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Fashion and the (Real) Working World

African Businesswoman

I started binge watching Suits on Netflix recently.  Working in the legal world, I was immediately drawn into the intrigue, back room deals and manic world of Pearson Specter.  The $1,000 suits on the men, the Manolos and pencil skirts on the women…gorgeous.

But…let’s talk about real clothes for real working women.

First all, if you are a working mom and can look even 20% like any of the women on Suits – you are my hero.  Truly.  I can’t even come close.  Most days I’m lucky if I can make it out of the house dressed.  And I don’t even have really young children.

If you’re anything like me, deciding what to wear to the office is a confusing, frustrating, mind-numbing exercise.

Let’s start with the pencil skirts.  What are the chances that you have a clean, neatly laundered and pressed skirt just hanging in your closet?  I thought so.  Wearing a skirt requires maintenance so, the big question – have you shaved your legs recently?  That will be the difference between going bare-legged, wearing sheer pantyhose or the thickest tights you can find in the drawer. Which leads to digging through said drawer to find a pair that doesn’t have a huge “how-on-earth-did-that-get-there” hole in it.

Now, let’s talk shirts.  I don’t know about your office but mine seems to be able to only maintain one temperature – 2 degrees below meat locker.  Which means that all of those lovely short-sleeved or sleeveless tops must be covered up with whatever sweater you have hanging in the office or, even better, the “office sweater”.  You know the one – the one that is so ugly the person who retired 5 years ago wouldn’t even take with them.  And in a lovely shade of orange/puce/brown that goes with everything.

Next, the shoes…ah, the shoes.  I love shoes, any and all kinds but anything with over a half and inch heel makes my knees and feet cry.  The 3 and 4 inches heels, make my back cry.  I honestly don’t know how I used to wear those.  How do the heels look?  Do they need to be cleaned?  Did you manage to pick the one pair of heels that make that annoying “clip, clop, thump” sound as you walk down the hallway past the boss’ office?  Or, for those of us who live in the colder climates – what are the chances we left those shoes at the office to change into from our boots or should be bring yet another pair?

Accessories? There is this woman that I work with that has the most amazing necklaces and somehow manages to pair them with just the right earrings and for fun, throws in a bracelet or a watch. Me?  I really try hard every morning to remember to put on earrings that match. The only accessory I can truly say that I will always be wearing is my Fitbit Flex.  It’s hot pink and goes with nothing but counts steps and calories and let’s me eat more so I’m good with it.

The next time you look out your office window and you see that woman – you know, the one in the perfect pencil skirt, with the sleeveless shirt, the gorgeous heels and the pearls – remember, she’s either just stepped off a movie set or she’s on holidays.

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