Suits. Blazers. Jackets.
Formal Wear. Formally Dressed.
For those who know me, I’d be the last person you’d associate with the stereotypical concept of formal dressing. And I don’t blame you. Think Sheela, think unconventional. Unapologetic. Flamboyant. Formal attire (otherwise known in certain quarters as conservative wear) is the furthest thing to come to mind. However, those who’ve known me since, say, the late 1990s, would beg to disagree. The Sheela then worked at Ernst & Young. As a Management Consultant who undertook feasibility studies for government departments and MNCs in, yes, 3-piece suits, pointy toe pumps, and spare pair of pantyhose in the bag.
Let’s press the forward button on our remotes, shall we, leaping towards the year 2000. At a time when gimmicky titles reigned (head honcho, anyone?); refurbished shophouses were de rigueur; and, thanks to the dot com boom, when formal meant a collared tee and non ripped jeans. Not a button-down. Nor dress pants.
CLEAN HAIR OPTIONAL
Imagine how liberating that period was. Which probably accounts for why bottom lines of hosiery manufacturers took a dramatic downward dive during those times. Ha. For old school goal diggers such as myself, it meant getting acquainted with a completely new
corporate work culture. One wherein formality no longer appeared to exist. Structure and rules were frowned upon, with spontaneity being the order of the day.
I remember my boss at the time coming to work in tee shirt and jeans. Actually, almost everyone came in to work in tee shirt and jeans. Every. Single. Day. Everyone save for me, his secretary, and the CEO (and I think that was only because he knew he didn’t look good in jeans).
Out went all the suits. And the Olivia Pope pumps. And the Miss Marple bags.
Then the winds of change blew yet again, and corporate became trendy once more. Well, as far as corporate in the 21st century went. It was perfectly alright to pair a blazer with white tee and jeans. Or to show up for work in a romantic blouse with leather pants (guilty as charged, and frequently too). That was a little over 10 years ago. Since then, so much has changed, and yet nothing has really changed afterall.
I mean, what I wore to work a decade ago is utterly acceptable today. In fact, it’s the norm. Cyclical is the word I’m simultaneously looking for, and loathe to use but it’s the truth. How cool is that. And how cool are the new norms? I’m talking about shorts suits. And billowy, bohemian layers. Tattoos. Oh, and brightly coloured hair. Call it easy-going, call it tolerant, call it whatever you like, but there’s no refuting how
liberal relaxed today’s work environment has become.
And how incredibly grateful
I am we are for that boon.
Thus, as far as formal dressing goes these days, this shirt dress is where I’m headed. It’s the sort of multi-way garment that every wardrobe needs to have and lord knows I could do with all the iron-free pieces I can lay my hands on. Dress it up, dress it down. Button. Unbutton. Duster Cardigan. Light Jacket. Tunic Top.
I KNOW YOU KNOW WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT
So, question – would you be keen to see the many ways this shirt dress can be worn? Would you be interested in viewing its interchangeable properties? And here’s a second question for you – how many chameleons do you have in your closet?
p/s photos by eve
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