We are in the middle of an unprecedented heat wave. Seriously, it has NEVER been this hot EVER in our city. Well since they started keeping records anyway. So we are all dying. Our office AC, ever temperamental has decided to call the shots when it comes to keeping cool. This means that sometimes one can feel the soft cool breeze of the AC starting up and at other times, feel smothered and sticky from the sudden warmth.
But in case we all started to think that our business casual dress code would be relaxed to accommodate the stifling weather and lack of AC, an email was sent out to correct this misconception. Office dress code still in effect. Full force. No sleeveless tops, no flip flops, no shorts. No AC? So we’re all sitting here sweating, sticking to our seats, slick beads of sweat in all the wrong places. Nice eh?
It just got me thinking about appropriate office wear. Because lets face it, some people haven’t got a clue. I definitely resent the fact that they aren’t being a little more relaxed since they won’t do anything about the AC. But even when the weather isn’t quite so hot, there are some serious faux pas that don’t seem to matter. Why the crack down now?
Here are some examples of what were you thinking this morning? No mirror?
1. Matchy Matchy. We all like to look put together but there is such a thing as looking too “put together”. Last week I was walking to the bus behind a lady who clearly put a lot of effort and planning into her outfit. Maybe too much. She had on a skirt “suit”, with a garish brown and turquoise animal/safari/abstract print all over it. With a turquoise shirt (of course), turquoise shoes (seriously the exact same colour as the “suit”- she must have picked them up at the same place) and a turquoise bag. It was hideous and enthralling all at the same time.
2. “I’m Going to the Bar Later”. I know that sometimes you want to play after work and you want your outfit to be versatile and work for both. But come on, pick up an InStyle or something and see how they go from work to play. Do not come to work in skirts that graze the tops of your thighs that you can barely sit down in. Or tops that have chains across the shoulders. And if you insist on wearing skyscraper heels, please for the love of God learn to walk in them!
3. Ill Fitting Clothes. So you work in an office and you’ve gained some weight. No biggie. It happens. But when you continue to wear the clothes that fit you 3 dress sizes ago, it becomes an issue. Its just not flattering and sure doesn’t look comfortable. I know that it sucks to have to buy new clothes in a bigger size (boy do I know) but then you either have to do something about it or tell yourself that its just a number (just like your age). It is not ok to have things hanging out all over the place when you could just get something that fits properly and look more streamlined at the same time. I for one try not to look at the size on the label…as long as I can move my arms and legs and everything is tucked in…it works!
4. Mismatched. So there is such a thing as being too matched, but it is just as bad to have given no thought whatsoever to what you are wearing. The result? Coming to work in pants that are too short with some sort o f stripe, a polka dot shirt and a cape. Or a foofy, sequined, ruffled disaster of a dress last seen on Little Miss Diva hopefuls in Texas paired with sneakers. You just can’t have it both ways. (I have actually seen the latter, she would come to work in the most ridiculous dresses, ill suited to both the workplace and her age. We affectionately dubbed her The Dress).
5. Different Decade Dresser. I have heard that the 80s were a good time. I was too young to appreciate the neons, big hair and gross misuse of blush and blue eyeshadow. But I see it every day. Special shout out to the 60+ year old woman with hair 3 times the size of a football helmet artfully teased each day, gloriously adorned in animal prints, shoulder pads, oversized belts, brightly coloured skirts, talon like red nails and spike heels that I for one am really impressed she can walk in. Also, don’t ever let anyone tell you that its all too much- I love your bracelets, dangly earrings, 4 necklaces AND your brooch.
So there you have it. My essay on what not to wear to work. Feel free to add your own! I’m still warm. I still wish they would relax the dress code this week. But at least I still have the energy to judge other people.