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.