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ruckuskitten
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Oh, dear...."Business Casual"

I start a job tomorrow (my first real live grown-up job) for which the dress code is "business casual."  I've read lots of online guides for what that may or may not mean, depending on your individual office environment, and I think I at least understand the basics.

In theory, this could be a great oppertunity to wear some vintage and vintage esque pieces that would have been too dressy or too delicate (or stainable) for my past jobs.  But I have a very early 60s, sort of proto-mod style, and I'm worried that the eccentricities that I consider to be good for the office (like mary janes, fully fashioned stockings, printed dresses, and so on) may not be okay for me to wear.

I'm also concerned that I don't have enough work-approreate pieces to get by on.

So I suppose what I'm asking is this: those of you (especially the women) who work in an environment with a business or business casual dress code, how do you keep your vintage or retro wardrobe office-appropreate?  Also, what do you find that you cannot live without?  Do you need suits and seperates, or do you mainly wear dresses?  Do you wear stockings every day?  Do you think seamed stockings are okay of the office?

I guess what I'm asking for is an experience-based guide to building your vintage office wardrobe.

Any input helps.


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KittenWithaWhip
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Re: Oh, dear...."Business Casual"

Wear the safe things for a month or so, then start slipping in the slightly more questionable items.  Leave anything at home that may be misconstrued as trashy.  The stockings may be right out.  We understand them but ...you know.

I had a business casual office atmosphere once.  (Ahhh, the nineties...but that's another story.)  I started out with Hepburnesque slacks and skirts even though my dimensions were a lot closer to Jane Russell.  Dresses are okay unless they're too short, too tight or have weird slogans on them.  Are you more like That Girl or Beach Blanket Bingo?


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ruckuskitten
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Re: Oh, dear...."Business Casual"

<!--quoteo(post=89682:date=Oct 23 2007, 08&#58;35 PM:name=KittenWithaWhip)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(KittenWithaWhip &#064; Oct 23 2007, 08&#58;35 PM) [snapback]89682[/snapback]</div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->Are you more like That Girl or Beach Blanket Bingo?

http://www.museum.tv/archives/etv/T/htmlT/thatgirl/thatgirlIMAGE/thatgirl.jpg

Definately That Girl.  I never really thought I was that much like her in style, but I guess I am.  I also like chaneling Audrey (of course), Diana Rigg, Jane Fonda (ca. 1967), and Bridget Bardot.  I&#39;d say Twiggy, but I&#39;m twenty-two and a size eight.  It&#39;s just not gonna work.


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ruckuskitten
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Re: Oh, dear...."Business Casual"

<!--quoteo(post=89682:date=Oct 23 2007, 08&#58;35 PM:name=KittenWithaWhip)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(KittenWithaWhip &#064; Oct 23 2007, 08&#58;35 PM) [snapback]89682[/snapback]</div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->
Leave anything at home that may be misconstrued as trashy.  The stockings may be right out.  We understand them but ...you know.

I&#39;m thinking I might stick to rht stockings with no seams.  They&#39;ll look like panty hose (but nicer), last longer, and not make me feel like an old lady.  I&#39;ll also wear black tights sometimes.  I just couldn&#39;t do bare legs, especially in winter.  Do you think really small gauge nude (nearly invisible) fishnets would be okay?


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KittenWithaWhip
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Re: Oh, dear...."Business Casual"

They&#39;d have to be extremely small gauge, so they look like patterned tights, but I suppose they&#39;d be alright.  Other than that, I think you&#39;re OK with the That Girl look.  Ann Marie never wore anything horrible, and just about everything I can remember her wearing would still be OK in the office today.  I say go for it.


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ruckuskitten
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Re: Oh, dear...."Business Casual"

Turns out my office is more casual with a hint of business than business casual.  It&#39;s tech support, so all the technogeeks in there would rather wear sweats than real clothes if they could, so pretty much if I don&#39;t wear a leather corset (darn) or jeans (except on casual friday) I&#39;ll be more than fine.

I went on a shopping trip to a local mostly affordable vintage store, and bought a couple tweed knee-length dresses and some new tights, and between those and some things I already had (that I&#39;ve decided aren&#39;t too 60s for the office), I&#39;ve been getting by pretty well.  Everyone is a little weirded out by how much I seem to care about how I look when I&#39;m just going to work (ie I don&#39;t try to wear jeans when it&#39;s not friday, I wear SKIRTS and TIGHTS and sometimes HEELS&#33;), but they think I look nice.  I think the weirded is mostly a product of the laziness of most people&#39;s aesthetic these days, but we know all about that, right?

I&#39;m even okay on mini dresses as long as they don&#39;t skootch up too much when I sit down and they&#39;re no more than four inches above knee length (it says so in the dress code).

I&#39;m still leaving the seems at home for now.

Thanks for your help&#33;


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KittenWithaWhip
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Re: Oh, dear...."Business Casual"

I quite understand.  I also used to work in a place where the men thought they were OK if no one else could smell their underwear.  I remember once a fellow came over to talk to me about something.  I didn&#39;t hear a word he said, because not only was he the usual scruffy type, his ratty shirt had little speckles of blood all over the collar.  Huh?  I then noticed he had corresponding scabs all over his chin and neck.  Apparently he had shaved with a dull razor that morning - a VERY dull razor, maybe even a fork or something - and had tried to mop up the gore several times with the collar of his t shirt.

Nevertheless&#33;  In instances like this it&#39;s not a bad idea to be slightly more dressy than the slobs with which you work.  As a matter of fact, it&#39;ll get you promoted. 

Good luck.  We&#39;re all counting on you.


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mimi
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Re: Oh, dear...."Business Casual"

Unfortunately these days, it isn&#39;t just the men.

I worked with a girl who wore exactly the same thing every single day. We worked for M-A-C, and the uniform is Black. All black. At the end of each shift, a messy artist has makeup all over them. She was a messy artist.

Eventually, as the manager, I had to pull her aside. She said that she wasn&#39;t going to spend money on a lot of black clothes because she didn&#39;t wear black in her "real life." She only laundered once a week. I couldn&#39;t make her go shopping, but I could make her do laundry.

and I did.


8 I've been on a calendar, but I've never been on time 8

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KittenWithaWhip
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Re: Oh, dear...."Business Casual"

Ewwwww&#33;


Okay, okay, so there was this one guy at work who was soooo disgusting...

(How disgusting was he?)

He told me that he never used soap or shampoo when he washed because he believed they had a cumulative detrimental effect on the skin.  He had many, many other issues with hygene, which I&#39;ll probably tell some other time, but your story reminded me of when I thought he was wearing flip flops to work.  You could hear that slapping sound whenever he went by, and I thought "Flip flops with socks?  What a dork&#33;"  Well it turned out that he wasn&#39;t wearing flip flops at all, that the soles of his shoes had come loose all the way from the heel to the ball of the foot and they flipflopped when he walked.  The manager mentioned it to him and he replied that "If the company wants me to wear proper shoes, they can buy them for me."


For reasons unrelated to personal cleanliness he was eventually transferred to another locaton, but I think they should have fired him for oh, so many offenses.


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mimi
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Re: Oh, dear...."Business Casual"

Good Lord.

In the same vein, I am constantly amazed at the number of people out in public, at fancy functions, etc., who are all dolled up and did not bother to bathe.

[img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/blink.gif[/img]


8 I've been on a calendar, but I've never been on time 8

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ruckuskitten
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Re: Oh, dear...."Business Casual"

I&#39;m sorry, but I have to chime in with a gross work wear story.

I used to work for a man, who was a great boss and fun to work for and a really nice guy, but EVERY DAY to work, he wore these old gray sweatpants, the kind with the elastic at the ankles.  I might have forgiven him that, but there was a tear in the pants, not in the waistband, but from right under the waistband and it extended down the leg about five inches.  Luckily, this was on the side of the leg so it didn&#39;t expose anything, except his overweight thigh, and the fact that he must not have been wearing any sort of undergarment.  It was horrible.  His excuse was that he didn&#39;t interact directly with clients and he just sat in the office all day.  He said if he was interacting with clients he would wear a suit and tie.

You&#39;d think there would be something in his wardrobe between a suit and tie and ripped sweatpants.

Oh, and on a nice note, I just got a new corsellette (ie, NWT vintage) that holds up vintage seamlesses nicely, and looks perfect under my wool work dresses, so I&#39;m set.


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