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Skirts and Boots - cellophane — LiveJournal
the story of an invisible girl
Skirts and Boots
I ventured to the mall last week, in search of a new bathing suit. As I walked along a hallway, I noticed that Petite Sophisticate was having a sale. They always have really nice business-clothes for little people, though really expensive. I zipped in to check out the clearance racks, which is where I have purchased most of my work clothing.

I found a skirt for about 70% off. First, I must clarify: I never wear skirts to work. The last time I did so was when I had a funeral to attend. But I have been trying to look a bit more professional at work these days.

Also, I recently bought a really sweet pair of knee-high dressy black boots. They are sexy but sophisticated. I hadn't had a chance to wear them yet -- I haven't had any occasion to wear a dress, and I didn't own any skirts. So when I saw the lined wool skirt, black with a simple off-white plaid, I knew I needed to try it on. It was the bottom part of a suit, but all I wanted was the skirt.

Yesterday, I wore it to work. My new boots underneath, and my stockinged knees exposed inbetween. I felt smart, professional, and sexy.

I got lots of startled double-takes and comments -- remember, I don't wear skirts to work! Of course I got the usual "So when is your interview?" type of questions, but not too much since I've been dressing more professionally in general.

The comment that surprised me most was when B saw me, and he said: "You look like a Catholic schoolgirl!" I suppose it must have been due to the subtle plaid in the skirt. It is not very short, nor is it pleated.

I looked at my legs. "I don't think Catholic schoolgirls are allowed to wear..."

I had been about to say sexy boots. Fortunately my internal censor clicked in just in time, and I realized that would not be entirely work-appropriate. I paused.

"...boots like these," I finished a bit lamely.

B disagreed. I had to admit that I'd never been a Catholic schoolgirl, so I did not know for certain. I was a little bit saddened though, because I was trying to look professional -- not schoolgirlish.

A little bit later on in the day, I walked into our weekly teleconference. B and two female friends of mine were in the room already, chatting quietly, waiting for everyone to assemble. "Do I look like a schoolgirl?" I demanded of the women in the room as I strode in.

D shushed me, pointing at the phone in the middle of the table. "They're already on the conference call!"

Whoops. I felt my cheeks start turn red. I didn't know who might be on the other end of the line already! But I brushed it off, hoping they hadn't heard/understood me. "Hi guys," I said with extra cheer when I got closer to the phone.

Then I turned back to D, whispering the question again. She nodded. I protested. She nodded again, and whispered, "Yes. Very cute, but yes." I sighed. Maybe looking professional is just not in my blood.
read 21 comments | talk to me!
thenisaid From: thenisaid Date: March 2nd, 2004 12:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, heck, do what a schoolgirl would do and spill a beer on it and take it back. ;)

Plaids are tricky, even the subtle ones. You need the matching suit jacket, and hose, and probably pumps, for it to look grown up. The problem with being short, or cute, or young, or working in an industry where you tend to be considered "one of the guys", is that you sometimes have to take everything a couple of notches extra formal to be considered to be in professional attire. A middle-aged brunette can wear stuff you can't, and not be accused of looking like a schoolgirl.

But she'd love to have your problems.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: March 2nd, 2004 01:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
hmm. Good points! I don't wear full suits, because then I would definitely get "when is your interview" questions. Our dress code is still business casual, just a bit more businessy than before. I'm just aiming for the business end of business casual....
thenisaid From: thenisaid Date: March 2nd, 2004 04:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
Then all you need is a solid skirt in a neutral color--navy, gray, camel, taupe, one of those. Add a nice, warm sweater or a fairly casual knit jacket, and you'll look super-classy.
jeffreyab From: jeffreyab Date: March 2nd, 2004 12:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Keep the skirt and you can wear it next time I take you out for dinner.

If you do not own skirts what are you wearing in the pictures at Halloween?
renniekins From: renniekins Date: March 2nd, 2004 01:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sounds good! Actually, I own 3 short casual skirts that aren't work-appropriate. That's what I meant.
From: nicegeek Date: March 2nd, 2004 12:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hmmm...so what made you decide to start dressing more 'professionally'? I've always assumed that jeans and a T-shirt are professional programmer dress. At least, that's what everyone at my work wears. :-)
renniekins From: renniekins Date: March 2nd, 2004 01:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah but I don't work for a programming company, but an insurance company. When our new owners bought us, they implemented their dress code, taking away our fairly casual one. It is still business casual, but no more jeans or tennis shoes.
From: nicegeek Date: March 2nd, 2004 08:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Bummer. :-(
joline From: joline Date: March 2nd, 2004 12:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
hehe! too bad-- but i bet you looked very nice.

i wish i had knee-high dressy black boots... i just realized, a couple days ago, that women look awesome -yet professional- in them! i didn't know! i would have tried to track down an inexpensive pair this winter!
renniekins From: renniekins Date: March 2nd, 2004 01:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, you must get some! I did not realize I needed them until I visited New York City over Christmas, and my (very urban) cousin was wearing some. She looked great in them, and when I complimented her she insisted that everyone should own a pair. She has two, in black and brown. It makes so much sense, especially when you do lots of outdoor walking: they are dressy and professional, plus sexy, plus they keep your legs warmer!
lahabiel From: lahabiel Date: March 2nd, 2004 12:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
A schoolgirl outfit might not be the best thing for work. But for Luna... ;)
renniekins From: renniekins Date: March 2nd, 2004 01:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
heehee! true...
lahabiel From: lahabiel Date: March 2nd, 2004 01:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
So I can look forward to a fashion show... ;)
From: xxbr0kenheartxx Date: March 2nd, 2004 01:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
your entries are so ...

well written
renniekins From: renniekins Date: March 2nd, 2004 02:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you! <3

greyyguy From: greyyguy Date: March 2nd, 2004 02:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Maybe B just has a thing for Catholic schoolgirl outfits, so the sexy boots were a natural fit. I'm sure you looked very cute.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: March 2nd, 2004 08:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
heehee...perhaps he does.

An interesting fact I left out of the original post: B is my boss. (But he has also been a good friend for 8 years, so our relationship is pretty casual.)
greyyguy From: greyyguy Date: March 3rd, 2004 07:10 am (UTC) (Link)
So now you know that around performance review time what outfit to wear ;)
guingel From: guingel Date: March 2nd, 2004 03:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
yeah, I'd agree with the above--it sounds like a Catholic schoolgirl outfit, but the kind that people picture who have schoolgirl fetishes think of as being Catholic schoolgirl clothes, not the kind that you'd see in any Catholic school. Did that make any sense? I feel like it's slightly incoherent--sorry, I have to rush to dinner ;)
renniekins From: renniekins Date: March 2nd, 2004 08:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, I know what you're saying -- but it definitely wasn't a "fetish" version of a schoolgirl outfit. I guess it was close-enough-to-confuse though... I posted a picture!
guingel From: guingel Date: March 3rd, 2004 04:03 am (UTC) (Link)
yeah, looking at it, I don't see schoolgirl at all, fetish or no!
read 21 comments | talk to me!