At one point in my life I had a large staff. During my tenure HR established a business casual dress code. Enforcing this thing was like a living nightmare. It wasn't so much explaining to people the difference between a shirt and a t-shirt that was challenging, it was the conversations about wearing a bra, off the shoulder shirts not being work appropriate, your pants shouldn't be so tight I can see your underwear (or lack thereof) and my personal favorite - if your thong is hanging out of your pants that's not good....yes, even if it only happens when you sit down.
I came from the consulting world where life was easy - wear a suit - all day, every day. If your client is business casual, wear a suit anyway. You can never go wrong in a suit. As a result, I had a closet full of suits and so I found this new environment baffling. I didn't know how to dress myself so I turned into my grandmother and wore sweater sets every day. Sure, I'll admit to the guilty pleasure of "Jeans Friday". There's nothing better than pulling on a comfy pair of jeans and rolling into the office. I've since moved back to a corporate environment and I was sad about Fridays but I thought at least I wouldn't have to look at thongs and sloppy cleavage.
No such luck. It seems my old partner was mistaken - you can go wrong in a suit, very wrong. Especially when said suit has a skirt that barely covers your ass and the little shred of lingerie under the jacket is the only thing preventing you from a Janet Jackson like wardrobe malfunction. I wonder if these people look around and think about that old Sesame Street sketch about One of These Kids is Doing their Own Thing.
I decided to think through the possible reasons for looking like a tramp at work, other than 1. not having a mirror, 2. being blind or 3. having no common sense:
- You didn't bring a change of clothes with you to the bar last night and your one night stand didn't have an alarm clock to get you home early enough to change.
- You had a massive house fire over the weekend and all of your suits went up in flames. The only place open the next day was Forever 21 and so you were forced into that thing that many little polyesters had to die to produce.
- You're sleeping with your boss and looking like a tart is part of your yearly performance goals.
- You're part of a new reality television show and your immunity challenge is to get some unsuspecting chump to violate the office sexual harassment policy.
- You've just been diagnosed with an incurable disease and with 24 hours to live you're looking to go out with a bang!
- Your "office" IS actually the street corner.