Johanna over at A Serious Job Is No Excuse would be positively apoplectic over what I witnessed earlier today. Our department admin is wearing curlers in her hair today. Curlers! The pink plastic kind, no less. Now I don't profess to be a dedicated fashionista by any means. Sure, I have some nice threads in my clothing collection, I read fashion magazines and while I aspire towards looking sophisticated and polished, I do have my moments of schlub-i-tude. This morning for instance, I rolled out of bed after a blissful 10 hours of sleep, showered and threw on whatever was in my immediate path. That happened to be a pair of old unflattering Gap jeans, a black J Crew polo shirt and a track jacket with my alma mater's name branded on to it. I was embarrassed to look so schlumpy, especially since I didn't have time to apply any makeup and I left my hair to dry into it's naturally curly mop. But I was running late, my office has no dress code, and I simply didn't care. I'd save looking good for this evening's date with 47.
I am all for casual working environments. While I appreciate the button-downed sex appeal of young men in suits as much (or even more) than the next gal, I appreciate more the ability to be comfortable when I sit in my cube and read Jezebel and Gawker in between my Lexis research and website planning activities (and bloggin, dur). I like the fact that I don't have to feel confined by a suit, dorky-looking nude colored stockings and deadly high heals. I also like that I don't have a very close relationship with my neighborhood dry cleaners. While I worship fashion as art, when it comes down to it, I am a wash and wear kinda gal. But sometimes I believe that the popular ethos of "business casual" has grown into what my college con-law professor loved to call a "slippery slope". That is, when we enact rules to declare our leniency, we risk devolving into a state of complete lawlessness.
Normally, as I have said I million times, I have an ambivalent attitude towards rules. While I get that they usually exist to maintain order, at times they feel arbitrary and confining. But perhaps there's something to be said for establishing clear rules such as dress codes. I suppose I should take back earlier what I said about us not having a dress code. We do, but it says something like "don't wear half-shirts, daisy dukes or flip flops." I remember cracking up when I first heard that as to me it implied that perhaps at some point somebody had worn an ensemble consisting of a half-shirt, daisy dukes and flip flops to work thinking it would be an okay thing to have on in the office. Plus...daisy dukes? WTF? Who even uses that phrase any more, let alone wear the things? Notice the code doesn't say that I can't wear a bustier and a mini skirt with stripper heels. Not that I even own any of those things, but you catch my drift. I think it's about time said code was modified to remind people to remove their curlers before arriving at the office. Or at the very least to cover the damned things with a vintage silk scarf and hope nobody notices. Ironically, I made a joke at a meeting the other day about somebody being caught at home by unexpected visitors while wearing a bathrobe and having her hair in curlers. Perhaps I should keep my so-called wit to myself. It's clearly partially prophetic.
In the comments section, tell me about the most outrageous breach of professional sartorial standards you have ever committed or witnessed.