Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Dress code

I alluded to this in my initial post, and some of my readers have already heard more about this than they might prefer, but here it is: I am having a REALLY hard time dressing for work here.

I was never the most stylish gal in the room in Washington, but my clothes were fine. I had a couple of pairs of decent-to-cute shoes, and I had a range of clothes that covered me for most of the circumstances I was likely to encounter.

I brought those same clothes up north, and suddenly, I have nothing to wear.

Pretty much anything I would have worn to a day at work there looks ridiculously overdressed. And dark. And kind of boring.

And my shoes? Just seem silly. Like, insane.

It's not quite that people here are very casual; I would look out-of-place if I wore jeans, too (although I did, the day of The Big Snow, and felt OK about it). There's just a lot of LL Bean influence, or something. My customary work wardrobe is best suited to actually sitting at a desk, maybe meeting with someone, and possibly going out for happy hour. These people all look like they could do something other than sit at a desk or go to a bar in their clothes. They could go for a walk, or stand around outside waiting in line to hear a presidential candidate speak. They look useful.

Add to all that that it is not just an issue of style, but one of warmth. I somehow survived in D.C. with essentially no warm clothes. Did I not need them? I know it does get cold there. I think I used to wear skirts in the winter without heavy tights. Is that possible?

I tried to go out to TJ Maxx the other night and see if I could find some frumpier clothes and shoes, so I don't feel like such an idiot, but you know what? That is a bad attitude to have while shopping: "Let's see if I can find some frumpier clothes and shoes, so I don't feel like such an idiot." That does not lead to good clothes purchases. And the other folks around here aren't frumpy; they're just more practical in their clothing choices than I am, and their wardrobes aren't quite so, er, black and brown. I did wind up with one nice pair of pants, but I am pretty sure I cannot wear them every day.



ToddP said...

I have an overabundance of clothing with the look you are talking about. I am, in fact, drowning in it. glub. glub. glub.

Mike said...

My brother, who lived inside the Beltway until second grade or so and then grew up in Maine, has an uncanny ability to spot the Maine women in a crowd outside New England, e.g. at a school he briefly attended in Pennsylvania. When pressed, he explains a concept of "New England sexy": in other parts of the country, sexy = scantily clad, whereas in N.E., sexy = the ability to dress in layers and still look hot. (Say what you will -- he does indeed accurately spot the Maine women wherever he travels.)

Kay Bailey said...

I thought the point of dressing in layers was that one does not have to be hot.

bzzzzgrrrl said...

I like your comment particularly with your picture next to it, kay bailey.

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