On dressing for work (or not really dressing for work)

So this weekend my sister, who is very supportive of my writing and fashion inclination, told me I should be writing more "dress for less" type features as well as what to wear to work. Thing is, I'm not just a dress for less girl. I like to mix the high and low but it's all part of the same animal in a way- I am a bargain hunter when it comes to sales (which are constant nowadays), but I may not be the best person to ask when seeking the whole "dress for less" thing. I can tell you how to inject some fun into your wardrobe on the cheap of course- from a dime store bandanna to ethnic jewelry on the cheap to secret weapon shoe stores in midtown. That's for later.

Also I had to laugh a little when she asked for advice of what to wear for work. If there could be a person who knows less about this, it's me.

Early in my career, I was doing a ton of administrative gigs and getting my sea legs in professional waters. I will never forget going to a job interview in the site of the former World Trade Center, where they needed a Powerpoint expert to work at some financial entity (can't remember which, and needless tosay, my PPoint skills were shit. Still are).

Strangely enough, I can't remember what I wore to that interview. But what I do remember is the sea of women and men in suits bustling around looking most uncomfortable. I was then told by HR that "professional dress" was required, and that suits and pantyhose were a must. Um, bye Felicia. No thanks.

Because I knew from an early age I could never work somewhere where my wardrobe would have to consist of "professional" pieces. It was so not my jam. And it's so not now. Even less so since I often work from home in yoga pants. And sure I know the whole Mel Griffith power suit is an effigy of sorts, but I'm still scarred by that look and knew way back that typical power dressing was not my jam.

Thus begun my career in advertising. A place where being fashionably dressed is certainly the norm, but being "dressed" is anything but. In fact, if you come to your gig in adland in a suit, people will ask where you're interviewing. That's a fact. And as frustrating and numbing as the ad world can be, one of its biggest benefits in my mind is being able to dress however you please. That's no small thing for someone like me. Oh and one of the very huge bonuses of freelancing is it's like you have a new wardrobe every time you get a new gig. There's always an opportunity for everything old to be new again. That's good stuff right there.

Now I have noticed since returning to New York that in general, people dress up a bit more in NY in the ad world than they did at my former agency in Miami. New York is stylish in general so that makes sense. I used to wear flip flops every day at my old gig- in fact, one piece of schwag from the old job was a pair of custom flip flops. I wore them into the ground.

I have to say I feel very lucky to have been in a creative industry all these years, where having a cool pair of sneakers gives you much more cred than a power suit.  So when my beautiful and stylish sister asked me what to wear to work, I have nothing for her. She works in a very corporate setting and Lord bless her, she has to properly dress every day. I would melt. 

I will say at this stage of the game, I'm not wearing anything too revealing to work, but that's really my MO in general. I'm more modest in terms of coverage and I'm fine with it. I do question some of the young girls choices from time to time- I'm not sure I would have ever worn a crop top to work, or a dress so short I can see London, France, and underpants. But what thrills me about my line of work is I can easily go right from work to dinner and feel totally at ease. And most of all, I don't have to set aside a budget for work clothes vs. life clothes. Because much like work/life these days, they're all blurred together.

Don't get me wrong- if I was going to a job interview or sitting on a panel, I'd dress it up a little. But never would you catch me in a suit (unless it was cool and rock and roll) and pantyhose. It's not necessary and I'm so good with that. I respect each and every one of you out there who has to- that's not easy nor is it particularly comfortable. I'm not suited. 

Oh and speaking of suits- this one is so damn cool. I would love to wear this to work/life and everywhere in between. I LOVE a suit, just not the type one can wear to a corporate gig. So sorry, sis. You may not want to rock this but this is absolutely something I'd wear to the office. With sneakers. Or slides. And a cool tee shirt. And one and done. I love the idea of a casual suit. Sans shoulder pads or a tight skirt that makes me feel sausage like. I can't right now. Or ever. Well look at that. I just told you what to wear to work. This will absolutely do for those of us with a bit more freedom in our office zone. How chic.

Cause that's what's up this well suited for work kind of Monday in the 718. Yours, in not always dressing for less, but always hoping to impress. In my own little way. XO