Recent employment happenings have me thinking about dress codes, and specifically, how they affect life at the office. Over the last year, I’ve experienced many different rules when it comes to what to wear to work.
At my last career job, the dress code was pretty strict — no jeans, graphic tees, sleeveless, sundresses, etc. For awhile, we didn’t even have casual Fridays.
When I got into retail, some of the jobs were plenty open to employees wearing whatever, as long as it was on trend. I had one job that required me to buy a uniform, which included khakis. I absolutely HATE khakis, so I found a pair of khaki-colored jeans in the old lady section of Kohl’s.
And now? Now I get to wear WHATEVER I want, seven days a week. There is no dress code aside from simply, “cover your body.” And it’s crazy how something as simple as that changes things.
It’s not like I’ve ever wanted to wear my pajamas to work or anything, but I just want to wear what I want. In most cases, when people are given free range, they’ll probably be pretty conservative. In the last week, I wore jeans, but they weren’t ripped or faded; I did wear a graphic tee (that said, “Coffee Saves Lives”), but I still wore makeup, did my hair, and made sure my clothes were clean and free from wrinkles.
Really, I just hated my old dress code because I think I look horrible in “work” clothes. To me, skinny jeans and a blazer looks modern and professional, rather than a drab pantsuit. Amiright?
That feeling meant that four days out of each week, I wouldn’t be confident in my outfit. And I ended up spending a lot of money on clothes I didn’t even like — clothes that are now at the Goodwill on Burbank.
I’m not sure why so many offices find it necessary to write up some massive dress code and spend time reprimanding their employees like they’re children — I once got called out because I was wearing cotton trousers that looked “too much” like denim.
If this sounds like your office; imagine a world where you could actually wear CUTE stuff all week long without so much as a second glance from your coworkers! What would you wear? Jeans or yoga pants? Tank tops? Would you still wear dress pants and heels?
Liana Statenstein wrote a pretty good article for Vogue on how she figured out what was safe to wear to work during the week — and she even found a study that showed women put the most effort into their Monday look, then it’s a crapshoot every day after.
Today? I chose skinny jeans, a striped oxford and suede flats. Casual, but cute. That’s completely my style — every single day.