Friday, May 8, 2015

work it

I remember as a teenager, viewing my mother's clothing catalogs that featured business attire for women. My mother, an accountant, wore nice blouses and skirts to work but on occasion she had a couple of beautiful, feminine suits. She looked good in suits. Me, not so much. With my rugby physique, the shoulder pads make me look like I'm trying to bring the eighties back, and yet my traps and delts are not enough that I can go without shoulder pads. While Hong Kong is the best place to have a custom made suit, I have yet to convince myself that it is worth the investment just so I don't look like a Kansas City linebacker. I rarely wear a suit. I have quite a few well tailored dresses that I wear with high quality cardigans that fit in nicely at the kick off and project closing events that require nice office attire. Most of the time I can be found in either a blouse and trousers for office days or wearing jeans and steel toed boots for site days.

In the nineties, the catalogs began to feature office to evening ensembles. They usually consisted of a more snugly fitting, sleeveless dress paired with a blazer. The dress was just conservative enough to wear to work with a jacket, and at night you would expose those sinful shoulders for cocktail hour. In 21st century Hong Kong, the day to night transition isn't required. On Fridays there are a number of young women wearing miniskirts and slinky dresses and no one bats an eye. Okay, I do but only for the time that it takes to remind myself that I don't own any pearls to clutch. The PA to one of the directors, who is a lovely woman, is currently wearing a bandage dress with a cut out at her stomach. I have other colleagues wearing stiletto sandals. I never thought of myself as old fashioned but I personally don't approve of toe exposure. I would almost allow cleavage exposure before letting my toes wiggle around in the office. It could have something to do with the fact that I am legally obliged to cover my toes on the work site. You just don't see people's toes on site, but you see sweaty men exposing their man boobs.

My dilemma next week is that I am on site all day Wednesday but I am planning to have after work cocktails with some friends. I'm going to be inside an air conditioned office at the site so there is no need to bring a spare set of clothing to lug around, but I'm at a loss on how to transition from construction to cocktails. I wonder if there is a catalog to order from?


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