

No one has all the answers right now.  But the people who are willing to try are going to make an impact.  We are all figuring things out as we go.  And if you are willing to put yourself out there, this is a chance to take a step forward in your career or job. 

There is a chance that how you respond over the next days and weeks will determine your whole future career.  

There is a chance that how you respond over the next days and weeks will determine your whole future career.  

Maybe it will open doors within your company.  Maybe it will impress a manager enough that they will be a reference for you for your next job. Maybe the only change will be that you begin to see yourself as someone strong and capable and that will fundamentally change your life.  

Now is the time to step up.  Now is the time to raise your hand.  Now is the time to become a person your company can’t live without. 

Did you know (about cats)?

Did you know that cats have eyelashes?  And whiskers on the back of their front legs? Did you know they get age spots like big brown freckles inside of their little orange ears?  Did you know they have preferences like hating to sit on a certain blanket or always need to be on a specific spot on the couch?

Have you ever realized how observant they are? They know that in the afternoon the sun shines on the floor in the guest room before moving to the floor in the master bedroom. They know the specific sequence of noises you make when getting their food ready and somehow tell the difference between when you are washing a plate and getting water warm to pour over their food. They can tell the difference between fried sloppy eggs and scrambled eggs from the next room. Did you know they can smell as well as dogs and that their favorite smell is rotisserie chicken?  

Did you ever see a scaredy-cat turn into a superhero when his brother cat gets attacked?  The cat who is afraid of the vacuum, the door opening, the fridge door slamming, and the sound of sneezing all of the sudden can leap 10 feet across a room to fight a  visiting rescue dog pitbull 4x his size. 

Did you ever see a big orange cat have a hunting dream?  Everything twitches and his feet run a little and you can almost follow his dream sequence just by watching. 

Did you ever see the connection between cat brothers?  Littermates to be precise and when the big one gets sick and lies quietly by the door for days on end the little one sits nearby instead of hanging out in his usual spot in the living room. Just being close so brother is not alone. 

Did you know that you can train a cat?  Snappy fingers mean knock it off or get out of the freaking kitchen!  Kissing noises mean treats or come snuggle. The sound of cat nail clippers means come and wait your turn and treats will follow. 

Did you ever see a cat light up with excitement?  How do they know the second you bring cat grass into the house?

Did you ever learn how to do a cat blinky kiss?  Stare for just a moment into your cat’s eyes. Lift your chin just slightly and blink slowly. And there it is – the cat’s slow blink back with the faint cat smile. Break my heart!  

Did you ever see a cat and know that they were yours?  That they would teach you how to be a good human and what a cat needs?  Did you ever see a cat and want to take them home? How could you know that they would teach you everything if you would only pay attention?  

Did you ever see a cat and think “I could love that guy” only to look around all those years later and think “how can I live without this guy by my side?”  Did you ever make a home and bring a cat inside, and before you know it, home isn’t actually home without that cat inside. 

Did you ever love a cat and have to let them go?  Did you ever have to make the hardest choice because it’s your job to do what best for them even if it’s hard? Did you ever love a cat and have to say goodbye?  And when you have, who’s there to watch you cry?