I don't usually use this blog as a rant-n-rave kinda thang, but my frustration with my female coworkers has been mounting in the past few weeks. Now that the temperatures are dropping, wardrobes are changing. And perhaps it's my more crisp, diligent attitude that crops up around mid-September, which had been easygoing and hippie-esque since late April, but something has to be done about the way women are dressing in the office.
As a professional woman who spends much of her day on her feet, and running to the occasional meeting, I completely get why people like to feel comfortable at work. 8-to-5 seems a lot longer when your feet ache and your button-down top feels constrictive. But comfort doesn't have to look like this...
I remember a time in high school, and parts of college, when I relished going to class in jeans, flops and a sweatshirt. I was cozy, I was happy, and I got to sleep until 8:40 for a 9:00 class. Across campus. But I soon realized, mid-freshman year, that my work ethic matched my outfit. On days that I put more effort into my appearance, I was more alert, more outgoing and more productive.
Could be a coincidence, you say, but it was no coincidence that when I looked in the mirror during a bathroom break between classes, I either felt my energy plummet (no makeup and bags under the eyes makes you want to go back to bed), or get a boost (ooh, look how the light catches my CHId hair! Pretty jewelry!).
Doesn't hurt when you're chillin' at the law school coffee shop, eyeing the future JDs, either.
My point is that the way you look outside, no matter when, has a tremendous affect on the way you feel inside. Confidence, energy, productivity and success are all intermingled, and it's very hard to be confident when you're panicked about VPLs, mismatched foundation, or wrinkled khakis. And as a woman who still loves to sleep until noon when she has the time, I too enjoy a quick-n-not-so-dirty morning routine that I can bang out in 20 minutes if necessary, and still look better than half the women in my office.
So below are some of the biggest offenses in my office, in terms of hair, face and clothing/accessories. I'll create a post for each, suggesting comfortable, professional alternatives for the young professional woman.
1. clunky, low heels
2. stone khakis
3. boring cardigans
4. polo shirts
5. polyester suit components
6. inappropriate hose
7. lots of little, inconsequential jewelry
8. ashy, sallow complexions
9. "naturally textured" hair (unstyled)
10. overpowering and/or unattractive scents