Monday, October 24, 2011

Frocktober - day twenty-four

Last week I thought I would not make it to the end of Frocktober with a different dress every day.  However my girlfriends have come to the rescue and supplied me with enough dresses that I will make it - in fact I could go into November!

Today's dress is from a very lovely friend, and I was thrilled that I could squeeze into her dress size, however I've discovered that actually wearing it is different to just standing in front of a mirror.  You see it does fit, but as it is tight when I move it starts to ride up.  I am considerable taller than my friend so this means that the already short skirt become very short, very quickly.  As a result I've spent the day constantly adjusting or risking revealling a little too much to the world.

Earlier today as I headed to the post office in my too tight and short skirt, I saw a couple of women in Islamic dress get out of their car.  They didn't have their faces covered, by they were wearing the hajib and long, voluminous robes. 

The contrast between their very modest outfits and my not so modest one made me think about who we dress for.  It is a complicated question.  Those women (I'm presuming here) dress for two audiences, those at home who see them without the robes and those who are not close family, who see the robes.  But who do I dress for?  Clearly at the moment my driving factor is Frocktober and trying to find a dress every day that is reasonably appropriate.  But what is it that drives me every day to think about what I'm putting on my body?  With my workplace I could get away with wearing a t-shirt and jeans most days, so why don't I?

I've come up with the following list.  They are in no real order, some days one of these will take precedence, other days other ones will.  And of course this list doesn't take into account things like specific events with a dress code.  But I think these are the key factors in what makes me make an effort when I put clothes on in the morning.

Me - I do dress to please myself.  I love clothes, I love feeling girly and feminine.  Some days I want comfort, and on those days I wear trackies and ugg boots - or socks with my dance shoes.  Some days I will plan a whole outfit because I feel like wearing a particular necklace or scarf.  I don't feel the need to be some kind of continually perfectly groomed glamazon, but I enjoy nice clothes and planning and putting together outfits.

S - I'm sure some feminists would chide me for saying that I often choose to wear outfits that my boyfriend likes.  But part of being in a relationship is doing things that each other likes.  Wearing a particular dress because he really likes that one is a very easy thing and he often wears things I like for me.  That said he thinks I'm gorgeous when I've got no makeup on and my hair all crazy, so I know he definitely isn't dating me as arm candy.

Work - As I said before I could wear jeans to work most days, but there are plenty of days where I need to fit the expected look of a professional business person.  It is almost a uniform and dressing to it is a sign of professionalism and an indication of respect for your clients.  I've also found that wearing "work" clothes puts me in the right mind set.  If I look professional, I feel professional.

The World - Yup, I do care what people think.  Not so much that I haven't worn my ugg boots to the local shop, but enough that I get a kick when someone comments on my outfit.  I don't follow fashion trends, I wear what I like but when that coincides with what the world likes it gives me a buzz.

Who do you dress for?


  1. I love these thoughts - and agree that I do dress for different people at different times. Like you, I could probably get away with wearing jeans at one of my workplaces, but I think I use clothes in part as a shield or 'dress up' and without work-like clothes I just don't feel right at work. It's interesting to think how those tendencies differ across people, and why.

  2. I love borrowing clothes from friends - it's like shopping, but free! And when I spend summers in Tunisia and Morocco it made me really question what I wore - which, for here, is quite demur, but for over there I was definitely the neighborhood skank!