Beware of Panty Pranks

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Me in the jeans, Mom; folded jeans on top of sock box

Me in the jeans, Mom; folded jeans on top of sock box

There are so many ways to headline this post. Here are some of the titles I’ve considered:

  1. Spooky Panty Prank
  2. Good Underwear Gone Bad
  3. What to Do When Underwear Falls at Your Feet
  4. Image Expert Responds to Fashion Fiasco
  5. Mother Never Prepared Me for This One

Let’s start with that last one. Did your mother warn you to always start the day with clean underwear because if you got in a car accident and had to go to the hospital, EVERYONE would notice if you hadn’t? Probably. But did she warn you that your panties could just appear out of nowhere while you’re walking down the street? No, of course not. But I will.

You’re going to be there at the scene of the crime in just two paragraphs but let me give you the facts that led up to the event. It was Saturday. I took a late morning shower, grabbed some clean underwear and threw on the jeans I’d worn for part of the day the day before. They were easy to grab as I’d folded them loosely and placed them the night before on top of my sock box. I put on my bra, a gray/black-striped tee and my lightweight quilted black moto jacket. I opened the lid of my sock box and pulled out a pair of low cut athletic socks. I put them on along with my black patent sneakers and laced them up.

I had a massage appointment to get to. It’s only about a seven-minute drive plus parking. Boy did I feel lucky. I found a great parking place on a side street just off the Sonoma Square. I only had a block to walk. I’d enjoy the people watching as I headed to my date with Andrew at Massage Envy. Sonoma is a destination town and the square is always full of people on Saturdays. Women are usually dressed in Wine Country casual chic attire. You can imagine: My style eyes were in heaven as I observed shoes, accessories, dresses, and cute jean outfits passing to and fro.

I was only a few doors from my destination when I felt something brush against my ankles. Could it be one of those small adorable dogs on someone’s leash that had chosen to get chummy with me? I looked down expecting to see something furry and instead I saw a wad of something, something sort of familiar. Wait a minute. It was pink and black and had lace on it. WAIT A MINUTE! It looked like my underwear! How could my underwear be here in a puddle on the sidewalk?

I could have been mortified if I’d given myself that luxury but I knew I had to be quick. Without breaking stride, I scooped up the panties with my right hand and tossed them into my handbag. Then I marched ahead, head held high, pretending that my panties hadn’t fallen out of my pant leg on a crowded street in downtown Sonoma.

I didn’t say a word to Andrew but I wanted to tell someone. After my massage I called Russ and asked him to join me for a latte at the Sunflower Cafe on the opposite end of the square. When I told him what happened, he said, “Did anyone notice?” I have no idea. I don’t know how much attention a pink satin and black lace panty would get on the square but I didn’t make any eye contact with anyone. I didn’t turn my head. I was like that line on the GPS heading for its destination. “You have reached your destination on the right hand side.” The doors to Massage Envy couldn’t have come soon enough.

So here’s what I think happened. When I took off my jeans the night before, the bedroom was dimly lit and I was very tired. In one quick move I lodged my fingers inside the unzipped jeans and pulled them straight down. Then I folded them loosely and placed them on top of my sock box. They didn’t need laundering and they didn’t need to be put away because I would most likely wear them the next day.

What I didn’t realize is that when I slid the jeans down over my hips, I was sliding my underwear down too. They somehow nestled inside a leg of the jeans and waited there all night. Then in the late morning when I went to put the jeans on, the underwear was hiding inside my pant leg.

These are not tight jeans; they’re more of a relaxed fit. The underwear could have fallen out anywhere: in the bedroom, in the kitchen as I grabbed the keys, in the garage, maybe even right next to the car once I’d parked it. But no, those panties were happy right where they were…until they weren’t. They chose the bustling streets of downtown Sonoma to break free and make a run for it.

I guess if panties falling out of my pant leg had to happen, I’m glad it was a super cute pair. (I’m looking for a silver lining here.) Heaven forbid it would have been my laundry day undies. You know the pair I’m talking about. They’re the ones that are languishing at the bottom of your panty drawer; motivating you to do laundry, do laundry now.

I want to save you from this embarrassment. How? Well, I can offer some helpful hints. I think it might be best to get undressed with the lights on. Move more slowly through this final wardrobe moment of the day. Look for your undies and throw them in the laundry. Then go ahead and fold your jeans and plan to wear them tomorrow if you like.

With Halloween just around the corner, you don’t want to give those prankster panties an opportunity to play tricks on you.

Shopping Advice: The ‘Three Ifs and a Maybe’ Rule

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shopping bag imge

A client I saw last week had a confession to make. “I panicked and bought this jacket and I know you’re probably going to hate it.”

I’m not a hater. I’m a lover or, when that doesn’t work, I’m a let’s-try-and-make-this-work fixer. I dove into the jacket assessment with an open and creative mind.

This is how it played out: The client is looking at her reflection in her well-lit full-length mirror. I’m standing behind her looking in the mirror and she has the  jacket on. It’s ivory-colored with a thin black pinstripe. It’s silk, is super simple and has a standup color.

Here’s the conversation.

Brenda: “Hmmm.”

Client: “It’s awful, right?”

Brenda: “Well, wait. What if we took the sleeves in? The sleeves are really big on you.”

I nip the sleeves in a bit with my fingertips as she watches in the mirror. I look over her shoulder into the mirror to see if this adjustment has helped any. I was a sewer so I do know that some simple things can make a big difference. We study her reflection. Taking in the sleeves hasn’t provided the quick fix I wanted. She speaks next.

Client: “Still not great, is it? I just panicked!”

Brenda: “Wait, wait. What if we add a strong necklace at the neckline? It’s a simple jacket. Maybe we can distract the eye a bit.” I go to her jewelry drawer and start playing with different necklaces. She watches my attempts in the mirror. There are no words. She just winces. I think I’ve tried everything I can.

Brenda: “Maybe one of your daughters would want it?”

Client: “My daughters would never let themselves wear something so matronly looking! Well, at least it wasn’t a $400 mistake, it was a $148 mistake.”

Brenda: “I think you’re right. It was a moment of panic. Let’s go into your closet and restyle some of your favorite jackets. We’ll come up with some new combos that you’ll love. You’ll see.”

Parts of this conversation may sound familiar to you. You may have said things like this in your head when you’re in a dressing room by yourself, wondering if something is working or not. Or perhaps you’ve been shopping with friends when they started offering advice like:

If you changed your makeup colors, it might work.

If you have someone take it in at the waist, it might work.

If you roll the sleeves up and bring the shoulder line higher, maybe it would work.

Maybe it would work if you dyed it another color. (Don’t laugh; I’ve done it myself!)

Maybe if you belt it…

My advice: If you’re up to three ifs and a maybe, leave it behind. Move on to a different store or call it quits and go home. Some things just don’t work out—no matter how hard we try.

Jewelry over 55

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braclet-open

Check it out–a multi strand, gold and silver bracelet from J.James in Sonoma spotted by one of the Bellas last week while the three of us were doing one of the things we love doing the most: admiring clothes and jewlery.

braclet-closed

And check out the closure? It’s magnetic! The two ends get just barely near each other and they’ve embraced. Like love at first sight.

braclet-cluster

 

This bracelet went from being admired to being purchased. Here it is mixed in with the bracelets Bella Marj was wearing already. A perfect blend, right?

Different bracelets with different textures all living in divine harmony. When I look at this bundle, I can’t imagine life before the new addition!

The ease with which this bracelet closed got me thinking. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve certainly taken note about how easily a necklace fastens…or doesn’t. We don’t all have dressers like characters living in the PBS series, Downton Abbey. We may have someone who will answer us if we call out, “Honey, can you help me with this?” But even if we do live with someone, they aren’t always around when we’re getting dressed.

If I am going to attach myself to a pro-fashion crusade, it might be curating a jewelry collection with easy closures so women over 55 can get them on and off with little to no effort. I wonder how many necklaces or bracelets are living in jewelry boxes not being worn because they are too hard to manage?

Last week I was helping a client who wanted to edit her wardrobe so her closet was more streamlined. “No one needs this many clothes,” she said. While reviewing pants, jackets, and tops we would come across something she wanted my ideas about how to wear it. Some things she’d never worn! So I got busy and created lots of new outfits and finished them from head-to-toe with shoes, outerwear, and accessories. She was delighted to see her “old” things arranged in a “new” way.

She’s a septuagenarian and this issue of closures came up. When I handed her a necklace to adorn the neck edge of one of her jackets, she had a bit of a hard time with it. “This necklacs is just not suited to my elder fingers,” she said.

Elder fingers. I loved that term. I think my fingers went from post-nubile to elder about 10 years ago. But my love of accessories and my desire to wear an outfit well-suited to my personality and style has never aged. Some of my clients are just waking up to their style in their fourth, fifth, sixth or even seventh decade. I want adornment to be easy for them!

Easy to manage jewelry. Anybody want to join this fashion revolution? Or is it an evolution? Have you had problems with your jewelry? What lines have you found to be elder fingers favorable? Please share!

 

I need some fancy in my outfits, do you?

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fancy-2I have a friend who enjoys clothes nearly as much as I do. She wanted me to check out a jewelry sample sale with her at one of our favorite local boutiques. How could I say no? We checked out the jewelry and also the newly delivered clothes and accessories that had come in for early fall. My friend spotted a handbag that intrigued her and asked my opinion. I thought it looked great on her.

“You try it on,” she said. I did, but it just fell flat on me.

The sales associate offered her opinion. “Brenda, you’re more fancy than that bag is,” she said.

She was right. I don’t know that I would have explained it that way but I loved the word she used: fancy. Yes, I don’t feel right if I’m wearing fabrics that are all dull or jewelry that doesn’t have any bling to it. I like polished fabrics, patent leather shoes, a cluster of sequins or beads appliquéd on a sweater. I wouldn’t wear those things from head-to-toe. I just need sheen, luster, or luminescence to represent about twenty percent of my outfit. It makes me feel happier, cheerier, even more youthful.

As I read more about it, I think I’m more of an introvert than I thought. And having something “fancy” in an outfit helps me be out in the world with more confidence and ease. At least that’s how I feel at this moment in September.

How about you? Do you like wearing clothes or accessories that have some bling to them? How much fancy do you need in your outfits?

 

Wardrobe Fix: What’s a Sleevey Wonder?

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Sleevey Wonders

I have a problem in common with many of my clients: how do I wear something sleeveless while camouflaging my arms? Oh, I could go commando like other clients of mine and bare my arms (I am cheerleader for that, too!) but I won’t.

Recently I was working with a client, making outfits from her current wardrobe, and we found ourselves facing this very issue once again. She has the added condition of running warmer than anyone else in the room. She’d be happy living in freezer like conditions. I can make fabulous outfits in my head but I know they won’t pass her heat test. “I can’t wear that. I’ll be too hot,” she’ll say.

She had a sheer long-sleeved crew neck black stretchy top in her closet. We’ve used it as a layering piece before. But in truth, even layering doesn’t work well for her. So I suggested to her that we get a duplicate of this stretchy top so I could cut one of them up and make it skimpier and cooler for her and still layer it. I wanted to cut the neckline down and take out one layer of the double layered front panel. I knew what I wanted. I was determined to come up with a solution.

But last week, a readymade solution came to me. I was with my Bellas, my image consultant friends who meet once a month, and we were doing a favorite thing: shopping at Specialtees Boutique in Lafayette, CA. Our great sales associate heard me lamenting about needing sleeves for something I’d just fallen in love with. She said, “Oh! Wait! You need a Sleevey Wonder!”

A sleevey what?

She brought me a lingerie item, a Sleevey Wonder, in a variety of sizes and colors. Here’s how it works.

Step one: Put your bra on (if it isn’t on already).

Step two: Put your Sleevey Wonder over your bra and fasten it in front.

Step three: Put your sleeveless dress or sleeveless top over your two underthings.

Step four: Finish putting your outfit together.

Step five: Find a full-length mirror and admire your arms and your whole look from head-to-toe. You look fantastic!

I bought two of them. The gray one in the photo above is what I’ll wear under my ink colored crinkled dress. I bought a black one to wear under a sleeveless black tunic and about a million more things I can think of come fall and winter. You can even wear them backwards!

That shopping trip was on a Sunday. On Monday I was scheduled to see this same wardrobing client, the one that gets warm but wants sleeves. “Boy, do I have a treat for you!” I teased her. I wore the black one with the tunic I bought so she could see it in action. Then I pulled out my gray Sleevey Wonder and she tried it on. She was amazed. We immediately went to my iPad, got online and ordered them in a variety of colors.

Have you seen these before? It’s the miracle solution I wish I’d invented! Maybe you’ll find them in lingerie departments near you but if not, go to their website and check them out. I feel like they run generously. I bought a medium and in tops I’m often buying a large. They feel very well made.

I wore one last night when I met my wonderful friend and colleague, Sarah Brummitt from London, for drinks and dinner at Des Amis on Union Street. She and her husband, Anthony, met the whole Bay Area family: Caitlin, Erin, Mike, and Russ. We were there for five hours! Sarah loved my whole look and if it had been easier to do, I’d have slipped my dress up to show her my Sleevey Wonder. Instead, I’ll suggest she reads this blog post!

Would Sleevey Wonders be a solution for you, too?

Wearing my Sleevey Wonder and having a wonderful time with Sarah

Wearing my Sleevey Wonder and having a wonderful time with Sarah

 

 

Hosiery, the confidence building accessory

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hosiery 1

I love having plenty of time at the airport terminal because I have things to study, like studying other people’s great travel outfits. While some people choose sloppy casual as their travel attire, others wear outfits that will take them directly from the airport to their first meeting or romantic rendezvous.

The woman (above) seated just outside the international terminal at SFO certainly was chic in her print dress, trendy hosiery and laced up heeled booties. I wanted to know more about her!

I’m seeing lots of hosiery choices for fall. A fashionista’s treat is to shop on Maiden Lane in San Francisco, stepping into the Wolford store where you just can’t help but feel more courageous about trying patterned or colored stockings. They have walls of choices and displays that jump forward at you. I guess one reaction would be to get scared and run out vowing to only wear pants, but I’m hosiery-friendly even if I may not be as courageous as the woman at SFO.

When I was a teen, I was on the Herbst Teen Board in Fargo, North Dakota. I represented my high school, West Fargo High. Besides being involved in lots of community projects, I worked on the weekends and some evenings at the most upscale store in Fargo. I floated around the store and filled in in different departments but the one that I fell in love with was the hosiery department.

I felt like I sold confidence at that hosiery counter. A woman would show up with an outfit challenge and I’d help her choose hosiery that harmonized with her look, polished her outfit, and set the stage for her to walk into any room and let her inner light shine.

I left Fargo, North Dakota after my high school graduation to follow my best friend, Patricia, to another corner of the world called California. There was nothing about California that was like North Dakota. When I needed to find a summer job, I interviewed at Gottschalk’s, a brand new department store that was just opening up. The one thing that felt like home was the hosiery department and that’s where I landed.

I was 18-years-old. The women working with me were so much older, maybe even as old as 40 or 50! It was a big department and I dove right in learning all I could. I made a few back and forth trips between ND and CA before settling in Southern California in my early 20s. I was always able to get my job back in the hosiery department anytime I wanted it.

Fast forward a few decades and hosiery is still on my radar. There’s nothing more fun than visiting the hosiery department at the start of a season and finding out what’s new, what the trends are, what the best sellers are. I like to make sure my clients have their hosiery needs covered before we end a shopping trip.

hosiery two

Does a strong hosiery pattern make you nervous? Check out this nude one. When I flew to Fargo, North Dakota last January to visit the folks, my best friend Patricia (who ended up leaving California and moving to Minnesota) picked me up at the airport and we stopped at one of our favorite Fargo spots, Nichole’s Fine Pastry.

That’s where we met this lovely woman all bundled up in her fur and boots. She loves vintage and was wearing a lot of it–her coat, her DVF dress. I loved the patterned nude tights she was wearing with her outfit. The way the graphic element in her dress related to the graphic design in the tights made me swoon. I wanted to know all about her life! But our visit was cut short. Patricia said, “Brenda, we have to leave! It’s starting to storm!” She was right. We had 75 miles to drive to my parent’s home and just as we got off the freeway they closed it. It was one of those events I hadn’t experienced since leaving North Dakota and getting my first California driver’s license. Mom and dad are asking if I’ll be back next January. I’m not so sure.

With fall coming up, will you step into some great hosiery? In case you need a little more inspiration, take it from the authors of the book Paris Street Style. They say about tights, “If you’re afraid of making an error of taste, go for black opaque; but colors aren’t the sole preserve of little girls. Abandon red (which can be dangerous when associated with black); opt instead for violet, anthracite gray, luminous fuchsia, lilac … all are superb with khaki and fall colors in general.”

Do you have some hosiery tips or stories to share? Bring it on!

Don’t delay! Wear those summer clothes today!

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Wear it now

There’s going to be a day in late September when you’re looking at something in your closet and you’ll wonder, Can I still wear this or is it past the summer expiration date? There isn’t a hot line for answers, not like the Butterball turkey hotline for novice cooks on Thanksgiving. The answer in August would be yes, a no-brainer. But September? Not so sure!

It’ll happen again in October. There will be a day that month that will get your attention. It won’t be because of who is winning the World Series. No, it’ll be because you look in your closet to grab a warmer layer and you discover a summer top that you forgot all about! Suddenly you can think of three occasions when it would have been PERFECT with your white linen pants that you won’t wear until next summer. But today you’re looking for something to wear with your coated burgundy jeans and it’s not that top! You’re pissed at yourself for the missed opportunities to wear it.

Isn’t it the Buddhists that encourage us to live with no regrets? Or was that my dad’s advice? Either way, it’s a good idea to go through your closet right now, this week, and take an inventory. Let your fingers touch every hanging garment as you move from left to right. Pull out every item that you’ve forgotten about and would feel horrible about not wearing before the summer is out. Put these items in a designated NOW OR NEVER section of your closet where you’ll see them first thing when you open your closet doors tomorrow.

Whether you organize by color or by function, these clothing pieces want to serve you before the summer is out. Let them. Let them delight you like crazy for the time remaining. Put them into outfits from now until September 15th.

Remember, no regrets. Wear it. Wear it now.

Are you working your makeup stash?

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Use what you have

Elina is our beauty guru ever since she helped my eldest daughter, Erin, get her first tube of Chanel lipstick and taught me how to wear age-appropriate makeup. Elina, a tall beauty with patience for those of us who feel like we’re blundering our way through beauty products, is a beauty specialist at Nordstrom, Corte Madera.

Elina taught me how to apply and use products that were new to me. When my makeup containers are nearly empty of product, I bring them in to see if she wants me to continue using that particular color or product or if she wants to suggest a change. She’s always amazed at the condition of the little pots of color that I show her. “Wow, you’re really using your product,” she’ll say. Hey, she gave me a plan and I work the plan. That’s it!

She recently suggested a different lipstick color for me for spring/summer. Her suggestion? Red. Here’s how the conversation went.

“RED!” I said. The introvert in me wanted to crawl under the Laura Mercier counter.

“Yes,” she said calmly.

“Maybe for special occasions, but not every day,” I fussed.

“Why not?” She wasn’t budging, not even a teeny bit.

“But what about when I just go to the coffee shop and write? I can’t wear red lipstick there, can I?” I argued.

“Absolutely, it’s you. Wear it and write,” she insisted.

Okay, okay, red lipstick. I bought it. I’ll try it, I thought. Estée Lauder Vengeful Red came home with me.

Fast forward two months and I am still wearing it. Recently Erin and I were at a San Francisco Giants ballgame and got separated when we were wandering around the concession stands. She went to the usher of our section and said, “I’ve lost my mom!” “Is she wearing red lipstick?” he said. “Yup!” she said. When she located me she told me the usher story and said, “See, it’s your signature color!”

One day Erin wanted Elina to look at the lipstick color she’d recently purchased. When Erin fidgeted about whether or not there were other shades she should be wearing instead, Elina said firmly, “Erin put it on and be happy. You don’t need more lipstick.”

Are you using what you’ve got? Maybe you need to take your stash of products to a professional and have her go through them to help you get a plan. Or, maybe like myself, you gave up a while back and thought there was nothing out there for you? Listen, if I can learn new things, so can you. Next lifetime, I swear I’m going to come back as a wildly extroverted person who loves products and wants to try every single one, a person who could easily fit right in as a MAC counter girl. But for now, I’m just happy being me…with Elina’s help!

 

Makeup Lessons

1. Find someone you trust and be open to learning new things.

2. Practice, practice, practice those new things. Give them a chance instead of falling back into the rut you brought with you to the makeup counter.

3. If what you’re doing is working, stick with it. Visit your trusted beauty expert for additional tutorials as the seasons change.

4. When you’re using what you have you don’t have to worry about makeup expiration dates. Your products are going on your face well before they’ve expired.

5. Put it on, wear it. You’ll be happy you did.

Erin and I visiting our beauty stylist.

Erin and I visiting our beauty stylist.

Fashion with purpose: You have too much stuff

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Not using your stuff

I think there’s an epidemic in our country and most of us are affected. That epidemic is called Not Using Your Stuff. You think you’re immuned to it? See if you can relate to any of these statements.

  • I buy new makeup, try it once or twice, get bored and want something new.
  • I have clothes in my closet that still have the tags on them.
  • Sometimes I find things in my closet that I forgot were even there.
  • What looked good in the store looks weird at home but I keep it because I don’t want to go back to the store.
  • I bought it, but I don’t know how to wear it so it just sits in my closet.
  • I let people talk me into stuff and then never use it.

It’s easy to not think and just buy for not very clear reasons. But here’s what’s possible when you stop looking out there (on shopping websites, store displays, makeup counters) for the next new thing and focus on using what you already have.

You feel good about yourself. You invested money in new stuff and when you use that stuff within days or weeks of purchasing it, you start to see a return on your investment. The more you use your stuff, the better return you’re getting.

When you use what you have and get value out of it, you’re less likely to spend money foolishly. Often we spend money in dribs and drabs, here and there, maybe even every week. Instead, when we use what we have we feel more satisfied. We spend less often so we can save up and buy something special if we’d like. We stop spending money out of habit and create a thoughtful plan instead.

When we use what we have, we avoid those yucky feelings that can creep up when we whip out our credit card to buy yet another pair of black pants or another pair of boots to add to the ones we have at home that aren’t being worn. What are the names of those yucky feelings? How about guilt, remorse, regret?

So let’s just say that you’ve read along so far and you realize that you are indeed Not Using Your Stuff. Why do you suppose that is?

Sometimes you can’t see or appreciate what you have because your closet is loaded with things that don’t work. Stuff may have to go before you can spot the gems that are already there. And that task seems daunting!

Sometimes you’re scared to actually try the new things you purchased. Maybe you’ll look great! Maybe you’ll get attention! Maybe you won’t know how to handle the attention! Maybe people will say to themselves, Who does she think she is?

Or maybe you just don’t have the time it takes to really get into your closet and put together outfits that would work for your different roles in life. Instead you ignore the stuff you purchased and default to the stuff you can put on without thinking. Not managing your time is wasting your money.

Maybe your motivation is low and resistance is high. You have some negative self-talk that takes over before you even use the new makeup techniques you learned or wear the outfit that looked so great in the dressing room. You know what I mean—those negative statements that you’d never say to anybody else. Things like:

You’re 60. Who cares?

You’re just a mom.

Nobody notices you anyway.

Ouch! Those hurt!

Over the next few days I want to give you a few tips for beating this epidemic of Not Using Your Stuff. Why? Because when you do, you’ll see your investment paying off. You’ll build confidence in yourself. Good stuff will come from learning how to use your stuff. I promise!

Travel comfort can happen with just two inches or less

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travel-comfort

When you board an airplane, you really don’t know what’s going to happen next. Will you arrive at your destination on time? Will you be delayed because of bad weather at the other end? Will someone have forgotten to order a pushback crew to guide the plane out of the gate area? All of those things happened to me in Duluth, Minnesota last month. My flight left at 5:15 a.m. — or rather, it was supposed to leave at 5:15 a.m. I was up by 3:30 a.m. and my hostess with the mostest best friend was kind enough to get up early and grind some coffee beans by hand (her specialty) and make me a cup of her great coffee. I took it “to go” and we headed to the airport.

It was pouring down rain. The sky was full of lightening. Thunder was crackling all around us. As we arrived at the terminal I thanked Patricia for the last cup of Minnesota coffee on my trip and maybe the last cup of coffee I’d ever have if we were actually going to travel in that weather!

It was a short flight to Minneapolis where I’d make my connection to San Francisco. We were all buckled in and the pilot said we were set to take off. It would just be another five minutes for the pushback crew to come and get us out of the gate area. I had nothing but patience at that hour.

A few minutes passed and the pilot got on the intercom again and said, “Well, there was no pushback crew scheduled for this flight so we have to wait for someone to get here. The nearest qualified crew member lives thirty miles away. You can all get off the plane and go get some breakfast inside the terminal and we’ll let you know when we’re ready to board again.”

The person seated in front of me said to anyone who was listening, “What if they just got an unqualified person to push us out of the gate?” Chuckle chuckle.

The pilot joined us in line at the concession stand. He stood right behind me. We had a little chit chat. Gray-haired, I believed him when he said he’d done a whole lot of flying and never once had run into this situation.

On one hand, I didn’t mind the wait. If the weather got better, I’d feel a lot safer about flying.

Within the hour we got the announcement to get back on board. Having lost some of my earlier patience, I found myself fretting about the fact that I had now officially missed my connecting flight. But impatience soon gave way to fear on our short flight. I heard the landing gear coming out of the plane. You probably recognize that whirring sound, right? The plane seems to linger in the air a little heavier just before it starts the descent. There was nothing to see out the window yet because we were still in rain and heavy cloud coverage.

Suddenly, we weren’t going down anymore. The plane lurched upward and made a sharp righthand turn. That couldn’t be good. The landing gear pulled back into the plane and we were somewhere, but not at the airport! The gray-haired pilot got on the intercom again. He said the weather wasn’t cooperating and we missed a runway and he’d try coming in on the west side. Good to know, good to know.

Now I started wondering about the pilot. I think we’re in good hands I said to myself. He seemed like a nice enough guy when we talked–as if “Minnesota nice” would make the difference between landing where we were supposed to land or landing somewhere we weren’t intended to land. I began to wonder what his original thinking was when he chose this career. Did he have that moment when he woke up and thought, gee, I want to get into a huge flying machine, pack it full of people, and be the sole person they all trust to get them safely from one place to another, far, far, faraway place.

There was nothing in me that had could have dreamed up such a high stakes career like that. I was perfectly happy with the career path I’d chosen twenty-nine years ago. I get to make people feel great every day. Now I just wanted to wake up on Monday morning and go to Sara’s closet and help her pack her trip and erase that worry from her mind and then “wow” her with all the fresh outfit combos I’d create with her existing wardrobe pieces and then help her decide if shopping the Nordstrom sale was a good idea or not. Not much stress. Just a super fun job with a super great client. No one’s life would be in danger.

In another thirty minutes or so, the scare was over. The landing gear came out again. I still couldn’t see anything out the window but then I felt the happiest bump and bounce of the day–the wheels hitting the runway. We got off the plane and I found out that I’d been rebooked on a flight that would take off in two hours. All good!

When you have no idea of just how comfortable a flight will be, wouldn’t it be a good idea to make sure your bra isn’t pinching or feeling tight? Who needs more constriction, right? Right! That’s why one of my favorite inflight must-haves is a bra extender. Even if you don’t feel a real need for one in everyday life, when you’re on an airplane for hours, having that bra just a little looser can make everything more comfortable. I’m never going braless but I am going to put my bra into “relax” mode. On some trips, those little things can feel like a real blessing … that and finding the runway in a rainstorm.

Want to check out some bra extenders? Just click below!

Bare Necessities

Victoria Secrets

Nordstrom