DJ/Radio Producer-turned-Lawyer attempts to dress like a grown-up. Sometimes I comically fail. And I occasionally post fun stuff, like music videos, book-club reviews, or photos of beauty or oddity.
FYI: I was doing this entire blog from my Android phone, snatching moments out of my busy life for quick photos. But I hate auto-correct with a purple passion, so now I'm using the computer for most of the work. I am still using my phone for the photos, though. My photo sizes may be erratic, and the quality isn't stellar. I am not a professional blogger, and do not have time for lots of scenic poses with a great camera. I don't even own a great camera! However, I DO appreciate your continued feedback, even in the absence of photographic artistry.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Appropriate Attire Rant

I was reading Freeda's post about "appropriate attire", as we share the same (largely insane but not always wrong) mother, I figured it would be fun to pick up on the conversation....

When I was in high school, the dress code was very strict. Absolutely no shorts or sleeveless tops, no sweatpants, no objectionable content on T-shirts. I had a cute tank-top dress I not only had wear a T-shirt under to not be sent home from school, but if I wore it elsewhere without the tee I had to wear it backwards, because my parents thought it was too low in the front. But it still looked good backwards....

After understanding more about my body and fashion, I realize I have that problem a lot because I have a short torso. What's just fine on someone else looks tarty on me.

Funny note about the "no shorts" rule: the boys staged a protest, because girls could cool off on a hot day by wearing skirts, but the boys were not allowed shorts. So a substantial number of them showed up to school on a designated day in skirts. They were not sent home.

I've seen many people dressed completely inappropriately for being out of the house, let alone in court or for work. I have seen, with my own eyes, pajama pants in court. Only once, since I moved to where I am now, have I seen a judge kick someone out of the courtroom for skimpy clothing. And, in my opinion, it should be happening every day!

Even in a professional environment, I've seen cheap, ill-fitting clothing and dirty hair, capris and open-toed shoes, and incredibly loud and outdated suits on the lawyers; and super-tight and short clothing on interns. I never saw anything like this in my hometown legal community. Appalling.

One intern had gained weight and honestly had no money for new clothes. I wish I had cleaned out my basement sooner than I did, but at least she has decent stuff now, because I gave her a couple grocery bags full of "office-appropriate" clothing.

Another intern showed up to my husband's birthday party in something kind of like this. Admittedly, the fabric was better (not as skeezy), and it was a little longer... but still! I know the exposed zipper is trendy right now, but to my eyes it looks slutty, like you're just asking people to unzip you!

Was I wrong to be unhappy that this type of dress, accompanited by 5-inch patent peeptoes, was worn to a party that was with and for her supervisor/my husband? I thought this dress totally appropriate for a night out with the girls, or on a date. But not while hanging out with me and my husband!

My parents were very strict about "dressing for the occasion" , and made damned sure we knew the standards. Dresses or dress pants with dress shoes and a nice blouse for church, weddings, graduations, etc. On a regular day, I could get as crazy and colorful as I wanted, as long as I stayed within the modesty bounds set by my parents. And boy, did I ever!

Flash forward to now, when Stinky complains because I don't let him wear cheap sweats or stained T-shirts to school. He tells me the other kids do, and I tell him that maybe their parents can't afford proper clothing, but we can so he's wearing it!

In the best shape I was ever in (six-pack, dancer's muscles on my legs), my skirts only went above my knee by a hand's width. My shortest shorts went well below my butt (hemmed/cut just below the saddlebags- haha) I didn't wear anything exposing even a hint of cleavage until I was in my thirties. I'm no prude, but I am disgusted with the amount of skin and clothing clinging so it might as well not be there at all, because we see everything anyway.

As I go through the workday, and see the heinousness surrounding me... I start to wonder if the Muslims are onto something. OK, OK... let's not go too far in the other extreme!


  1. The new generation is overwhelmed by the media...what to wear, what to do and yet a lot of them are still living at home-trapped. So rebel, rebel "I'll wear what I want!- It's my money"
    When I look at someone in an outrageous or skanky outfit I see the life that they wish they were living-even if just for that moment. BUT pick that moment.... not at grandpa's 80th or your co-worker's wedding or even at work!

  2. I do agree re some of the points you make. Of course, I'm guilty for my love of short hemlines sometimes, but dressing appropriate for the situation is important. No points given to skanky.

  3. I'm not saying everyone has to be as conservative on hemlines as I am... but there is a time and a place... and a law office or a party with co-workers ain't it!

  4. It's definitely important to learn about appropriate attire!

    I answered your question about my wooden necklace on my blog, but I was afraid you wouldn't see it. There are more necklaces, but I'm not sure how you can get one. I found mine at a jewelry sale a local hospital did to raise money. It was run by a company that I would guess takes orders but I'm not sure what the company was called and the necklace didn't come with any tags. I'm sorry!

  5. Okay, I just talked to someone I went to the sale with and she thinks it's "Masquerade Jewelry." The sale was at Hardin Memorial Hospital in Elizabethtown, Ky and it was benefit the Ladies' Auxilary group. I don't know if any of that will help...but I hope so!

  6. Amy, please see my original post's update at the bottom.

    With your question about your party guest's attire, I think it's important to remember the distinction between INTENTION and PERCEPTION. Her intention was to dress up. Your perception is that she intentionally dressed in a provocative manner around coworkers up to and including your husband (which can bring out all sorts of scratch-your-eyes-out feelings!).

    It's important to remember that all she saw in the mirror was "I look good! I look cute! I feel confident in this!", and out the door she went. No ill intent. The aesthetic with young ladies (my kids included) is "body conscious" dresses, and towering heels - the higher the better.

    While I certainly do judge people by what they wear to certain occasions, it's important to remember that it's almost never INTENDED as a personal slight.

  7. OK, ok... I'll try to remember that....

  8. Hmm... interesting "Rashomon" discussion going on between you two.

    I agree that one person's perception can differ radically from another person's intention.

    I, like you, was taught appropriate attire so we view clothes using the same standard. But younger people either may not have been taught the same lessons or may have been influenced by the increasing trend in the media toward accepting sluttiness as normal.

    This doesn't excuse inappropriate attire but it explains it.

  9. Shy, I'll add that to my list of movies to watch! The wikipedia on it sounds interesting. And Amy loves old Japanese movies.

  10. Really interesting descusion here
    (however late I am to it!) I tend to agree with Freeda. Although I was brought up to adhere to modest dress standards, I agree that these days 'dress standards' are like 90% influenced by popular culture/media. I wouldn't wear a slinky black mini zip up dress to a friends birthday party, but then again, I'm not a size 10 (aus size!) but if I was, and I felt comfortable, who knows, maybe I would!!! Fashion is freedom, we all have the choice of what we put on our bodies, and I love that exhibition of individuality. But at the same time, I would not rock up to your husbands party in fish nets and a leather mini (no matter what size I was!!)

    P.s Lawerdoll, would love to see you in a short skirt in the weekend sun! Hair out and momentarily forgetting about 'dress standards'!
    Mway (i think your awesome!)