Style Diary: Distortions of Length Perception
I have had far too many experiences in my twenties where I have confidently walked out my home in what I believed to be an apropos outfit just to hear an off-handed comment or see a picture of myself from that day and become wildly flabbergasted.
I have a genuine length perception problem and I don't know what to do about it. And, yes, length perception issues are real and have been thoroughly documented. This study explains:
"The results of all three experiments demonstrated a considerable human perceptual sensitivity to the differences in length that occur along curved object surfaces... human perception of length along object surfaces, although precise, is generally inaccurate... Nevertheless, each observer’s perceptions of surface length are reliable and consistent over time; the observers exhibit the same patterns of perceptual distortion for days and weeks, if not for years."
So I am, in fact, not making this thing up. Sometimes, you just can't see things in the correct light.
Looking at the dress now, it is clear to see that it is no where near work-length appropriate and I'm kinda insulted that H&M even marketed this as a dress. Unless I unintentionally walked into the Petite section, this is more so tunic than dress. But, when I tried it on in store, I definitely thought this number would be a great boxy sixties mod work dress and could have swore it hit my knee. Or maybe I just really wanted it to hit my knee? Either way, as I went to grab lunch, a young gentlemen gently teased, "They let you wear that dress at your job?"
And that, ladies and gents, is the story of how a quick fifteen minute run to pick up a salad turned into an hour excursion at TJ Maxx. Since they had no a-line skirts on their racks, I ended up getting the longest cardigan I could find and just planned on sitting at my desk for as long as possible until I could go home.
And I'm still wearing that cardigan. Cause its lightweight and blush in color and drapped with two pockets. Which, essentially, means I am in love. Thanks Inappropriate Work Dress for making this union possible!
Now, I really have to focus and make sure skirts and dresses hit my knee before I leave my home. I don't ever want to be caught out there like that again. I am, quite frankly, too old for that.