Yep. You read that correctly. Today, I doubted my fashion sense.
It only lasted a moment, though. I have Joules to thank for the quick reality check. (It's funny how teh twittah has brought these amazing, life-saving people into my life.) You see, Joules once told me that I would fit right in in New York City, that I was very stylish; and she would know. She lived there long enough for me to believe her when she told me that. It was perhaps the greatest complement anyone has ever given me, with the only competition being the young woman who told me I was noble as I was completing a written assignment given me by my sponsor.
Today, though, I had a moment of doubt. While Joules may believe that I am stylish enough to blend in in New York City, I became quite certain that I was doing things all wrong with my clothing today.
You may be wondering what fashion crime I committed today. I'm pretty sure that Stacy London and Clinton Kelly would have approved. Black linen trousers (structured and starched, not wrinkled and casual), a sleeveless cotton blouse with a bright pattern, cotton cami underneath in a rather neutral color pulled from the pattern, black & white 3/4-sleeved jacket (that reads as grey unless you get really close), and cobalt suede point-toe pumps that matched one of the colors in the pattern. Chunky purple necklace, my signature moldavite ring, my stainless steel watch, and a sage green (which is a pseudo-neutral) leather bag completed the ensemble. The purse might have been a bit off, but at least it was a pseudo-neutral sage green leather in excellent condition, and didn't clash with the outfit. I felt very put-together and confident in this outfit, and ready for this interview.
I had gone into a staffing service for an interview, and as I sat there filling out the paperwork, I watched the people. There were a couple of women who were very neatly dressed, and they looked rather nice. We'll ignore the fact that they were rather plainly dressed and be grateful that they understood situational appropriateness and had dressed for a job interview.
There were some other folks in there who obviously did not have any idea how to dress for a job interview. Two women showed up wearing jeans; one of them wearing high heeled dress sandals and the other? Fucking flip flops.
The receptionist was wearing flip flops too. And a weird, matronly sort of patterned hoody.
The woman who interviewed me understood situational appropriateness. She, too, was dressed neatly and professionally, if a little blandly for my tastes.
Fucking flip-flops, y'all. I was astounded. Wearing flip-flops to a job interview is right up there with wearing flip-flops to a dinner at the White House. It just isn't good.
I got through my interview, but after I left, the doubts crept in. Was I unintentionally sabotaging myself by wearing these outfits to look for a job? I mean, we are talking about Shreveport, after all, where they label Ann Taylor as designer. I began to really wonder if I was doing something wrong.
So, I asked my friend; the one who gave me all of the interview tips that helped me feel more confident in my job search, the friend who told me in no uncertain terms that tassels on shoes are for court jesters, not a work environment. This friend told me that any place that didn't hire me because I wore really nice clothes was a bullshit place to work and I didn't want to work there anyway. This wonderful friend also pointed out that the blue-jeans/sandals/flip-flop girls would only serve to highlight what an outstanding candidate I was.
Still not certain, I met my Sunshine for lunch and asked him the same question. Sunshine has lived here in this miserable town for the better part of 25 years, and kind of has an understanding of the mentality. He told me that anybody that wouldn't hire me because I was dressed beautifully was stupid and that I should dress beautifully.
I still had doubts, wondering if maybe I was dressing too "ladies who lunch" or "ladies who serve on charitable boards".
Then I remembered Joules, and the most greatest compliment that anyone has ever paid me. If I look like I belong in New York City, then that is enough for me. That tells me that I am dressing appropriately, even if it is a little bit more than what everybody else is doing. And if anybody doesn't like it, or is intimidated by it, I hate it for them.
Thank you, Joules.