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Work Clothes

 
 
Fri 28 May, 2010 10:19 am
During the summer of 2007, I took a work shop on resume writing at which I remember all of the attendees being women over-40. The instructor had us describe in detail our ideal job, including the type of work, environment and the clothes we would wear. She started on the opposite side of the room, so I was among the last to speak.

Every single woman said she wanted to wear jeans to work!

I could not believe my ears. Why? Although I was in college during the 1960s, my Catholic woman's college did not allow pants, let alone jeans to be worn. We had a pants day in the early spring of my senior year which was a big event.

I also remember Jacobson's, then Michigan's answer to Saks Fifth Avene, finally allowing its sales women to come to work in pants suits, probably sometime between 1968 and 1972. That sent ripples through the community.

I also remember buying my first pair of jeans as an adult during my senior year of college. I went to one of those $5 jean stores and tried on the jeans over my panty hose. I didn't like the fit when I walked out into the main part of the store but the salesman said when I tried them without pantyhose, I would be happy with them. He was right.

I was a stay at home mom for many years. There was a long stretch of time (before I discovered thrift shops . . . although my ex would have forbidden me to shop at them) when my wardrobe was pretty sparse but I preferred cordoroy or cotton skirts to jeans.

The idea of wearing jeans to work does not suit me. I want to wear what are called "European comfort shoes," skirts with either a blazer or a twin set. Dresses are fine in warm weather.

I said so at this workshop. I want to project confidence and polish and not a haphazard attitude. Personally, I feel like crap wearing jeans.

I remember the crones having this discussion and learning that a winter work uniform was a mid-calf skirt worn over silk long johns with wool socks and clogs. The long johns and wool socks would be removed in an overheated office and put back on for the trip home.

I wear a blazer or vest or cardigan to teach. Often, I have to take the outer layer off. With the warm weather, I have a couple of dresses that I will pull out which are simple, solid colored dresses in cotton knits or woven linen.
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BowTied
 
  1  
Mon 6 Dec, 2010 09:06 am
The whole "business casual" thing in business was a catastrophe. I started my professional life (banking) in the '80s, when EVERYONE dressed up. Guys were in suits and ties. Women were typically in conservative skirt suits and nice blouses. To this day, despite "business casual," I'm in suits and BOW ties DAILY, including Fridays. When I started high school, Catholic high school in which the boys were required to wear ties, I made a decision from day one to wear bow ties, ONLY bow ties, from then on. Been wearing them pretty much daily ever since.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  2  
Mon 6 Dec, 2010 09:30 am
@plainoldme,
I work mostly from home... in pajamas.
0 Replies
 
Ceili
 
  1  
Mon 6 Dec, 2010 09:46 am
I hate, hate, hate pantyhose. I'd wear more dresses and skirts but for most of the year, it's too damn cold. I like jeans, I grew up in them so for me they are far more comfortable. For work attire, I guess it depends on the job.
I always liked bow ties though. I have a friend who wears them exclusively too. It's cute.
saab
 
  1  
Mon 6 Dec, 2010 09:59 am
Winter and clogs! What a combination. You have no real grip when walking on ice and in snow plus that snow gets into the clog and they are hopeless for driving as you donĀ“t have a good feeling for gas and break.

I have never felt comfortable in jeans - slacks yes, but mostly on warmer spring and fall days or cooler summerdays.

I like skirts. In the winter with thick pantyhose and a long coat. Find it warmer than jeans and jacket as there are layers of air which are warm and your legs stay warmer too.
BowTied
 
  1  
Mon 6 Dec, 2010 12:23 pm
@Ceili,
Yeah, I LOVE being all buttoned up in a bow tie. Looks and feels, well, dressed up! Gotta watch out, though! They've gotten me into some strange situations!
Ceili
 
  1  
Mon 6 Dec, 2010 01:49 pm
@BowTied,
I can tell. Wink and do tell...
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  2  
Mon 6 Dec, 2010 02:44 pm
@Ceili,
I'm enjoying the resurgence of leggings for this reason. Leggings + warm socks + knee-high boots + skirt is actually rather comfortable.
Ceili
 
  1  
Mon 6 Dec, 2010 04:50 pm
@sozobe,
I just bought my first pair of leggings but have yet to wear them. I'll give it a shot, but when the thermostat dips into the -20s I'm so bundled up I resemble Le Bonhomme de neige.
https://www.student.gsu.edu/~kcoronadomendez1/FORL4021/bonhommeCar.jpg
sozobe
 
  1  
Mon 6 Dec, 2010 04:55 pm
@Ceili,
Ha! Yeah, they're not -20 wear. But good for +20 to +40 or so. (Wait, are you doing celsius? Apparently -20 c is -4 F so same difference pretty much. 20 F is -6 c, 40F is 4 c.)
Ceili
 
  1  
Mon 6 Dec, 2010 05:00 pm
@sozobe,
Yeah, Sorry I don't know fahrenheit. Celsius makes more sense to me, 0C or 32F is where water freezes, -40 is the same on both scales. At the moment its, -13C or 8.6F. It doesn't look like it's going to warm up any time soon and I'm a wimp, so jeans or pants it is.
0 Replies
 
plainoldme
 
  1  
Mon 6 Dec, 2010 10:26 pm
@Ceili,
Tights are the answer.
0 Replies
 
plainoldme
 
  1  
Mon 6 Dec, 2010 10:28 pm
@saab,
I find skirts and tights warmer than pants, unless I either wear silk long johns underneath the slacks or wool knee socks or both.
0 Replies
 
aidan
 
  0  
Tue 7 Dec, 2010 12:40 am
I'm most comfortable and warm in a skirt, tights, ankle socks over my tights under my boots, long sleeved shirt or blouse and a sweater or light jacket of some sort, which I then take off and tie around my waist inside (they keep the classroom building stifling hot) and then I wear two rather light-weight coats over it outside - the outer one is water proof with a hood- because in the morning I'm in this stifling hot classroom building and in the afternoon I'm out walking to see students on outreach, so I'm outside in all kinds of wind and weather and where I work is up on Salisbury plain - so the wind just whips through - it's probably 5 degrees colder than where I live.
So yeah - layers are the only answer.

I wouldn't be warm or comfortable in light fabric work-style pants and clogs- which are my footwear of choice after boots.
Corduroys or jeans would be okay - but I'd feel a little underdressed and uncomfortable in that way - so that's pretty much my work uniform - until summer- when it all changes.
plainoldme
 
  1  
Tue 7 Dec, 2010 10:13 am
@aidan,
I feel under-dressed in cords as well. I wear them to my liquor store job but not to teach. Cordoroy or moleskin is warmer than denim in the winter, unless the denim is lined with flannel.

When my kids were little, I put them in flannel lined denim jeans in the winter. The boys still wear them at 26 and 30.

I have one pair of wool slacks that are miserably cold and I wear them over long underwear, which makes the wool pointless.
0 Replies
 
hazelnice
 
  0  
Sun 3 Apr, 2011 06:28 pm
@plainoldme,
Wearing casual will be fit for working atmosphere.
0 Replies
 
RaymondWash
 
  -1  
Sat 8 Jun, 2013 12:50 am
@plainoldme,
its not bad at all to wear up jeans and i would say that one must also wear jeans in corporate offices also
0 Replies
 
nurein
 
  0  
Tue 1 Jul, 2014 04:56 am
Cotton clothes would be looking more good especially in summer season.
0 Replies
 
Ethels
 
  1  
Sat 28 Feb, 2015 02:54 am
@plainoldme,
Casual, always,
0 Replies
 
plainoldme
 
  1  
Tue 3 Mar, 2015 11:16 pm
the weather has been single digit cold here. Yesterday without having heard the temp I put on a navy pencil skirt with dark grey tights and a dark grey light weight Merino turtleneck. I thought I looked too tame and needed color. Rather than dig through my jewelry I threw on a red blazer. I had no idea it was only 9 degrees outside. Glad I did.

I stopped at a family owned bakery and the young man behind the counter said: This weather is so cold that you have to wear a jacket . . . under your coat. He was right.
0 Replies
 
 

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