My office dress code is “casual business attire.” We often deal with bankers and finance execs, but few actually come into our office. I’m a bit of a slacker, so in the summer I’ll wear a poloshirt and dockers or casual dress pants. Today is “casual Friday” we’re allowed to wear “clean, well-mended” jeans and a poloshirt (no t-shirts allowed). I’m wearing “clean, well-mended” cotton cargo pants and I feel a little under-dressed.
Yesterday, hence NOT casual Friday, a Co-Worker stomped into my office. She’d been reprimanded for her attire and was going office to office in a huff, soliciting second opinions that would justify her notions that the Powers That Be are draconian, Victorian-era prudes.
Co-Worker: “Do you see what I’m wearing?”
Me: :: blink, blink :: “Um… Yes?”
She was wearing a black, lace shirt and tight, elastic, low-riding pants. The black, lace shirt was cropped, thus exposing her midriff and shiny belly-ring. It had quite a plunging neckline, of which I heartily approve. And it was see-through. She had an itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny, yellow polka— black, lace bra underneath.
CW: “Do you think it’s inappropriate?”
Me: “For what, exactly?”
CW: “Is it inappropriate for the office?”
Then she made a Miss Piggy “Hmph!” noise and stomped off again.
Last job I did, there was a really pretty intern that got was pretty chesty. One of the ladies in the office told her she was dressed inappropriately, even though she clearly wasn’t. This case was one of envy. She and I talked about it a few times, as well. I told her that I didn’t think she was inappropriate at all, but if they’re concerned about her boobage, she should probably watch that.
I think those were my exact words, too. Boobage.
Some women have difficulty grasping the concept that women’s clothes come in professional, dressy, and casual. Men’s clothes pretty much just come in professional and casual. There’s really not much a guy would wear that would be dressy but not professional, unless he wants to show up in a tux. Look around a women’s clothing store sometime. About half the clothes are dressy (either in a skanky or churchy way) but not professional. Anyway, these women’s thought process seems to go “it’s not casual so it must be professional …”
Hm, I think you’re right. Just the other day at work (I teach at a community college) I ran into a teacher wearing a very pretty summer dress that exposed quite a lot of cleavage. It would have been lovely at a party, but for a teacher it seemed somewhat inappropriate.
We had a fresh-out-of-college hire show up for a client meeting that had to be sent home to change (and was removed from the client, as we nearly lost the client over it.) It wasn’t just the 5" stilettos, the low cut pants with the thong hanging out, or the plunging cleavage with the cropped belly ring showing top. It was the hickeys. A half dozen of them. All over. Leading me to ask, “Just what *kind * of professional services are we selling, anyway?” I understand the client was less polite about it. The girl really never understood why what she was wearing was inappropriate for work.
Maybe it’s a symptom of becoming an old biddy, but I see nothing but inappropriate clothes on women these days (that phrase also being a symptom). I’m not sure it would bother me any more in an office than anywhere else, because it’s all so damned ugly and trashy.
And pull your pants up, son, while you’re getting offa my lawn.
Clearly your coworker was in the wrong- 100% definitely.
But I’ll say this: as a 21 year old that works in some professional capacity, it is incredibly hard to find PROFESSIONAL clothing that is stylish, modern, and NOT slutty or school marmy.
I still want to be attractive and feel good about my clothes, but I want to be appropriately dressed. Unfortunately, being appropriately dressed often means clothing that is cut horribly loosely, with shoulder pads, in hideous pastels. Alright, maybe it’s not usually that bad, but you know what I’m talking about.
In some attempt at a middle ground, I stick with knee length dresses that cover the vast majority of my cleavage, dress slacks that are halfway between my tight jeans and the super baggy pants I see older women wearing (that somehow still manage to give them a wicked case of flat ass and camel toe), button up tops with another shirt underneath to assure my tits don’t pop out, and close toed heels.
This is especially true of recent college grads. When I trained first-year teachers, most men had two or three pairs of slacks and dress shirts from various college activities, so they usually just needed a new pair of shoes and ties. The women tended to have casual school wear or formal clothing. So I had a slew of young female teachers showing up to teach in club wear - tight pants, thongs, short skirts… and it did not make a good impression on the other teachers, parents, and of course, even the third-grade kids were ogling. I had to take one teacher aside to inform her that the first graders were snickering because they could see her thong riding up. Yes, they’re six, but they can see!
We found a sweater for her to wrap around herself… next day she was in a blouse and khakis. That’s more like it.