Ann’s Office Outfit Makeover: Meghan Cadwallader & Brian Calhoon

Meghan Cadwallader is messing up the natural order of things by dressing this way for work and I want her to stop.


Her colleague Brian Calhoon is just as guilty.


These two work at The Boston Conservatory. Brian is an admissions counselor, and also a wickedly soulful percussionist and vocalist. Meghan is the director of admissions, and also a writer of sharp and luscious poetry and nonfiction, and a singer when she has time for that, which is not much lately, which irritates me, Meghan, because there’s probably no shortage of fellow musicians around town who would love to harmonize with your sapphirey vocals. Yes. I called you sapphirey. There’s probably also no shortage of band-friendly bars there in Boston.

Which, back to my point: You two are already in Boston. you don’t need to dress in urban muted tailored things. It’s redundant, and it makes life difficult for those of us in the Midwest where basic black is our single thick-muscled farm-fed leg up on sophistication.

And yes, just last week I told a fellow writer/musician/dayjobber here in Mankato do the opposite and wear some color, but speaking in general terms, a lot of us here rely on the sleek darks and preppy neutrals at Casual Corner or whatever to make us feel like we’re slightly elsewhere, and I think I have to protect that right. The last thing we need when we check out people from ACTUAL ELSEWHERE is to see you wearing that same stuff. Although I’m sure neither of these outfits came from Casual Corner. They came from boutiques next door to fromageries and genuine non-Pier One ethnic artifacts stores. Yes?

Meghan. Brian. Get out of your offices and go walk down the exotic block I’m sure is outside the hallowed oak-trimmed halls of the Conservatory — I’m pronouncing that right, “blahk,” right? — and stroll into the nearest salon and tell them you need to be citified in a way that  makes life clear and simple for your friends on the prairie.


Extensions are a great start. You’ll also want color, color, color. Stripes. Metallics. Levitation! The Tupperware can stay but I want it filled with something that’s visibly heavy on saffron, not the macaroni salad Brian clearly appropriated from a Minnesota Unitarian church potluck.

Truly, you guys, if I understand university admissions — and I must, because for about ten years I worked in university marketing, and who loves each other more than admissions and the overpromisers? — you have to appeal to the demographic you’re after. You have to know what they want, and then be that. And I’m telling you, you are never going to meet your quota of middle-aged Midwestern cubicle workers who spend all day dreaming bigtime conservatory dreams, if you don’t start dressing how we very much want to believe it feels to be you.


Next makeover: Amy Rosenquist, everyone, the woman who taught me the art of writing down what I wear every day so I don’t repeat that same thing the next week. God, no, I don’t do that any more. I just do this blog which is obviously less obsessive.

One comment on “Ann’s Office Outfit Makeover: Meghan Cadwallader & Brian Calhoon

  1. Meghan Cadwallader says:

    This is an excellent way to start my Monday. Thanks, Ann!

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