Saturday, February 5, 2011
Mosey suggested heels and form-fitting clothes, and an attempt at wearing make-up, as a way to look more adult and professional at work. I agree, for the most part. But, my work environment has a few strange requirements. I work with people, (not paper or computers) some of whom come from cultures more conservative than mine, so I feel a need to dress with careful modesty. I have actually been hit on by homeless people waiting to get into a clinic in the building, when I've worn more form-fitting clothing, which made me extremely uncomfortable. (This picture is actually a great example of my kind of failure of biz cas clothing-- technically it's a business-like skirt and a button-down, right? but the shirt is too thin and her hair is all "I just got out of bed" and when you're that tall all skirts look short on you, and it just comes off all wrong.)
I also do a lot of walking around including, some days, being outside and on public transit a lot. Often it is impractical for me to, say, wear boots for my commute and then change into heels, as I'll be running outside a couple times a day. So was wearing the life out of my black winter boots, but it came back to haunt me and they got soaked this morning and I was miserable. So I have a pair of flats I leave in my desk drawer that I can wear when I'm in the office.
And to make matters more awesome, the temperature in the building is insane-- one week we brought a thermometer and one office was 90 degrees. We were dying even with the windows open to the winter winds, and we asked for it to get fixed. Now it is chilly inside, sweater-weather chilly.
Soooo, I have found a few biz-cas outfits that really work for me. Corduroy, black, or khaki pants + striped button-down is one of them. Add a cardigan for chill, roll up the sleeves for the sauna rooms, and button up modestly. I dug a knit blazer out of the bottom of a stack of sweaters and it worked really well on Friday, over a nice-ish drapey top I got at Unique.
And sometimes, yeah, I try to wear makeup. But I don't really have that down, as my makeup routine is much more geared towards going out. At night I wear black eyeliner and mascara (I started wearing makeup on a semi-regular basis in Egypt, actually, where super dramatic eyeliner is The Thing), and sometimes some red lipstick to look retro. I own chapstick, a couple eyeshadows (gold and tan), a reddish lipgloss I recently stole from my cousin, and sparkly "golden sand" eyeliner. I also own concealer, which I do use pretty regularly, and bronzer and blush which I inherited from roommates and never never use. None of this seems particularly appropriate. So I've been going to Sephora after work and thinking about what I could buy that would be more versatile.
picture credits: via This is Glamorous, German model Julia Stegner by Tesh via Fashion Gone Rogue.