The New Business Casual: Lesbian Shoes and Track Suits

Most of our management team was at an out of town conference week before last. On one drizzly cold morning I decided to sneak into my office wearing a glorified jogging suit and tennis shoes. I work for a small company with a business casual dress code. You can wear jeans, you can wear shorts in the summer (provided they aren’t Daisy Dukes), you can wear tennis shoes. Pretty much anything flies as long as it’s within tasteful boundaries (i.e. not something you’d wear makeup-less and pony-tailed to Pilates class or trying out for a job at Coyote Ugly.)

I don’t meet with clients or executives face to face. All my work is done via e-mail or phone. And when I worked from home last year, let’s just say there were days I kept my pjs on and never showered. This is a far cry from when I landed my first job after college. I worked in a university news and public affairs office where wore suits and pantyhose were expected. I budgeted for dry cleaning. Since joining my current company five years ago the only times I’ve wrestled pantyhose has been to tie up tomato plants in the garden or to wear to a wedding or funeral.

Last week I realized just how far my fashionista apple had fallen from the tree. One of my single friends at work is the Imelda Marcos of our office. (I point out that she is single because, well, she has time to shop regularly for herself…no children toting along, children who need shoes and diapers and soccer uniforms and lots of string cheese and apple juice.) My shoe diva friend comes in wearing these incredible shoes on a weekly basis. Last week’s shoe du jour was a pair of extreme spike heel pointy toe pumps covered in a faux brown and white fur. It was all I could do to not drool on them although I realized I would break my leg if I tried them on. I was complimenting her when I realized I had on a pair of geriatric black loafers that looked like dress code standard for working a fast food drive thru or maybe the housekeeping staff at a Motel 6. I had a flashback to college. I dated a guy my senior year of college who made fun of my favorite chunky heeled pair of brown loafers. He thought it was hilarious to call them my lesbian shoes. Needless to say we never made it past the three-month mark. I hear he’s bald now, too.


  1. Pattie says:

    I often wondered why men lose their hair so quickly. Could it be thoughtless comments such as that one? noooo0000…. *LOL*
    I myself have taken to wearing clogs whenever possible. Back in the day, I would have chosen fashion over comfort. Now, I am just happy to have shoes that don’t hurt my feet. Is there such a thing as early onset arthritis? Cuz I got it… 🙂

  2. Amanda says:

    You crack me up!!! When I am not working I am comfy. I think I forgot about fashion the first time I got pregnant. There is nothing fashionable about fat pants.

  3. malia says:

    I heart comfy shoes!

    I just bought a pair of boots…FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER!! Yes, you read that right. I’m so fashioned challenged and I’m a mom which leaves me little time and $$ to shoe shop for myself (as you indicated in your post!). A friend from church was wearing a really awesome pair of boots on Sunday and I asked where she got them. TJMaxx, $40!!!! I now own a pair of said boots but only ’cause they are cheap and someone else basically did the shopping for me!

  4. MK says:

    haha for him being band! That is what he gets. I was havng similar thoughts in my head the otehr day- i miss having cute shoes and clothes- it seems I always end up buying for my daughter and I am still werearing the same pants, tops and laofers to work I was before she came.

  5. RichieAnn says:

    I’ve pretty much given up on the thought of owning fashionable shoes. I basically wear black everyday to work because you just can’t go wrong with black and a couple of pairs of black shoes match my whole working wardrobe! Downside is black doesn’t hide spit-up very well.

  6. Anne says:

    serves him right. baldness is the least he should get for dissing your shoes. seriously. men oughta know bettah.

    one of my more fashionable playgroup moms makes fun of comfortable shoes too but heck, if i didnt have my KEENS to tramp around in, I don’t know what I’d do.

  7. jon says:

    Now, don’t take this the wrong way, but “Last week’s shoe du jour” just doesn’t make sense.
    Sorry, but I was raised by a strict Grammarian. Not as bad as Scientology, I’m told, but still… .

  8. Shauna says:

    Ha! I just wrote about shoes too, but I hadn’t read this yet. I have a feeling your friend Imelda would strongly disapprove of most of the footwear in my closet.

  9. Blonde Mom says:

    Hi Jon!

    Thanks for commenting. (Hey leave your URL next time.) You are absolutely correct. And I work in publishing as an editor. Oy!

    p.s. I suppose I should have written “her shoe du jour.” 😉

  10. mothergoosemouse says:

    Ha! The oxfords I wore with my Air Force ROTC uniform were affectionately known as birth control shoes. I actually liked them and would sometimes wear them with jeans.

    I have never worn sweats in any form to work. But an outfit that belongs at Coyote Ugly? Guilty as charged.

  11. Erin says:

    I work at Pepperdine University in Malibu, where half of the student body is a size 2, blonde, and either wearing uggs and a skirt or shoes that you’ve described. I always wonder- how can you walk in those?? I can’t even try! So, from one lesbian-shoe-aka-cheap-target-loafers girl to another, rock on. You may LOOK geriatric but she’s the one who’ll get the ugly vericose veins 🙂
    Anyway, thanks for commenting on my blog!

  12. Mama G says:

    Ahhh, shoes. I used to be one of those women with the shoes others would drool over and on. Then came motherhood. And a lot more bills. And a lot less time. Sigh.

  13. Rebecca in rural Ireland says:

    I traded my high heels for wellington boots!

    Friends and I recently recalled our youth when we shopped on the high street, knew the fashion trends and looked the business. Now we grab a t-shirt at Tescos (supermarket!).

    So I threw a dinner party. Six of us dusted off our most extravagant dresses, buffed up our highest heeled shoes and even wore make-up … AND nail varnish! We had a ball. Stayed up till 3am.

  14. max says:

    Lesbian shoes? That’s pretty funny! I’m a lesbian that wears pointed toed Italian heels on a daily basis. Good for you for wearing what you want!

  15. sharon says:

    You know, it’s funny, I go back and forth just like you. I totally love dressing up and it feels so good to have a hip stylish pair of shoes on. Makes me feel sexy. But then, I also go right back to being sick of the sore feet from the heels, and love to wear my sneaks too! I guess variety is really the spice of life.

    When Friday rolls around, I’m totally ready to get into my crocs, or my nikes! and when Monday comes up, Im ready for my Coach again 🙂

  16. Fashion Trends says:

    I don’t normally leave comments… but I really enjoyed your post! I will be leaving a link back here in my blogroll! Thanks!

  17. Nancy says:

    I must say I am fond of your work. It has lots of space of your own. And I think we have similar characteristics. I am fond of some casual clothes and shoes, even in work. For me, I will feel more comfortable in my favorite wearing. And only in this situation, I can be passionate. However, we need friends’ advice as well. Change ourselves at times is also fresh.

  18. Cynthia says:

    Beauty is always in the women’s chasing,although the time and the age will make them pay less attention to their dresses or shoes. If a woman affects by somthing fashionable, she suddenly realizes that she need refresh herself by dresses, shoes, scarfs or something else.

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