Here's a probing question sent in by observant reader, CM, who again is asking me to opine on the single subject that I perhaps know the least about - fashion. Oh I've blogged before and included some "facts" on the topic, but this is an area probably best left to others. Still, I'm absolutely not above "pandering to the fans" (a fine name for a rock band). So here goes:
What is the definition of “business casual”? I work for a fairly large company, in a campus environment. As I walk around the campus, on my way to lunch, etc. I am constantly confused and bewildered by just what “business casual” means. Unless it’s changed, that’s supposed to be our dress code, but apparently I am woefully uninformed as to what this really means. Apparently, business casual includes:
Flip-flops; not the kind with some sort of heel – no, the plastic kind you buy at K-mart for .99
Mini-skirts paired with those platform shoes with the ties that wind around and up the leg: I’m sure this is “business wear”, just not this business
A big belt buckle and cowboy hat (I am not kidding)
Tunic-length tops with leggings and spike heels
A dress in shiny material with fishnet hose; again, this might qualify as “work wear”, just not sure where she was workin
And here’s the really scary part – we go casual on Fridays…..
Well, CM, it seems you have a burr in your leggings on this one. However, I don't really know what a legging is (for no reason I'm picturing a small ferret-like creature) Still, I think I can only help you. You see the root of the problem is simple misinterpretation. When you think business casual - you're thinking a medium step down from silk ties and pant-suits. But the odd ducks you're describing have a recently discovered (by which I mean in the last 10 seconds) malady called Fashion-fo-pa-lexia. They read it as "the business of being casual." When just a couple words are added the meaning changes to being as casual as you can possibly be. The worst forms of this disease feature individuals at board meetings picking at their toes while wearing one-piece pajamas and/or, well, nothing but a smirk. Now that's casual! So be grateful that the virus on your beloved "campus" hasn't grown any stronger.
However, the cowboy hat guy - he should be forced to either sing into the PA system or ride around on a copier wielding a non-lethal cap gun. Also, based on your e-mail - I'd recommend working from home on Fridays - that company of yours must get a little out of hand if the descriptions you gave were non-Friday-outfits.
Thanks for the question, CM - may your working world be a little more business and a little less casual.
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