Thursday, May 29, 2008

Just Wear a Potato Sack -- With a Really Cute Belt

For many people, it's always been tough deciding what to wear to work. If today's news is any indication of the confusion assaulting the workplace, I think we may be headed for real trouble.



First, we have Rachael Ray being criticized because she wore a scarf that, according to some people, resembles the traditional Arab scarf known as a kaffiyeh. Ray sported the scarf in a new commercial for Dunkin' Donuts. Conservative pundits were outraged, while the stylist, I imagine, was a bit bewildered why a black and white scarf with a paisley design is causing such an uproar. One blog commenter, obviously tongue in cheek, said that Ray isn't a terrorist, but the stylist probably is.

That brings me to the next fashion fuss: "Sex And the City" attire as featured in the new movie is possibly prompting women to wear provocative clothes to work as a way of getting ahead. Some career women howl at the notion, and even men seem dumbfounded that a woman's cleavage should be considered a way to gain career, er, leverage.

I've always had a pretty simple rule: If you can wear is clubbing, to mow the back 40 in or to sleep in, it's never appropriate for work. I may have to amend that to: or could have you be considered a terrorist or a stripper.

What do you think? Do you believe people are judged more by their looks these days and what they wear -- rather than for their abilities?


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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Dishing About Casual Work Wear

Diane Danielson over at the Women's Dish Network, has, in her words, been "mouthing off" about the sad state of attire in the workplace today. Seems she told CareerBuilder that she didn't care for it (OK, it totally "pissed her off") when a job applicant showed up wearing a frayed denim skirt.

Danielson's reaction: she sent the girl packing, with nary a question asked.
Danielson said the girl had clearly "wasted my time" by showing up in something so inappropriate for a well-established, conservative employer, whose reputation should have been researched by the applicant.

I can certainly appreciate Danielson's straightforward look at an ongoing problem. One of her problems with casual dress: "You never know when a client - who may never have casual day - might want to meet wih you."

I agree. It's a constant complaint I hear from bosses and co-workers, who are mystified why something so easy as dressing neatly and professionally seems to elude many workers. Why -- when so many things at work can be out of our control -- would anyone pass up the opportunity to convey a professional, capable image simply by dressing correctly? And why would anyone dress well four days a week, then throw the whole image out the window and dress like a casual slob on the fifth day?

So, here's my final word of advice for the truly clueless: If you can wear it to go clubbing, mow the back 40 in it or is comfortable enough to sleep in...DON'T WEAR IT TO WORK!

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