This week feels especially busy. I’ve been trying to get up earlier in the morning to prepare my clothes and food for work, and it still feels like I barely have enough time to do everything. The weather is also in full swing and we are officially back to sun and heat here in Southern California after two weeks of muggy, overcast weather. Thankfully the AC at work has held up. At any rate, the heat typically makes me a lazier dresser. Here’s what my work uniform has looked like over the past few weeks:
In the summer I don’t want collars or long sleeves that bunch and roll up at the elbows. I want to be as airy as possible (and long hair can be corralled in a bun) around my neck and arms. Legs matter too, but I don’t really want to attempt wearing shorts in the workplace so we’re going to stick with fairly conservative skirts. When I first started this blog, I had visions of Brooks Brothers-esque workwear and blazers and women’s shirting. But my reality is that my specific workplace is so casual, so much so that the “no-open toed shoes” rule is more of a suggestion than is it ever actually enforced. I still prefer not to get TOO casual, because I still believe impressions matter, and I feel that if I let myself get sartorially casual, my brain will also follow suit and take a vacation. Not good when you’re trying to move up in life and generally become an interesting, well-rounded person.
However, we don’t live in a vacuum, so in trying to meld the company culture with my own philosophy, I’ve ended up with a mosaic of half business-half casual wear. I know that in a traditional workplace, a tee-shirt wouldn’t be dressy enough. But for cubicle work, it will suffice. The skirt and shoes ought to pass anywhere (even if it is a tad boring); it’s basic, solid workwear. Maybe heels would make this dressier, but the only heeled items I own are ankle boots (too warm) and strappy sandals which are a bit unstable for walking.
Sometimes I wonder if this even counts as “fashion.” Probably not. But it is what I’ve worn and I still think there’s value in documenting that and brainstorming how to do it better. A friend of mine once told me that people like to talk about the world of “shoulds,” but exist in the world of “is.” I should iron my clothes, and wear a proper cardigan up top, and maybe put on some lip color to look more polished. Or maybe wear a dress and heels and put on some jewelry or a scarf and find a nice purse to pull it all together. I should try/do/be xyz, but I am…harried and rushing in the mornings; sometimes I forget parts of my Five-Minute-Face routine in favor of eating breakfast (and not gonna lie, sometimes forget the latter in favor of the former, which is terrible. Breakfast is delicious.) If I even think of a general look the night before and remember to execute it the next morning, I feel like a million bucks. Sometimes things just are the way they are, so you do your best with the time and tools you have. I’m hoping I can keep practicing and learning how others do it so I can dress more efficiently and elegantly with the little I own.
What is your workplace like? Do you have a dress code at work, and how do you navigate adhering to it (or not) with your current wardrobe?
To those of you new to Uniformly Dressed, welcome and thank you for dropping by!