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August 17, 2011

The Dress Code

The Dress Code

by Nancy Martin   

In the summertime, newspapers and internet articles abound on the subject of appropriate dress for the workplace.  Since I mostly wear yoga pants and t-shirts to work--always with my bedroom slippers--this subject is beyond the limits of my expertise. Plus, it turns out I live in the 3rd worst dressed city in the nation.  (#1 is Boston. #2 is LA.  # 3 is Da Burgh.) Here in Pittsburgh, you can wear a Steeler jersey into just about any social occasion. (Where do you think the "black" in black tie comes from?) Go to fullsize image

But every summer my husband comes home from the bank at least once remarking upon the summer interns who wear sandals to work.  And I'm not talking about the female interns. (The young ladies wear flipflops!  Only once, of course. Bankers do not--uh--pussyfoot when it comes to wardrobe disapproval. I have predicted here before that if spats make a comeback, the trend will start with bankers.) Guys in sandals?  Can I just say, generally: Ew? Hairy toes with raggedy yellow nails? Double Ew!

Summer shoes are a big workplace problem, I gather. Peep toes and sling backs--iffy choices if you want to be taken seriously.  And the height of a woman's heel is apparently inversely related to how seriously co-workers are supposed to take her.  In your view, how high is too high?  I wear flats most of the time (except in winter, when it's Dansko clogs) so I have no perspective except to say that--like porn--I think know too high when I see it.


But every time I am tempted to criticize footwear, though, I remember the time I went to my job (teaching junior high English, if you can imagine) and shortly after lunch I realized I was wearing two different shoes entirely.  (Long story short:  I couldn't decide which pair went best with my outfit.  And I neglected to make the final decision.)  So I can't be trusted.

The other big summer dress code issue deals with young ladies who show too much skin.  "The more skin you show, the less power you project," said one HR expert recently.  Lawyers, in particular, have to be careful what kind of image they're projecting in court, apparently.  My daughter, recently hired to teach at a law school in Texas, has gone rooting through her closet--digging past her maternity wardrobe and her new mommy shirts--to find the suits she used to wear a few years ago when she was practising law.  She reports all the suits are big in the armpit.  Now.......how can you lose weight in your armpits, we wondered?  Except it probably isn't weight loss as much as a style change, but it's an expensive issue.  Getting a tailor to cut new sleeve holes--and maybe it's impossible to make them smaller?--might be more expensive than simply buying a couple of new suits, right? Seems to me, a good tailor is worth her weight in thread, but I have never successfully sewn a proper sleeve, so I think this could be an expensive fix.

My sister, a former journalist, used to have a hot button when it came to bra straps.  (That was before her paper went kablooey and she became a "freelance writer.") She said any glimpse of bra strap was too much.  Nowadays, it seems bra straps are part of the outfit, so I can't tell.

Another workplace issue is perfume.     Go to fullsize image

Now, I don't wear perfume, and I'm not terribly interested in the subject which makes me a throwback to Neanderthal days, but a few weeks ago, my husband and I went to the movie theater and sat behind two couples who were clearly out for a good time. Except one of the women was wearing so much perfume that my husband and I had to get up and move.  It was overpowering! From two rows away, it smelled very nice, but how did her companions stand sitting next to her?  I can't imagine trying to work in an office where somebody doused themselves in perfume. What's your opinion on this? Do you think years of wearing heavy perfume just renders your nose incapable of sniffing what everyone else smells from across the parking lot?

Not long ago, my husband and I attended one of those depressing workshops where an investment expert spends four hours explaining how much money you need to retire and how many more decades you'll need to work like dogs to acquire that much dough.  I got so depressed that---okay, I'll admit it---I gave up mourning our 401K and started studying the other poor smucks---er, lovely people in the workshop.  A single lady in the front row--she had planted herself as close to our (handsome and presumably well-invested) speaker as she could get without climbing into his lap---had a habit of fluffing her hair.  It was amusing for the first half hour, but eventually I began to wonder if she had lice.  Maybe she was unconsciously trying to call attention to herself, but, really, it got to be kinda disgusting. Keep your hands off your hair unless you're trying to make people think about Head n'Shoulders--that was my contribution to the investment workshop, but my husband didn't feel that was the kind of thing anybody wanted to hear that night, so I waited out in the hall while he asked an investment question I can't even spell, let alone explain, which is why he has the responsible job in our household and I left teaching long, long ago.  (My7 mother reminds me that I'd be retired with a pension by now, but I told her no, instead I'd probably be in jail for murdering somebody.)

All in all, I'm glad I work alone. But lately I've heard a snarky opinion that yoga pants don't qualify as real pants.  Now--hold on!  What does that mean, exactly?  I hesitate to ask, of course.  I suspect Tim Gunn will disapprove of my daily wardrobe.  (I am a big fan of Tim.  But when he started to snark about my girl Hillary--well, I Am Not Amused.) But....if yoga pants aren't really pants, can I just go straight to plaid pajamas and forget the whole thing?  I mean, college campuses all over the country seem to have decided pajamas are suitable classroom attire, so maybe the UPS man won't be horrified if he catches me in giant pink tartan?

Go to fullsize image

Today, however, I am---of all places--in Vegas.  (Yes, in August. Another long story, but I hope it will make an amusing blog in a couple of weeks.) If I can tear myself away from the poker tables---Hey, there's more than one way to beef up that 401K, right?--I hope to be able to share some insight into appropriate casino wear.  Meanwhile, TLC fashionistas, please share your opinions.  I can't wait to hear a little hot summer venting.

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One year at the white coat ceremony the dean walked up to me and said, "If we give you a raise will you buy some new clothes?"

Bra straps bother me, too. I don't want to see your underwear when I am at Boscovs or the Shop Rite. I've got the Internet if I want that sort of thing.

You didn't mention tattoos. I don't think they are professional, but others on this blog may differ.

I remember the days in Vegas where one didn't walk into a hotel/casino in less than a suit and tie, dresses/skirts for the ladies. The female pantsuit revolution sprained some eyebrows at the time, and there's a judge here in Texas that has sent more than one lady lawyer home to change. We're not going to talk about corporate offices these days; some of the outfits are beyond description, and no one says a word. Kind of scary.

"Dress appropriately" is a very broad term, open to individual interpretation. Me, I stick with the Basics, and I'm comfortable with that.

I live in flip flops. I'd wear flip flop snow boots if someone created them. But I do put on a pair of grown-up shoes for grown-up events. I have really, really small feet, so high heels are out of the question.

Also, on this subject, I think gladiator sandals are unflattering and platform shoes are ridiculous. I also know that I wore gladiator sandals and platform shoes in high school, and I could kick myself for not keeping them!

I grew up with all the rules: no white shoes after Labor Day, shoes and purse should match, ladies always wore a slip under a dress but heaven forbid any part of it should show, etc. My grandmother wouldn't take the trash out in her apartment building without putting on a girdle and stockings.

When I was in finance (didn't last, ergo I'm broke) it was the era of power suits for women--worn with a blouse with a bow at the neck. Of course, that was the same era when the banker types with nice suits said that (I quote) the next secretary should have bigger bazongas (no wonder we were wearing bows up to our ears!).

But every time I see women in those stilettos and platforms I wonder how they avoid falling down--particularly the police women and MEs on television who investigate crime scenes in heels and pencil skirts. What's their message?

First of all, the UPS man has seen everything, so giant pink tartan won't faze him a bit.

My office is "business casual", which is WAY open to interpretation. Therefore, we have a list of do's and don't's to help us along. No flip flops, but we can wear sandals. No tank tops/spaghetti straps, no shorts, no spandex, overalls, sneakers, or midriff-baring shirts. I mean, they really have to spell it out.

The thing is, certain people can manage to follow the dress code exactly, and still look like an unmade bed or a circus side-show attraction. As my father used to say, "Some people only have taste in their mouth."

A friend of mine works for a prestigious hospital in Philly, in the administration area. It was pure business dress there, and last I knew, women were required to wear skirts. Not sure how they got away with that.

I really believe dress in the workplace should show respect for both the workplace and your co-workers. Obviously, some jobs require very casual dress - but even construction workers have dress codes. You wouldn't see them wearing flip-flops. ;)

Don't get me started on perfume and men's cologne. I'm sneezing just thinking about it. We had one guy who left his scent behind him hours after he was there.

And yoga pants are the best pants ever.

Earlier this morning I wrote a response, which seems to have disappeared! Ah, cyberspace! (I'll try to remember what I wrote.)

I agree that perfume is inappropriate for work. We know a couple of people who apparently swim/bathe in it, and you can actually "smell" them coming. I don't know how their husbands don't choke to death! Someone in my office has severe asthma, and we all agree not to wear scents of any kind, including scented hand lotion, because it can trigger an attack for her.

Stilettos and platform shoes?? How do people manage to avoid injury from wearing them?? I do wear sneakers more often than not, and I hate doing it. However, the neurosurgeon who did my back surgery told me that they were really the only kind of shoes that I should wear, like it or not. I don't like it! I've tried going back to "regular" shoes from time to time, but it's just too painful for my back. I had to go to a wedding at the end of April, and I really wanted to wear nice shoes, so I bought a pair that I thought I'd be able to wear. I was wrong. After a couple of hours, when it became difficult to stand for more than a few minutes, and walking was dangerous (it was an outdoor wedding in a slightly hilly area, with lots of pinecones underfoot) I changed into the sneakers that I'd left in the car. Nobody noticed! The wedding was somewhat informal, fortunately - the bride wore cowboy boots - and nobody cared how anyone was dressed.

I'm with Josh - I think that tattoos are unprofessional. I don't like them on men OR women. I know I'm probably narrow-minded about it, but it's hard for me to take someone seriously if that person has a tattoo. I don't care if the person is male or female. I've been at gatherings where I was one of the few UNtattooed people. It just seems so weird to see grandmas with saggy tattoos hanging out of their low-cut shirts!

First off, I am going to repost my today's Facebook Status:

Just because the tag says "One Size Fits All" does not mean you should wear it in public.

Nancy - tell Cassie to go pick up some shoulder pads. They're back and her jackets will fit perfectly. Note that I did not say I think shoulder pads are a good idea. I don't think push-up bras with enough 'up' to bump one's own chin are a good idea either, but maybe that's just me.

My entire active shoe collection consists of Crocs (ugly but comfortable and easily sterilized) and Danskos (a gift from the shoe gods). That said, I agree with Ramona. The gladiator thing is about half a step from those lace-up espadrilles that left marks on your legs. Just say no.

In the casino last night we saw a crew of 20-somethings wearing wet bathing suits. Drunk as lords, so maybe they didn't know they were in public!

and how about all the inappropriate clothing on TV (showing too much skin) in the work place? everyone should dress to not scare the horses!

Kathy, I once wrote a story about a Roman soldier and read this fascinating article about how the creation of a durable, comfortable sandal impacted the Roman Army. Still ugly, though.

I don't have a tattoo, but I have backed off being critical about body art. I don't know that it says anything about the wearer other than they made a personal choice that's not one I would make. It does disturb me when I see tattoos on necks and faces, but that's mostly because I start to imagine how the work was done, and I don't wanna think about that!

The key to perfume is subtlety. Sadly, many don't know subtle from shinola. I've known at least two women who substituted bathing in scent for actual bathing. Hey, people, we can tell, you know.

My middle daughter has caught all sorts of grief at various workplaces for her, erm, casual attitude towards dressing. She's doing better now (I should hope so, she's almost 27), but since she hates to shop it's like torture to her to choose clothing of any kind. No stockings for her, or for the other two, for that matter. As a child of the 50's and 60's, it's still hard for me to go to a function without stockings.

Nancy, you can lower armholes (technically, it's called an armscye), but not raise them. Higher armscye is better, though--it allows for more freedom of movement than lower armholes, which some manufacturers use instead of bust darting. Long drawn-out explanation here, but suffice it to say it has to do with labor costs. Darts cost more to sew, largely because of the marking, etc. And since none of us are shaped like columns, darts make a huge difference to making a garment look the same shape as the body inside it. Your daughter is probably curvier now, after having had two children.

Said all that to say this: She needs new jackets. Sorry.

I am here in Vegas for a few more hours......enough time to get a tattoo!

Shoulder pads might work. Tell Cassie to buy 1/2" thick and 1" thick, and just stick them under the shoulder temporarily to see if one or the other makes a difference. They come in thicknesses. On the notions wall at JOANNs.

Ramona and Kathy, when you're, er, vertically challenged, gladiator shoes don't make any sense at all. Or have wide calves. They look good on supermodels, though, because they weigh 120 pounds and are 6' tall.

Ramona, I have the same short foot problem! Even though I'm 5' 6", I wear a size 6, and that's only after bearing two more children; I used to wear a 5, and I was an inch taller then. No wonder I fall over so easily, eh? But having feet that short means no super-high heels--our feet aren't long enough to go that high. And to that I say, thank goodness. My husband, who used to be taller than I am, is now shorter than me, and I haven't worn heels in years.

Thank goodness for Michelle Obama making flats fashionable.

As I've mentioned before, my day job is at a dolphin facility in the Florida Keys. Appropriate work attire for me is a t-shirt, shorts, Crocs flipflops and sunscreen.

The trainers wear bathing suits with or without tank tops/rash guard shirts/Ts and or shorts. When we have media visiting they have to cover up the bathing suits but other than that, as long as they're "modestly" cut one-pieces, they're fine.

Perfume in the workplace? Depending on who it is, the most common scent is eau de fish. You spend enough time around thawed fish, the aroma's gonna stick.

I have an entire closet in the other bedroom with clothes that I can wear to meetings and conferences where my Florida Keys work attire would not be appropriate. I have to admit when I go to conferences and see some of the outfits that people consider professional or even business casual, I cringe a little.

Heather Armstrong, AKA Dooce, hates Crocs with a passion and yet loves the clunkiest, ugliest 'high fashion' heels. I don't understand.

I love my Crocs. Yes they are uglier than sin, but they mean comfortable footware for feet that don't like being barefoot or wearing regular shoes any more.

I am amazed at what people getting on and off airplanes are wearing these days.
I am also amazed at what people think is "Sunday Best" clothing. I was taught you dress up to go to certain places.
Around your house wear whatever you want. I personally wear shorts and a tank top with my Tevas. But I tell you I put on a short sleeve book 'em Danno shirt if someone comes to the door.
I bet Alan has some tales about his experiences on the other side of the door. Ding Dong and it isn't the Avon lady!

Oh and the secretary I thought was costumed to the tee was Dolly Parton in 9 to 5.

Someone else mentioned clothes of seasonal nature. I just *can't* wear my searsucker shirts (and the suit that I used to have) before Memorial Day or after Labor Day.

Oh, I so agree -- few men over the age of 25 can pull off sandals. But here in L.A., many, many try.

At LAX yesterday, I saw a woman in bedroom slippers. Okay, on the airplane, if it's an international flight, I understand, but wow. At the airport? That takes guts.

My biggest moment of courage in the last calendar year was asking a woman friend to please not hug me hello, as I had a perfume allergy. I don't actually have an allergy, but I knew if I had to smell like patchouli the rest of the day, I'd shoot myself.

CLEAVAGE. CLEAVAGE. There is no cleavage in the workplace. And yet--there is it. Interns, professionals, big wigs, EVERYONE has cleavage showing. It drives me crazy.

It's like--bra straps. BRA STRAPS SHOULD NOT SHOW.

Really, I'm a tolerant person, open-minded, flexible. But not about that.

And let me just say--tbose high heels with the platforms under the front? They look grotesque. Sorry. I'm all about fashion, but when shoes are literally dangerous, isn't that silly??

Okay, done.

Listen, I don't want to sound mean to men with that sandal comment (see above). There are many days when my own feet frighten me, and that doesn't stop me from wearing flip-flops. But at least we women can throw on another coat of nail polish and shave the tops of the toes.

Stop me if I'm revealing too much here.

At my job, we also have 'business casual' as our dress code. And then they had to spell out what that means, because often the highly intelligent seem to lack the most common sense. No flipflops (still, I see them every day during the summer. Men included...ewwww). No shorts or mini-skirts/dresses (again, I see them. Hopefully, they are at least wearing panties underneath). No tank tops, etc.

For me, I am usually in sneakers or those cheap little keds type shoes, due to my knee surgery. However, I do have some cute heeled and platformed shoes for wearing to special events. I appreciate the extra couple of inches provided by the platforms since hiiiiigh heels are beyond me and my foot size.

Now, if I were at home and wanting to wear a tank top, I would not be comfortable unless I did have a bra on underneath. So sadly, I do sometimes show straps, but I feel it is better than the other option.

No tattoos for me. Crazy manicures are my form of artistic self-expression. Somebody doesn't like it? Tough, it will be changing in less than two weeks anyway. What cracks me up is that somebody was discussing tattoos with me in the cafeteria this morning and she mentioned that they have to be covered up here. Really? Sheeeshhh, a former favorite boss would have been in trouble since he always rolled up his dress sleeves.

Debby, I agree with many things you mentioned (no opinion about your sitting around the house in your skivvies), but if they violate the dress code with skirts/dresses that are too short, then I think they should also skip the panties. I bet your dress code doesn't expressly state that you have to wear underwear, so that means that enterprising employees should be free to interpret that as they wish.

Yes, Harley, that was too much. Especially considering your previous disclosures of how big your feet are.

I blame TV for the cleavage exposure at work. Ally McBeal started it, don't you think?

A friend told me that in her work in the office of a large, upper class church, sandals can only be worn on properly pedicured feet. I was surprised at such detail in dress code.
At our high school we instituted a dress code designed to encourage the students to be dressed: the 7 B's. We didn't want to see bras, breasts, backs, buttocks, bellies, boxer shorts, or bedroom wear. Even so, we often had to send young ladies to the nurse's office to trade a too-bare shirt for a large, unstylish t-shirt. One mother was very upset, as she had just gotten her daughter to wear "more feminine" clothes, "after all, it's just cleavage, and we all have it."

I have asthma. My lung specialist has big signs all over his waiting room, exam rooms, restroom at the end of the hall: Please do not wear perfumes, scented lotions, etc, as it can cause a reaction in some of our patients.

It goes on much nicer than I would, explaining why. I was in there a month ago and the scent preceeded this woman by about 30 seconds. She sat on the other side of the large waiting room, but it was so strong that my chest started to lock up. I went to the window and mentioned this to the receptionist. She immediately told the nurse to find me an exam room and asked the woman to come to the desk. After making sure I had an inhailer and was ok, I asked the nurse what they said to the woman in the waiting room. She said that they may have lost a patient because they asked her to reschedule her appointment and make sure she doesn't wear any fragrance the next time she came in. The woman was very irate that she didn't wear perfume, but they got it out of her that she wore perfumed soap, lotion, after shower spray, etc.

I don't want people to stop wearing perfume. But for Pete's sake you don't have to wear so much. I thought you only wanted to wear enough to get the guy to smell it when he got close.

I can see a doctor's office enforcing what people shouldn't wear but who tells the church goers they must get a pedicure? That's surely between the parishioner and God, right?

Last evening my DH caught me watching "What Not to Wear" on TLC. He asked me "don't you know what to wear yet at your age?"
And there we have it. What does a septuagenarian wear to the grocers, the park or the movies?
Since I live a full life I dress in the a.m. to cover all the bases.
I wear the slacks, capris or whatever they are called these days.
Stacy and Clinton on the reality show What Not to Wear take a poor unsuspecting, sometimes insecure victim and convince her to throw out all her existing tops and pants and hand her a loaded Visa card to commit mayhem in the department stores.
She tearfully accepts and wouldn't you know it after an hour she is transformed and convinced that she likes herself, she really likes herself. Not only that..everyone likes her. This is a truly magical hour for her. She goes from a duck to a swan. I cheer for her.
In my life I have been complimented a few times and I sometimes feel that they like me..they really like me.

I am a touch late today as I was just in a meeting. Kismet! The visiting female presenter was wearing 4" heels, mid thigh skirt and a blouse that allowed me to know where the tan line was and the black bra. Yes, I did take notes on what she was saying.

Our student dress code runs three pages and there are periodic reminders to remind the students. I have seen applicants be told not to bother to apply because their tattoos make them unhireable in the medical field.

The less said about spring and the student dress code when I worked in a middle school the better. Although I was told after the fact about the girl who got "All students must wear underwear." added to the dress code.

Now, why hasn't anyone written a cozy series about a woman who gives mani-pedis and teaches Bible study classes at her shop, which would have to be called Our Lady of Pedicure?

I still smell from time to time a particular perfume that I can only associate with my days working at the Rocky Horror Picture Show. How exactly do you tell a lady her sent reminds you of a transvestite named Tom?

I once had the misfortune of dealing with a car salesman whose cologne you could smell at 50 feet, not kidding. His boss is lucky I didn't put the demo on its roof after riding with him. He is lucky I didn't leave him on the side of the road. The cologne was his least offensive trait. There was one good thing out of that deal, we went to look at a Saturn after that. The first of our three Saturns.

With all this talk of proper dress, I have just remembered the dress code from college. My first two years I attended a state college; girls were required to wear skirts or dresses to the dining hall and to class. Jeans were allowed in the dormitories ONLY. One could get away with wearing jeans to class or to meals if it was particularly snowy out. I don't remember the dress code for the male students, but I do remember that there were specific items that were required or prohibited. (Yeah, this was over forty years ago!)Then, after two years I transferred to a private college. I was shocked when I saw female students - and female professors - wearing pants!

Yesterday I realized that baby spit could be the new pheromone.
For an outing I wore my coral top with the faux pleating and held my little cherub/grandbaby over my shoulder to burp him. Now in the past, I would have shuddered at having my top graced with spit but now I embrace it. Not only that, when I returned home DH said that I looked cute. He must have myopia because my hair was sweaty and of course the baby spit added to the attractive self that I was searching for.
But I'll take the compliment. I must have been glowing from the sweat..ya, that's it!!

If my Doctor had to cover up her tattoos in the office she would have to wear a burka! She has a full sleeve on one arm, partial sleeve on the other, on her fingers, across her back, down both legs, behind one ear and she has her lip, nose and eyelid pierced. While everyone else in the office wears medical type clothing she is often in tank tops, hoodies, shorts and to deal with the AC, Ug boots!!

I generally stick with pants, sneakers & shirts at work, the shirts get covered up by a long sleeved polar fleece cover-up as the AC where I work is aggressive. I wore a new shirt once that when I got to work realized it showed some serious cleavage, never wore it to the office again.

Harley, I can't believe you live in LA and do not embrace the oil of la patchou-chou.

So I told the dean that would be nice - to get a raise, or bonus, or promotion rather. But if you give me more money, I explained, it will be deducted from my need-based scholarship. So it would actually be like not getting it at all. The truth is my clothes were really in good shape. I just don't don't wear dresses or suits. I dress like the boys back in day school. Don't hire me if you don't like the way I dress. Don't ask me to speak at orientation or "award" a new medical student her white coat if you want me to wear stockings. If my chinos and school tie are too "different" for you take the pink triangle off your office door.

Just before I retired I was the postmaster of a very small town and the dress code for postmasters is rigidly specific business attire. Fortunately they didn't get out to see me much because I chose to dress appropriate to what I planned for the day. And every day the plan was sweeping, mopping, window washing, dusting, snow shoveling in the winter, weed pulling in the summer, walk sweeping, watering. . . well I could go on and on, but the point is that when you are the only person in the office you do it all. And mail is surprisingly dirty stuff, lots of dust. I never wore shorts though, that was the one clothing item likely to cause an uproar I did not want to deal with.

Wow! The Phoenix airport is where exotic dancers hang out. Very impressive cleavage here!

Nancym, in case I'm responsible for a misunderstanding, the rules a friend shared about pedicure in order to wear sandals were for those working in the church office, not attendees -- something about representing the church in a properly professional manner . . .
I'm sure they had at least some folks dressed informally when attending services, almost all churches do these days. Now I'm remembering a friend's son complaining when told to change to a clean sweater for temple, "I'm not going to paradise!"

I've had to tell people that I have a perfume allergy, including my mom! I don't understand the bathing in it. My boys are getting into the cologne stage. I've told them to spray it in the air and walk through it: to not spray it directly on their body. I do the same.

I also help run our church's Vacation Bible School, at which we have over 100 teen volunteers each week. In order to cut down on what I call "God-given assets" we supply the teens with t-shirts.

At one of my husband's jobs, the HUMAN RESOURCE director used to dress in cleavage-displaying dresses, with short skirts. And she was over 40. I'm inclined to think, that at a certain age, no matter how fit you are, it just isn't pretty. I feel the same about Daisy Duke shorts and cellulite. If you have even the slightest bit of cellulite, you do not belong in short-shorts.

Ok enough of my ranting...

What is it with teenaged girls and CLEAVAGE?? Do their parents not notice how the girls are (not) dressed when they leave the house?

I'm another one who doesn't like to see women's bra straps. One day, I made the comment to a group of elderly women (80 to 90s age group) about it and their response to me was, "Honey, we're just happy they wear underwear". Kinda of puts it in perspective for you.

Because I'm working a janitorial job right now, I can wear shorts and a company shirt. But I have a whole closet of nice clothes that hopefully, I'll get to wear again after I graduate.

Now, if I were at home and wanting to wear a tank top, I would not be comfortable unless I did have a bra on underneath. So sadly, I do sometimes show straps, but I feel it is better than the other option.

Yesterday at the bank, the young teller displayed a tavern wench's prodigious amount of bosom--marked with a hickey. She was also not wearing any shoes. I'm pretty laid back, but that shocked me.

I tend to agree with school uniforms, but they don't have to be expensive. One school I know of has khaki pants and golf shirts. Cheaper than expensive jeans.

Tattoos don't bother me.

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