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MSN Lifestyle had a fun article on “Ask Nicole” about dressing appropriately for work the other day…

Now, obviously where you work and the type of job you perform factors HUGELY in this debate. For the sake of argument, we will suppose that you do NOT work on the streets or sell intimate behaviors to supplement your income. If you do, that’s okay, but I am sure you already know how to dress (or undress as the case may be).

I actually work with a woman over 30 (closer to 35) –  M. –  who is totally an adorable size ZERO. However, she dresses like BRATZ doll all. the. time. and she works directly with the public. And if M. has ever worn a bra a day in her work career, I am a monkey’s uncle. Sure, she ain’t got much. But the wee bit that’s there is as clear as marbles on ice. The main issue is that she shows more skin daily than she covers up. And it’s embarrassing (obviously more for me and gossipy co-workers than for her!).

Nicole says: “Let me promise that no one’s listening to your stellar ideas when all they can hear is “Look at these, look at these.” Because they’re so close to your face, your boobs can be infinitely distracting if positioned for viewing pleasure. And please know the boys are not the only ones who are sneaking peeks—women can see them too, and aren’t nearly as impressed. Wear your low-cut blouses and sweaters, but stock up on underpinnings—camisoles, undershirts, tanks—all of which are essential when you want to ride the line between provocative and pornographic.”

A-frickin-men sister! I think I can sum it up nicely by saying “Wear a bra”. There is nothing feminist about letting them all hang out. That’s got to hurt for some of you. And I assure you it’s hurting me. And yes, all your co-workers are talking about you behind your back!

Legs: “Legs are the safest and most powerful way to suggest sexy without going over the line. Unlike our asses, most women are OK with their calves and able to show them off without feeling too revealed. Notice I mention calves. The most flattering and appropriate length hovers somewhere between an inch and 2 inches above the knee.”

Nicole, you are preaching to the choir. An inch or 2 about the knee is totally great at work, but seriously? M? Is that a shirt? Because you forgot your pants. And to be really honest here ladies, I really am not a fan of casual shorts at work. Capri’s or Bermuda shorts with heeled sandals? Yes. Khaki shorts? No. Although that’s just me.

Feet: “Speaking of shoes, Carrie Bradshaw has it all right. Slipping on a beautiful, sexy pair of heels is like dipping yourself in power. Not only do they help make your legs look long and lean, they’re a fun and easy way of playing with color and style. But know that not every pair of kicks does the trick. The sound of your bare foot slapping the rubber of your flip-flop? Irritating.” We actually have a no flip-flop rule at work (random: you don’t have to wear a bra, but you can’t wear flip flops) so this doesn’t apply for me, but flip-flop doesn’t exactly scream working professional.

It’s funny. I think women should support one another, show solidarity especially in places like the workplace. However, it drives me crazy to see a woman like M. come to work half-naked. She has a Master’s degree! Does she have the figure? Certainly. Should she dress fashion forward and in style? Yes. Does she have to show her privates and make even women uncomfortable? No. Is she actually a nice person to work with and very friendly and a good employee. Most definitely yes. Which makes me crazy even more. I actually like her except for her nakedness at work. Sigh.

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