10/16/2012

WORK WEEK DAY 2

(thrifted sweater and skirt, zara jacket. WHAT UPPPP 7:30AM ON A TUESDAY MORNING)

Total Celine vibes for work today. Honestly, I cannot overstate the importance of burgundy tights as a part of your work wardrobe. They go with just about every dark color that Profesh Clothes seem come in, but also add just a little "HI OFFICE I AM WEIRD", enough that you coworkers will call you the ~artsy~ one.

As someone who lacks a college degree, I realized a long time ago that if I wanted to eat more than peanut butter sandwiches for a week, I would end up working jobs that require me to look a certain way. Whether that was in an apron and orthopedic shoes at California Pizza Kitchen, or hipster cira 2006 garb at American Apparel, I have never worked at a job in which I could wear what I wanted. Sometimes I'll see my friends with brightly dyed hair and feel a tiny twinge of jealousy because that is not something I could do, even if I wanted to. Personal style is important and I firmly believe in style as self-expression. But it is a privilege, not a right, to be able to express yourself through style everyday because doing so is not economically sustainable for most Americans. That's a hard pill to swallow, I know! Most Americans, myself included, have to submit ourselves to a standarized corporate appearance in order to put food on our table. We work those "boring" jobs so the world can function as it does; we process paychecks and ring up groceries and aswer the phone when Amazon sends you the wrong package. Working with a dress code isn't for everyone. But people will do what they need to do to earn a paycheck - including wearing boring outfits for 40+ hours each week. Because sometimes it really is all about survival. Doing what you gotta do in order to make it though each day.
 

10 comments:

Melissa said...

I FEEL THIS HARD. I love what you said about the burgundy tights signifying ALTNESS among your coworkers. I do this with glasses usually.
Still, I always wonder what my coworkers think of my ugly vintage prints and accompanying 30+ year old rips and tears.

Meagan said...

you are such a stylish working lady.

julia aka garconniere said...

aaaah meagan i feel you. it's been years now but i still feel like i'm striking a balance feeling like i am able to dress like "myself" but still be taken seriously as a young female journalist. i wrote about some of my own feelings about these questions a while back. even though i think our situations are probably a bit different, i think many people who have styles that are just a bit outside the realm of realistic to wear to work are frustrated by this.

i am super lucky to have amazing coworkers who, like today, will be like "julia your tights are amazing!" and appreciate the little creativity i do let shine through even when i'm wearing what i see as still office appropriate.

often though, when i get sucked into the online vaccuum and see how other queer folks my age get to dress, i can't help but feel jealous. yeah, sometimes i would like to a) have a job that would mean i could afford to buy comme des garçons and also b) where it would be appropriate for me to wear that on an average day.

by the way, love that outfit ;)

Lydia Sax said...

I can relate to this post so much. When I was in business school, I dreaded the prospect of graduating and having to get a job where I needed to dress "business casual" or in a suit, every damn day like a sheep. Fortunately, I was able to get a job at a small ad agency, so I basically get to wear whatever I want - to an extent. My bosses are pretty conservative, so I don't want to freak them out, therefore I still try to edit my style, which I would consider quirky, and leaning a little towards goth, at times. I don't want to do anything that offends them, because as you said, we have to put food on the table and pay the bills. I can totally relate to what Julia ^^ said about wanting to dress like yourself, but also needing to be taken seriously. It's a shame that our outward appearance has to be such a big part in defining how we are professionally. Also, that jacket is amazing. Thanks for doing this WORK WEEK series!

Madeline said...

Burgundy :) you look lovely. I hope I don't ever work somewhere where I have to wear really dull office clothes, it seems like greay/black pencil skirts are compulsory and I find them very unflattering on me. Well I'm glad you can add some interesting elements into your work wardrobe. Fortunately in my (fairly awful but whatevs) part time job I can wear anything! It's in a market research call centre so ya know, nobody sees us.

Alicia - Sea Of Ghosts said...

You bring up some really valid points about dressing to represent your style every day being a privilege.

At uni I have to wear "workshop appropriate clothes" and this dawned on me recently that if I continue this as a part-time or full-time career path; "workshop appropriate clothes" is my new uniform for work every day. Even though I'd be doing a creative job I loved. I still have to adjust my apparel to suit my job like everyone else!

It's worse even, in some ways - because it's a farce. It gives you the illusion you have control but actually your clothes will get ruined so you always must wear things you're prepared to sacrifice if it gets some chemical or acid on it...

I still haven't been able to truly reconcile how I'm going to adapt my wardrobe for this... short of dirty old t-shirts and jeans, which make me feel unkempt, slovernly and worst of all - uncreative!

I hope I get the hang of it eventually!

im said...

Although I don't have a job I was thinking about this recently. How a lot of "artsy" people say that they could *never* work an office job and they can't imagine how anyone could. and I'm just sitting here thinking "not everyone has the privilege to be a dj/artist/model/whatever you are!" It just annoys me. I want to be an mechanical engineer, and I can't tell you how many people have told me that I should try and do something "more creative" so I could dress how I wanted.
arrrg.

THE DIVINITUS said...

Must say you are very well put together at 7.30 am. All I could think at so early hour would be sweatpants and uggs.

Ria said...

Very well said! I'm going to direct my friend to this post because I know she hates that she can't wear what she wants to at her new job.

You look really great for this our of the morning I must say! Like woah.

onotherskin said...

thanks for burgundy tip ;)