Business Clothes & Childhood Dreams

Somewhere along the path to growing up, I started associating certain jobs with certain wardrobes. I loved business clothes, even as a dorky middle school kid, and that love has not faded. Sure, I love staying home in my pajamas all day too, but if I’m going to get dressed and go outside, I’d like to do it in a blazer and tailored slacks. Or a nice pencil skirt. I always kind of imagined that someday I’d be stepping out of a car and into my well-decorated but small house, and I’d be well-dressed. Nothing fancy, just nice, well-made “adult” clothes.

I learned following graduation that jobs requiring an extensive business wardrobe are slim on the ground, and enjoyable jobs requiring business clothes are fewer still. To date, I have had no jobs that required business clothes; my current job requires jeans and a matching polo.

On the plus side, I love wearing jeans, and the uniform is simple and cheap. I can wear the same thing day in and day out without worrying if I’m being too boring or am being judged by my clothes. On the other hand, I wear the same thing day in and day out without the opportunity to try something fun and new. And no business clothes!

It’s just as well that they are not necessary, since the current income does not support purchasing a bunch of beautiful well made shirts and slacks. But that didn’t stop me from scrolling through pages and pages of black slacks, blouses, and skirts for most of the afternoon. I have a list of things to buy “when I get promoted” but chances are pretty high I wouldn’t need them then either.

I’m not exactly sure where this idea of the “right” clothes came from, or what to do with it since my desired work clothes in no way match my needed work clothes. And I’m not exactly sure how relevant this is to frugality, since I don’t need the clothes and I didn’t buy the clothes. But that didn’t stop me from wanting the clothes.

I guess it’s just another instance where what I imagined about the world with childish naïveté did not turn out to be true. There’s nothing wrong with that per se, except for all the business clothes that go unworn.

One comment

  1. I’ve been surprised by how my expectations differed from reality as far as dress codes go in the working world. When I graduated, I thought I needed a ‘business wardrobe’, and felt good about getting one and making the transition to ‘adulthood.’

    As it turned out, in my industry (internet technology) finding anyone dressed in anything fancier than flip-flops, jeans and a T-shirt is few and far between.

    I think the idea of dressing casually was originally an anti-establishment concept, but is so pervasive now that it’s just as established as the old order of business people in suits & ties.

    Great post. :)

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