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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Next Wednesday is A Clothing Optional Day at Work. You're Gonna Want to get that Pressed...


I'm in Chicago this weekend with my friend Sarah!  Please enjoy this re-post from July of 2010...


Fridays are, across the U.S. of A., and around the world, for all I know, known as an office’s “casual” day.

And by “casual”, we mean in dress.

I was 19 years old at the time of my first full-time job. The 19-year-old Pearl was not an altogether thinking person, prone to impetuosity and foolish choices in attire. My interpretation of my first “Casual Friday” – back at a time when we office minion were required not only to wear nylons with our skirts (bare legs were unprofessional) but also, closed-toe shoes (toes were seditious), and wimples, as I recall – was to show up dressed in heavily embroidered jeans, four-inch wedge heels, and a sleeveless shirt that stopped being solid material just below the bra-line and from there dissolved into fringes to just below the belly button...

It was impressed upon me – both verbally and visually – that this was inappropriate work attire, although I seem to recall the all-male engineering department insisting that it was the only appropriate thing that had happened for days.

Things have changed, as they are wont to do. Here at Acme Napkins and Grommets Casual Friday is in full swing – the execs have ordered their shirts with “light starch”, normally reserved folk hint at off-work preferences via jewelry choices and piercings, and those freshly out of college are wearing rubber flip-flops and tee-shirts that came free with certain liquor purchases.

Me? The belly-baring shirts of my youth have been retired, out of respect for the viewing public; and the thought of wearing a Jagermeister tee-shirt to work makes me as nauseous as the drink itself.

I’m a bit nostalgic for being clueless, though. There was something freeing about being slightly unconscious about how people perceived you. If only I could get that feeling back...

19 comments:

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

That 'feeling' comes back around about the same time dementia sets in. You have that to look forward to. AND it won't have to be a Friday.

TexWisGirl said...

oh, yes. the naivety of youth... and the body to go with it.

Eva Gallant said...

I agree with Delores! I'm feeling rather free right now! what was the question?

Geo. said...

I've gone from "slightly unconscious" to pretty much invisible. It's liberating.

Leenie said...

Clueless. I miss clueless.

jenny_o said...

My cluelessness was more along the lines of speaking up to my bosses about an unfairness I perceived in the office hierarchy. To their eternal credit, they listened and changed. But I still mentally cringe when I think about it.

Your outfit sounds super cool. I just bet those engineers appreciated it :)

Douglas said...

One of my faves... Thanks for the repost.

I worked for 34 years in jeans and t-shirts (later switching to jeans and Hawaiian shirts). Casual Friday was every day for me. Before that I worked for 4 years for an outfit that required uniforms at all times at work, sometime flak jackets and helmets.

Vapid Vixen said...

I always thought the dress code was optional. I still wear flip flops on Fridays. PLEASE don't take that from me!

bill lisleman said...

Hope you are enjoying Chi town - we lowered the temps a little for you.
Free T-shirts - that's most of my collection but not as much from liquor purchases as company promotions.

Kana said...

Ah yes, flying through the wide-open limitless sky Out Of The Loop. It is a serene place, timeless - kind of like the Bermuda Triangle, I think. You get back and people are all concerned, and telling you you're lucky you survived. And you find yourself kind of wishing you could just return instead of taking all this hype.

Stephen Hayes said...

We're all slaves to fashion in one way or another. When my shirt shows my belly it's only by accident.

Lily Tequila said...

Don't know that I ever felt clueless, more possessed of a sense of experimentation and quite happy to go anywhere in a tutu. And it's always good to have rubber on your feet!

David Macaulay said...

Nice post Pearl - I find myself being nostagic for being clueless all the time.

River said...

Like Douglas, I worked casual for years, jeans and t-shirts in the factory, now I work for a supermarket and it's uniform. We used to do casual Fridays, gold coin participation, but they stopped it years ago. Seems the customers couldn't tell who the staff members were, even though we stood behind our registers.

The Elephant's Child said...

At the moment I am often clueless but sadly all to conscious about what other people think. I am really, really looking forward to their meeting. A meeting of mindless I suppose...

Linda O'Connell said...

There is something to be said for youth. Hope you are doing well.

Inspector Clouseau said...

You did not necessarily reveal your age in your post, but I could relate. I was in college from 1969 until 1974. The first two years, I attended an all-male, very traditional, conservative institution.

When I left, and before heading to my next conservative institution, I found myself wearing long hair, double knit, triple pleated bell bottom slacks with three inch cuffs, multi-color platform shoes, and a rayon shirt which tied at the navel and revealed my midriff.

I ran a professional services office in Los Angeles from 1986 until 1999, and continued with other firms thereafter. In my view, there was such thing as "casual Friday," and all of those who worked under me were required to wear suit and tie.

As for me, only white or blue solid shirts, only grey or blue suits, only black or cordovan maroon shoes, and simple maroon ties.

It may be boring, but it makes life easier.

Buttons said...

You crack me up:) B

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