Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Office Fashion Crisis

At the risk of loosing readers, friends, and relatives... I just have to vent. You see ... I worry. Or rather, get concerned. Or, maybe it's annoyed. Yeah -- that's it. Annoyed.

Over silly things.

Yes, I know world hunger is rampant. I know that many countries don't even have the simplest of things, like clean drinking water. I know AIDS is overtaking Africa ... including the youngest and most innocent - the children. I know that pollution is choking our water ways, and fog is smothering our clean air. The ozone is depleting ... icebergs are melting ... animals are dying ... blah, blah, blah. I know, okay? I know.

But there are some things that really bother me ... like fashion. Yes. Fashion. Which, in its self is hilarious, because I hate to shop, and really haven't got a fashionable or trendy bone in my body.

I was brought up with the old-fashioned rules: only wear white shoes and clothing after Memorial day; no white after Labor Day; children should never wear black; you dress conservative and classical at the office; stiletto high-heels and plunging necklines have "their place"; and you never dared to wear shoes and a purse that didn't match. But more importantly, I was taught that sandals, tank tops, and other warm weather clothing belonged only in Spring and Summer months.

Not in the dead of winter.

And one thing I've noticed here at Mega Business World, is that the young women coming into the work force out of college have no regards to fashion rules. Or ... maybe they just don't "know" what we've all been taught. They wear high-heeled slinky sandals with short, SHOOOOORT mini skirts, low cut and very sheer tops, and yes... tank tops ... in the dead of winter. Or tight hip-huggers and short cropped shirts. And they wonder why they're cold all the time! It grates on my last nerve, because it's so unprofessional, and causes many-a-man to stare and behave like a teenager around them. It's disgusting. And pitiful.

Now, granted, I do deviate at times. Don't call the fashion police, but I don't quite make it to Memorial day before my whites show their face, and sometimes, I slip past Labor day with them still in my closet. And, my shoes and purse never match -- I have an 18-month old, for crying out loud.

But ... These young girls really push the envelope of decency. Now that Spandex has made a permanent residence in many fabrics, it seems like shirts cling closer, pants hug tighter, waist lines are daringly lower. And to think ... this morning, I was feeling so "fresh" and "Springy" in my lime green top and my "professional" black slacks, and "classical" black flats with white stitching and cute little silver buckle thingie. *SNORT!*


These young gals make me feel old.

And frumpy.

I hate them.

There. I feel better now.

Fortunately, I don't feel pressured by today's society to "fit in" ... and it wouldn't matter if I was "rail thin" or had a model's figure ... I would still dress modestly. I have a friend who, shall I candidly say, doesn't have the greatest figure in the world -- you know ... luv-handles. Neither do I, actually... by any stretch of the imagination. But the difference between the two of us is that I care what I look like, and I care how my clothing "speaks" about me. She, on the other hand, doesn't. And don't worry, no one reading this blog knows who this person is. But a while back, I was horrified to discover her actual level of "disregard" to how she looks. She was wearing low-ride pants, a mid-drift top, and when she bent over to pick something up from the floor, it caused her pants to dip waaaay below her waist line, exposing more than I could bear to look at. I'm not sure there were any under garments involved, either. I mentioned something to her, and she shrugged me off and laughed, and joked about guys getting more than an eye full. And she's pushing 50!

Ladies, it isn't attractive. It isn't humorous. It isn't "entertaining." Choosing to live our lives for God's glory isn't easy. It comes with cost... and tough decisions ... including the choices we make in clothing. Being a woman after God's heart is important to me, and I never ... EVER ... want anyone to be put in an uncomfortable position of seeing more of me than necessary, if you know what I mean! As the principal of my niece's school has been known to say, it is a "heart issue." Modesty involves more than just our clothing. It includes our attitudes, the way we talk, and our behavior—how we walk, use our eyes, engage with others, etc. In our society, a woman's clothing and outward appearance is a powerful non-verbal communicator of what we believe, and as a Christian woman, one needs to be careful to portray a Christ-like appearance at all times.

Now, this doesn't mean we have to be dowdy ... in fact, we can still look cute, trendy, pulled together, and fashionable. I know this, not because I am any of that, but because I have girlfriends who are strong Godly women, that are trendy, cute, and modest... like my "trendy church friend" I talk about all the time. So, yes. It's doable.

We just need to be careful. We need to make an effort to choose our clothing wisely, and try it on before we make purchases. Bend in it, stretch in it. Make a mental note of what other people are seeing when we do this. Ask your self ... "Is this pleasing the male eyes, or my heavenly Father's eyes?" Then, make a comprehensive decision ... is this something "I" can wear and still represent God's glory?

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12:2

Okay -- off my platform now, and on to other stuff...


Beth/Mom2TwoVikings said...

Amen, amen, AMEN! From another non-fashion person trying to find modest clothes (which are becoming more scarce) for a THREE YEAR OLD, for pete's sake! Rock on, girl!

Heather Smith said...

Preach it sister! Now my work environment is a bit more relaxed because I work for a jeans company, and they want our business, but still there are some jeans that should not be worn EVER! On more than one occasion I've wanted to go to our merchandisers and say, "WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?" And don't even get me started on the tops! I mean, I'm a bigger girl, and it's hard for me to find tops that don't show everything I have. I'm like, "Hello, I don't want to see that, so why would I want to show it to anyone else!" Crazy I tell ya!

Susanne said...

I have 2 words for you, Gibee. PREACH IT!

You talking about how women dress in the work place just really also opened my eyes for how important it is to cover my husband in prayer for when he is at work, that he not be affected by the dress, or lack thereof, of the female workers at his job.

Shalee said...

You sing it girlfriend!

Anonymous said...

I feel the same way about EVERYTHING you said! I won't wear dresses without hosiery. I won't wear jeans to church. And I don't flash my 40D's at the office. i had to have a frank discussion about appropriate business attire with one of younger employees. She didn't understand what I was until I said (for real, I said this!) "You need to put the girls away at work. Nobody wants to see them."

Sandy said...

Well, men are so visual. So for me, it's important to take care of myself (no dowdiness!) so my hubby's eyes stay on me.

I can never figure out women who don't keep themselves "up."

But AMEN to the modesty approach. 100% agree with you!

Anonymous said...

It's so true. What we wear projects a certain message about us. I prefer that message to be positive and I am trying to instill that into my children.

I'm always a little appalled that young girls thing flip-flops with bling on them count as dress shoes.

When I worked (b/f kids) we actually had to have a company-wide discussion of what was and was not appropriate to wear b/c many girls were wearing short shorts! Ridiculous.

Jennifer said...

ok, I totally know how you feel here. I didn't graduate from college all that long ago, but my parents instilled a basic sense of "appropriateness" and "professionalism" in me. Thank goodness. When I taught high school, some of the young teachers amazed me with their lack of appropriateness and professionalism. Believe me, short skirts and tights tops DO NOT belong on a high school TEACHER!!! As if the high school boys don't have enough problems.

Preach on, sister!

Tammy said...

I'm with ya! Totally, whole-heartily agree!

I use to be more fashionable...back when I was young, single and could spend half my paycheck on clothes. But as a stay at home, home-schooling mom, it's hard to be fashionable these days. But even when I was single...(and had a pretty cute figure, back then)...I was a Christian and always tried to keep my trendy fashions modest. There is a way to look cute without wearing skin-tight clothes or showing it all!
And as a mom to two girls, I'm especially mindful of this!
Great post!

Anonymous said...

I read often and comment little (okay, almost never!), but I had to come out and say "right on!" I'm not sure where these women get off thinking they can dress the way they do. Sheesh... Not only is it totally inappropriate, it's degrading.

Hooray! for women seeking to honor the Lord in their clothing choices!

Overwhelmed! said...

You're preaching to the choir here, I think. I agree with everything that you've said. And what's sad is that little girl clothes are imitating adult clothes in not a very tasteful manner. What's up with that?!

Carey said...

Well said! I can't believe some of the clothes that young girls are wearing. My DD#1 is 12, and i've seen some of the things they wear. They forget they are only 12, and their parents let them do it. Tis sad really!
And I agree with you, people need to watch what they wear, and represent their love for their Heavenly Father. Thanks for sharing your thought on this subject with us.