I decided to write this post because an acquaintance (Rodney L!) of mine recently got to meet Stacy London one of the hosts from “What Not to Wear”.  I am so jealous!  Yes, I watched the show and loved it.  I have applied a number of ideas to my own fashion issues.  A tailor or seamstress is a great person to know!

Ok, seriously, I do love shoes, but my jobs require sensibility and utility.  This usually means something I can move quickly in, or something protective, like work boots.  Even office employees in New York City have learned (since September 11th) to have sensible shoes available for emergencies or for the trek before and after work to and from the subway or train.  Fancy footwear can prove to be problematic as well as painful, for long walks and not at all good in debris or if you have to run.

As a Police Officer and in Private Security I wore a uniform.  The Uniform, like most uniforms, is designed for safety, protection, to project authority and presence.  As a Police Detective, my wardrobe changed.  A good tailor became very useful.  Women’s clothing didn’t have pockets like men’s.  I’m tall and I found most womens suiting jackets were too short. Sometimes, I bought menswear and had it taken in or altered to fit properly as well as to conceal my firearm.  I had internal and hidden pockets added to some of my clothing for keys, a tape-recorder and other stuff.  Female Police Detectives do not carry purses or wear high heels to work!  These days there are so many more clothing options for women who work in non-traditional careers or even if they just want to get their concealed pistol license and carry concealed.  It’s not easy to hide guns!

Let’s talk about the dress code for investigators.  There isn’t one.  What I mean to say is that there isn’t just one wardrobe or dress code.  You have to look professional when meeting with clients.  If you are going into a dangerous neighborhood you don’t want to bring attention to yourself or to the fact you might be armed.  It’s jeans and a hoodie or simple nondescript clothing.  If you are doing surveillance on a subject at a football game, then you’re wearing a team jersey and hat.  If you are crawling army style through a field, you don’t want to wear your good clothing (oh and make sure some big ugly bug that you’ve never seen before doesn’t catch a ride back with you…true story).

What I’m trying to say is that for every job, situation, arena, or organization there is probably a right and wrong way to dress.  The key is to blend into your surroundings. Sparkles and glitter or fancy duds will just attract attention (unless that is your goal).  As an investigator, your wardrobe may include clothes that are too big (so you can layer and change your appearance alter your size and shape), glasses, hats (baseball, cowboy, stocking, straw/beach) and different styles of clothing and shoes that you would not normally wear.  I highly recommend a good wig (so much fun!) and have found that even people that know me do not recognize me at all.  I can make myself look ten years younger or older with makeup and clothing.  And maybe, once in a great while,  in the right surroundings, one could wear some heels.  But make sure you can run (or walk) in them.

Processed with MOLDIV

shoes shoes shoes….

Non-Traditional Student Problems

I am going to tell you about a funny thing that happened on the way to my bachelor’s degree, as a non-traditional student.   But first, what is a non-traditional student?

According to The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), A non-traditional student is defined as a student with one or more of these characteristics (1):

  • Do not immediately continue your education after you graduate from high school
  • Attend college only part time
  • Work full time (35 hours or more per week)
  • Are financially independent
  • Have children or dependents other than your spouse
  • Are a single parent
  • Have a GED, not a high school diploma

I have attended a number of different colleges at different times in my life.  I attended 1  year of college after high school, got married had children, got divorced, went back to school, got a job.  I then later returned to school, and finished my associates degree in my 30’s.  I did this to be more marketable to other Law Enforcement agencies who were starting to require a higher level of education for their candidates.  I had no idea if I was going to be put back to work or not, and needed to be able to get another job.

Fortunately I have always looked younger than I am, so I was able to blend in a little with younger students.  I really enjoyed college the second time around and got stellar grades (unlike my first year).

10 years later I went back and finished my bachelor’s degree.  This time, I was attending school with people the age of my children. Do not be afraid to go back to school if you are older.  I can tell you, I had a blast!  I was asked to join the Criminal Justice Honor Society.  We did a lot of community projects and went on trips to (New York City and Dallas).  As  college student most of these trips are sponsored in part by the school and partially paid for by fundraising.  I think it cost me $100-$200 bucks at the most (not including shopping or sightseeing)! Eventually they figured it out but I was already accepted into the group.   Again, fortunately I look younger than I really am.  But then this happened…

Several semesters in, on the first day of one of my Criminal Justice classes, the professor handed out a survey.  It asked for a variety of demographics including, what year (freshman, sophomore, junior, senior?), personal income, household income, number of people in your household, age, along with various questions to determine what type of Criminal Justice knowledge we had.  We filled it out and handed it back in.


Much to my dismay, at the very next class, the professor started reading off class statistics…So, we have a range of incomes from $-$$$, this many freshman (she gave a number), and so on.  When she got to age (uh oh) it went something like this…

We have five 18 year olds, two 20 year olds, and so on until she said, and one 40-something (cough cough) year old. Everyone started looking around the room to figure out who the 40- something year old student was. Well I didn’t want to give it away, so I looked around too, as if it wasn’t me (Ha ha, genius right?).  I thought it had worked, until after class.  A guy walks up next to me, gives me a nudge with his elbow, leans over and whispers…”It’s you isn’t it?”

The gig is up…


Well…heres what I think…you are never too old to do anything to better yourself!


  1. https://nces.ed.gov/pubs/web/97578e.asp