Friday, February 4, 2011

'battle dress'

...evidently has nothing to do with medieval warlike accoutrements or re-enactors but rather this whole thing called "Dress for Success."

My first dealing with this whole culture came at the Seasonal Holiday Retail Hell Job I had for three weeks when I was 19. At orientation, we learned how to run the cash register the lady who ran this was wearing a power suit and told us we were really special because we worked at Kaufmann's and were dressed much classier than those people at JCPenney's.

We had to carry on this tradition of looking really good so that when we went for lunch at the food court, everyone could tell that we worked at Kaufmann's. Honestly, I don't think anyone else in the rest of Parmatown Mall really gave a damn either way, but then again, there's a reason that I'm not the manager of anything.

So now I'm in the world of grown-up-ness where I have to maintain a modicum of respectability and negotiate the precarious terms of business casual and read these articles about careerwear with some bemusement.

What do my legs say about me as a barely creative individual? What kind of authority do I want to project? Being that I'm often told I'm young enough to be their children by my superiors, I get the feeling that I'm not taken terribly seriously as it is.

Evidently knee-high boots and the color purple are okay, which is ironically what I'm wearing today, not because it's a "Power Color" but more because I got it for free from someone, as I did the accompanying skinny black pants and the dangling heavy glass earrings. At least Eugene Hutz & Co. would be proud of me.

Thrift and comfort over fashion, but I'm getting better at this whole thing, since I have to. Our Industrial Sociology overlords claim that one should not express oneself especially as a female, but since I have no ambition and work in the non-corporate realm, I'll continue to indulge in my love of dangly earrings (de-gauging my ears was a good thing) and dark colors. So far it hasn't gotten me in any trouble, so I guess I'm okay.

I'm thankful I live in an unfashionable rustbelt city in a run-down part of town so that I can get away with old jeans and an endless array of black t-shirts, where a winter wardrobe means putting thermals under and a hoodie/cardigan over said previous items, and I get mistaken for a record store clerk every time I'm shopping in said establishment. It's not entirely a bad thing.


Randal Graves said...

Regardless of dress, punkass 19 year olds are punkass 19 year olds to all but fellow punkass 19 year olds, thus the place to be was Aladdin's Castle, yet you chose the corporate path and are now lording your purple majesty over all us peasants.

thatgirl said...

Still, fellow comrade, I can't wear whatever I want to work, and don't have a swanky Batcave where I can listen to tunes all day. I think you're higher up on the Great Chain of Nonprofit Being than myself despite your "Man of the People" persona.

Randal Graves said...

Well hell, I better start using this heretofore unknown clout to affect change such as a propane grill on the balcony. On the plus side, you will know before the rest of us when we all get canned.

thatgirl said...

Hmmm... grilled chicken and Darkthrone might be excellent solace should the Axe of Dame Austerity smite both of us.

thatgirl said...

Also, while you can let your metalness show without fear of retaliation, I should "be cautious about showing my inner punk at work."