Let's have some awful time together!
The other day I got really excited because I’d come up with an awesome plan– my friend Annelise and I would start hosting workshops on how to do Business Casual Without Dying. She’s a stylist, having graduated quite honorably from her beauty school, and I’m just a “free spirit” cliche who somehow works in Corporate America and reads up on fashion and economics. We both work in Corporate America doing things we didn’t exactly prepare for in our college and post-college studies.
Now, take that with a grain of salt since in her spare time she volunteers with helping developmentally disabled children ride horses, but whatever. Annelise simply meant, she doesn’t like helping needy contemporaries, which I understand. It’s like that time when I told everyone to go get their hair cut super short as I grew my short haircut out.
Hopefully, Annelise will reconsider because I think she’d make a great partner in crime when it comes to teaching women how to go against the grain when dressing for successing!
The reason I attempt to undermine biz casual when I can is because not only is it constructed to reflect hetero-capitalist-patriarchal ideals about “success” in the work place, it usually puts women in either hyper-feminine outfits or hyper-masculine ones. Or a weird mix of both. A conservative skirt paired with a boxy blazer and heels? Why not throw me into the Hudson River and tell me to take a deep drink of that water?
All I want out of life right now is to wear skinny jeans, boat shoes, and an oversized plaid shirt, while I walk in the autumnal whatsit and pray to wind gods to flutter my hair dramatically. But no. I have to put on a dress that tailors me into some sort of Joan Holloway, and I have to think about if my dress is too short, if I need tights, how opaque they should be, what kind of flats, and will people take me more seriously if my hair is pulled into a bun or not.
I simply thought if we did a workshop to teach women how to dress borderline inappropriate for work we could start dismantling the Business Casual System from within. If all the women are showing up to work wearing, say, a tank top under a blazer, then who’s gonna say boo to us?
I’ll host it at my apartment and provide refreshments. We can all write a manifesto together. Later, we can sync up our menstrual cycles. What do you say, gals?