Thursday, April 5, 2012

Dressing for Success

Back in 1981, I received a book for high school graduation that gave some really great advice about how to dress for work.  It went over things such as "dress for the job you want, not the job you have" and some do's and don'ts that I flipped through like the clueless high school senior that I was.  At that point in time, on one end of the spectrum my wardrobe consisted of jeans (boys Levis, Jordache or if you were really wanting to throw down with some money...Calvin Klein) , tee shirts, Izod (now Lacoste) shirts and the best that K-Mart, Belk, or the rare trip to Macon Mall had to offer.  On the other end of the spectrum was church dresses and those clothes that we didn't wear very coats.  There was very little in between except during the summer when shorts and bathing suits were added.

I won't go into the high heeled "Candie's" shoes that Ralph called "slut shoes."  They stayed in the closet most of the time...but they were indeed in my closet.

Oh, I read those Seventeen magazines and occasionally others to try to create some sense of style because it isn't something that comes naturally to me.  Not so for my mother or my daughter, though...the little fashion divas!  And since my grandmother could also pull together a snappy little outfit...I am fairly certain it didn't just skip a generation in my family like some other things apparently did.

I won't elaborate.

But fashion was something I aspired to...just didn't quite figure out.  Not for myself anyway.

Fortunately for me, I am not growing up in today's "hoochie Mama" inspired haute couture (which I believe is French for "high sewing" or "high dressmaking" or "high fashion" according to Wikipedia...the haute couture...not the hoochie-ness.)

Imagine trying to figure out how to wear...this.

What makes it better is that they are also tottering around on heels that look like this:



So, what do you do when you aren't sure if this is a tunic top...or a dress?

Well, I don't know.  Tell them to wear tights and not to bend over?  Demand that they march right back upstairs (or wherever) and change immediately?  Send them to a convent? 

What I'd really like to do is backhand every dress designer who is making my job more difficult as a mother.  Not that I have had a lot of trouble with fact...other than the occasional questionable skirt length, I haven't had to deal with the other end of the spectrum..."extreme cleavage."

Now you may not have any issues with this, but I do.  I believe that the more cleavage you have, the more of it you need to cover up.  Rule of thumb: if your cleavage in the front looks like a butt crack on your chest?  You are showing too much.  And no, I'm not envious. 

By the same token...I know women on the other end who have the attitude of "why bother with a bra" and I'm not a fan of that look either.  It isn't that difficult, people.  Cover it up! 

So, put all of this together? And you get...

Yeah, you know exactly what you get.


Big trouble.

I realize that business fashion has relaxed over the past twenty years or so beginning with "casual Friday."  What used to be acceptable for "casual Friday" is now pretty much "casual Monday-Thursday" and Friday involves jeans.  The author of the book I received for graduation is probably either reeling from the shock...or rolling in his grave.

To me, the dress code being relaxed is just a sign of the times.  In just about every way.

I don't think that we should revert to looking like Laura Ingalls Wilder...but I do think that a little bit of modesty is definitely in order.  Because as "cute" as these girls think they look...there are others of us out there with alternate opinions.

Including Big Dave.  We were at a wedding recently and three high school girls were walking into the church with skirts that were way too tight, too short, and with heels that made them four inches taller than they actually were.  He commented on how inappropriate it was that they wore that to a wedding...but also said that he guessed that's what the style is. 

Trust me when I tell you that for him to make a comment like was pretty bad.

I don't know what the answer is...other than to vote with your pocketbook and strongly suggest that those who are spending your dollars in the form of daughters or your way.  Granted, this will pass before long as most fashion fads do...but it may get worse before it gets better.

As if.

I mean, fads are just that.  Fads.  Currently, the most popular nail polish colors are black and a color by O.P.I called "You Don't Know Jacques" that is a great neutral that is all the rage with the college girls...and just about everybody else.  Years ago...if our nails were this color it was because we'd dropped  a brick on our foot and our toenail was about to fall off.

One of the current fads - according to my daughter - is a bandeau top underneath a sheer top.  Sadly, the people that are going to emulate this fad are those that we are going to wish wouldn't. 

The same people weighing north of 250 wearing a bikini at the beach...which totally violates Big Dave's rule #1 involving spandex...which is...if he looks better in it then they do...they have no business wearing it. 


Sorry for the mental picture, there, guys.

(Dead opossum, dead opossum, dead opossum)

Better?  Yeah.  Me neither. 

Thanks for reading.

1 comment:

  1. well, I actually have come to like the darker nail shades...but when I requested a shell pink for Easter week, the nail tech had a really tough time.

    my maxim about fashion? just because you can doesn't mean you should. I came up with it when I was in South Beach several years ago for reasons very similar to Big Dave's...