Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Office, Part I

Where I work now, there are about 25 people, mostly men.

There is an older woman, M, here. Actually, many of the women's names start with M so I'll refer to her as OM.

Today, she's wearing a single-colour dress. The hem is below her knees. The back zips up. It has short (not cap) sleeves and a squarish neck. There is a long slit in the back, long enough that, if you walk behind her you can see that she's wearing a white slip underneath.

I'm not in the office today (the skies in Cape Cod are supposed to clear today).  I'm going by history.  Over the past four months, that's been her uniform.

Although I don't know the colour, yesterday she wore a similar dress.

Every day, she wears a similar dress. Black, dark blue, tan, light blue, all solid colours. Replace the colour above and you have what OM is wearing on any given day.  I suspect as the temperature cools she'll pull out her stable of similar long sleeve dresses.

I really want to go up to her and say ARE YOU INSANE? I mean, part of the fun of dressing is the variety. My usual comment to women is, you have more sleeve styles than I have shirts in my closet.  Cap sleeves, long sleeves, 3/4 sleeves, short sleeves, sleeves with buttons, puffy sleeves, sheer sleeves, loose sleeves, tulip sleeves, slit sleeves... and I'm just getting started!

Not OM . Short sleeves.


  1. Another, great post! I'm having a good laugh! She must of found a sale at dress barn and bought a dozen of each style!

  2. While being a CD who spends most of his time in male mode I can truly appreciate the liberating freedom that women have in their selection of clothing and I do agree with you that part of the fun of dressing is the variety, I do think that many people do fall into fashion ruts.

    Some women are true fashionistas who do a good job of knowing what styles look good on them. There are others, who may have received a few compliments on a particular style of dress or other outfit or hair style or whatever and have kept true to that style for decades. I know women who have not changed their style of dress or hair since the Carter administration.

    In the case of OM I wonder if at some point she was wearing slacks to work on a regular basis and then one day wore that style dress and was flooded with compliments.

  3. There is someone similar where I work. She always wears the same set of dresses. I spoke with her last winter when I saw her walking in wearing jeans and walking boots and then appearing in a nice dress. She told me that she keeps them in work and changes when she gets in.

    I've also noticed a few of the other women tend to wear the same set of outfits to work.

    Perhaps its simply that she has a set of clothes specifically for work and the rest of her wardrobe is for outside work.

  4. I can *so* identify with this post. Where I live it's typical for the temperature to change by as much as 30 degrees over the course of the day. As a result I might change clothes 3-4 times -- start off on a chilly morning with a velvet turtleneck maxi dress, switch to either a thinner satin blouse + modest skirt (in the winter) or a ruched tank top sundress (in the summer) as the day heats up, then back to warmer dresses as it cools down again. How could anyone be content with wearing the same dress every day?

    That said, I wouldn't mind having *one* dress in the style she wears. Maybe you should ask her where she got it ;-)

  5. Great post, Meg. I am the male version of OM. I have a small set of very similar work clothes, mostly in blues and grays. It's just easier - fewer decisions in the morning, one less thing to worry about.

    I've always preferred blending in, not being noticed. I don't have much confidence in what looks good so I tend to stick to safe (boring) choices.

    I wonder if that's what's going on with OM. One advantage of being a man is that as long as you're not too nerdy, you can get away with being in a boring, non-descript way. Women aren't afforded that luxury. As many gains as women have made in society, there's still that need to be proficient with fashion and makeup.

    As crossdressers, we often envy women the freedom to experiment and dress in many different styles. However, it's one thing to do something occasionally when you want to do it, but another if you feel you have to do it. If I had to try dressing in a professional and attractive way as a woman every day, I might find it exhausting and fall back to on a uniform as OM does.

    Or maybe not. Maybe I would embrace the freedome to express myself. Guess I'll never know.

  6. laughing extra hard!!! Scaleman... wearing the san=me dress since the Carter Administration.. I love it. This is probably how fashion clothing "revivals" started (isn't 60's hippy stuff in now?).


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