A Fatwa on Business Casual!

November 18, 2008 at 3:23 pm 9 comments

My time of leisure is coming to an end.  It’s ending along with my freedom of expression in my wardrobe.  In just a few short weeks, I will have to go back to the world of blouses and trousers, and I’m furious.  I’m happy to dress up, and I’m happy to wear jeans, it is the in-between world that I find simply offensive.

I am reminded of an episode of “Just Shoot Me” where Nina Van Horn’s (Wendie Malick) character declared:  “Everyone is so quick to blame the absentee father, but let me tell you something: it’s casual wear that’s ruining this society.”

I refuse to buy a sweater set.  I hope to have purchased my last pair of “sensible” dress shoes.  So it is here and now that I say, loud and clear, “NO” to business casual.  I defy my new employer to try and stop me.  I will dress formally or casually, but anywhere in between is fashion no-man’s land.  And I won’t do it.


So, below are some of my favorite “twists” on business casual:

Heeled, patent leather, croc-embossed boot.:  If you must wear a pencil skirt, you need a pair of hooker boots, but abstain from the same old boots people have been wearing for seven years–the patent croc adds a sassy spin which render these acceptable.

Heeled, snakeskin peep-toe: If you must wear slacks, let THIS shoe be peaking out the bottom.

Feminine, shapely sweater:  Throw away your twin sets.  They do nothing for you.  If you must wear a buttoned sweater, let it hug your figure, and let it have feminine details, like this little Nanette Lepore number.

Dress with feminine detailing:  Good heavens, people, you’re still a woman.  Don’t let Hillary Clinton be your fashion muse and fill your closet with pantsuits and trousers galore!

Wear a feminine suit: Not a boring one.  Throw away all boring suits, I’m serious.  Keep only those with something interesting and feminine.  My theory is, if you dress above the dress code for a few days in a row, you buy yourself a day slightly BELOW the dress code, thereby avoiding Fashion No-man’s land:  The Dreaded Business Casual.

A Casual, expressive and comfortable top Vintage Fringe is chalk-full of cute, interesting casual tops that you could skate by with in a business casual environment if you buy yourself enough karma by dressing above the dress code as much.

Remember, you’re only allowed to go below dress code, if you prove that you can go above it, too. The key is avoiding a cuffed pant with a button down shirt or sweater set every day.  That is what they expect you to wear, and that must be what you avoid.  Good luck, my little army!  Please help me in my crusade against the evils of business casual.  Remember, the absentee father isn’t to blame!


Entry filed under: Fashion, LeMare's Posts. Tags: .

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9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. JL  |  November 19, 2008 at 11:56 am

    If you want to see some bad business casual, ride the DC metro. We are in fact the city that consistently votes Ann Taylor Loft the best women’s clothing store.

  • 2. Pammy Girl  |  November 19, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    Wait… you got a new job??? Yeah you! What is it?

  • 3. lemare  |  November 19, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    Oh the Loft… JL, I’m sorry you have to be exposed to that on a regular basis!

  • 4. Marianne  |  November 23, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    One of my clients commented that I wasn’t “like the other reps” who make sales calls to his office. When I asked if it was my apparent love of patent leather and outright disdain for Democrats, he said, “You’re different. You dress differently. You’re sassy. We like that.” WOW. Considering that 98.7 percent of women in my industry wear sweater sets, Banana Republic dress slacks, and homely, comfortable FLATS (Boooooo), I took that as a wonderfully insightful compliment.

    If you review the establishment of ‘Casual Friday’ in the high-tech and dot-com industries in the early (and dreadfully shapeless in its fashion) ’90s and how it evolved to ‘Casual WeekDay,’ you’ll see that Casual Friday really is the collapse of our society. It is a sad, sorry world in which children grow up fatherless, liberal, and worse: with bad shoes. Through bunions, torn achilles, corns, and surgery, I stand by the call to every woman everywhere: FASHION BEFORE FUNCTION.

  • 5. JL  |  November 23, 2008 at 8:58 pm

    Marianne, you make me proud that my daughter shares your name! Hopefully she will also eschew sensible flats and stodgy business casual attire once she hits the working world in 20+ years.

  • 6. critts  |  November 23, 2008 at 10:21 pm

    I agree that bc is horrible. In fact a lot of companies in Dallas are moving away from bc and back to formal because they find that their employees are lazier when dressed bc. I fully support the movement. Although I admit I spend most days in jeans, a top and spit-up all over my shirt.

  • 7. LeMare's Sis  |  November 25, 2008 at 11:17 pm

    It is amazing that I am related to someone so fashionable. Reading this is like a foreign language to me. I’m just happy for LeMare’s “hand-me-ups.” I’m glad she’ll be home at Christmas to guide me in my shopping.

  • 8. lowdogg  |  November 28, 2008 at 10:30 pm

    I thought this post was pretty great.

  • 9. Dicy  |  December 1, 2008 at 12:58 am

    LeMare – I miss seeing you and feeling fashion-inspired at the Wrig. More details on the new job? Do tell!


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