Style Diary: I'm Still Not Sure How to Dress For Work...

I don't get office/work wear. I'm surrounded by an endless sea of ill-fitting gray, navy, khaki, and maroon and I don't know why. I go to the shops and see mannequins and magazines displaying fabulous prints, patterns, pearls, and wedges but the reality is more New Balance trainers, frumpy white Henley, tattered gray cardigan, and a black skirt that is two sizes too big. Or tee shirt over tank with slacks and Vibrams. Every once in a while, a faded wrap dress and wedges floats around and I get a little ecstatic because I realize that someone woke up this morning and decided to care. How did we get here as a people?

Personally, I'm not sure I understand what I'm supposed to wear. When I first started, I'd dress as what I thought was regular cute office wear. I'm talking pleated skirts + leopard tops, tapered trousers + striped blouses, and plaid shirts + high waist leather skirts. I soon found out that I was deemed (well, sort of dismissed as) the "new fashion girl". Most conversations with coworkers always ended up gravitating towards where I bought something or how I got into fashion. And, this kind of bothered me. Cause I work in public health! Let's focus on what I deliver not what I look like, right? So I attempted to tone it down a bit. Except, I don't know what "tone it down" means. Surely, one can't expect me to wear a pant suit and sandals but I promised to compromise on some ends and do what I can. Do I wear jeans now? Why does everyone where those ballet flats when they're not actually comfortable? Are you sure I have to commute in sneakers and a pencil dress? What happens if I don't believe in "frump"? I don't need to wear makeup anymore? Do I just let my eyebrows grow out? What is the protocol? Is there a manual to this?

I still have no clue what to wear to the workplace. I did end up finding ONE pair of comfortable ballet flats that I wear more often than not. I still wear makeup but I do more glasses and less contacts during the work week. And I to try stick to a muted/neutral color base. A lot of blacks, tans, navys, and olive greens (I still sneak in the occasional chambray though *shrug*). These are strange and murky waters I am navigating.
Someone send me a compass!


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