Monday, August 11, 2008

Work Attire Shmashmire

“So” She said on the phone to me after a particularly late night at work. “I went to Bloomingdale's to pick out a new outfit for work…and I had to make the forever daunting decision…of whether to look like a mom or a hooker.”

Just thinking about “work clothes” I could feel the bile building up in the back of my throat. I, myself have had one too many encounters with ‘work appropriate attire’ that I will deem sole responsibility on being a young woman in my 20’s. I can’t seem to win no matter which route I choose. I always see commercials for young people going to “work” in hip little corduroy blazers and ripped denim, carrying large architecture cases. Who are these people? Because, let me tell you something it more or less looks like Corduroy McGee's so called “work” is the unemployment line.

Even if you do happen to work in a ‘casual’ work environment, women still have the ever mysterious task of looking ‘nice’, but not ‘sexy’. But sometimes how can you be nice looking and not appear sexy? Or sexy, but nice? Or nice, but in a nonsexual kind of way? Or not nice and overtly sexual? Or how much wood would a Wood Chuck chuck if a Wood Chuck could chuck wood?

The lines become even more blurred when you are blessed by the Greek Gods with things I would like to refer to as, “boobs”. These so called “boobs" may seem fine in everyday life, but in the workplace they are utterly shunned upon. These alleged boobs must disappear completely come 9am, and must magically reappear after the hour of 5pm. However, if they are a decent size, even a basic v-neck sweater suddenly makes your work outfit look more like a Cheetah Club after-hours audition.

Oh and sweet Jesus, Mary and Joseph may you be struck down dead if you have one of those dresses with spaghetti straps. You want to show a shoulder?! Who are you?! Naked Nancy?! Put that shoulder away, dammit, can you not see how you are arousing the men of the world and no one can concentrate on the work at hand with you showing that damn shoulder of yours! Men wont be able to “email” or “fax" or even have a basic phone conversation if they get one whiff of that Clavicle bone of yours!

The sexiest bone EVER

Have you not received the memo? Men will not respect you if they think you have a (whisper voices please) “body”. Yes, that is right, let no man think you have boobs, or shoulders or anything else for that matter. “Look at Mary, look at her and those BOOBS. Right there in her high necked-turtleneck! I can see the OUTLINE of those things! Distracting everyone! Get rid of her! She is a menace to the community! You better send that child home right now before she disgraces us in front of the men-folk! Now please, will someone go to the kitchen and churn some butter..."

Now if you don’t want to go the hooker route to work, you next best option, is the mom uniform. Oh yes, let me tell you, Peggy in accounting has this one down very well. Peggy is about 25 going on 83.

Peggy, how DO you get all the men?

She strolls in everyday in her pleated front khakis, heart-patterned turtleneck and a blazer that’s big enough to fit the small population of Asia underneath it. But you know what, people like Peggy for her MIND, and because you can’t see any of those distracting things like “boobs”…or even that Peggy has an actual vagina. Thank God!

God forbid people found out she has an actual vagina, she may not get promoted at all.

I prefer to go to work with my entire body covered. Mostly in sheets, with a ski mask and possibly some goggles. I find I am much less distracting that way. And more people can concentrate on their work when they are not being demonized by my body or by my outrageous good looks.

This is what I call , "Worker Chic"

And if Banana Republic could please stop advertising some kind of ultra good looking architect staff wearing high waist jeans and wife beaters, I might be able to actually be able to figure out what is work appropriate.