Do you ever stress out over what to wear to work? At my last workplace, every day looked like casual Friday and made Joe Shmoe in his khaki/button down combo seem like best dressed man of the year next to the tee-shirt and jeans creatives around him. Fashion very obviously never entered the minds of my co-workers in my last advertising/marketing agency.
I’m in a whole new world now. My new job in the retail sector has me feeling a curious sense of pressure to look my best and never have a hair out of place. Usually, I enjoy styling myself so dressing for work is often an excuse to dress up. Now dressing for work has turned into a test to prove I belong in the fashion industry and prove that I’m worthy.
Suddenly my workforce (where fashion and image is everything especially since I work in the marketing / PR department) is causing me to be self-conscious. I’m trying to get used to co-workers readily inspecting and immediately judging my outfits. Though I suspect I’ve been talked about behind my back (I am the new girl in town after all), I also recall several instances each day when my outfit, accessories and shoes have been the topic of direct conversation. I’d walk down towards LV and the fine jewelry department and a co-worker would catcall out how she loved my shoes. I head down the makeup aisle and someone stops me to say hi but really to examine my makeup and hair. I take the escalators up to the designer floor and I feel the eyes staring down my purse. As the new girl at work, I’m like a poor science lab animal pinned down, inspected and ready for dissection. It’s a strange phenomenon. Never before have I been given the once over so frequently, so obviously, and so shamelessly. And never before has this happened at work.
Luckily, the overheard comments and direct conversations about “my look” have been complimentary. Let’s hope it stays that way!
Has anyone else gone through similar experiences while working in the fashion industry?