Monday, May 27, 2013

Work Clothes for Summer

My friend Leslie Farnsworth posted about a recent shopping trip, a trip that was doomed to failure from the start, because it's May and she wanted clothing for work.
I knew it was doomed for two reasons:
  1. I had gone shopping myself, and had seen the dearth of clothing first hand and, 
  2. because women's clothing is seasonal.
Don't misunderstand me, I'm not talking about trying to find a parka in July. It makes sense that as the weather warms up, the clothing gets lighter, and vice versa.  That's not the problem. The problem is that for some reason, the fashion world has decided that women don't work between Easter (April) and Labor Day (September). The clothing choices in Spring and Summer are almost exclusively for vacation. The stores are full of bathing suits, coverups, maxi dresses, tunics and camp shirts. I like all these things, but I can't wear them to work.
Floral and transparent - I saw a lot of this in the stores this weekend.
And the colors! Instead of nice, normal neutrals, shirts sprout flowers in neon pink and coral. If you are desperate enough to look for a suit in summer, it will be pastel and short sleeved. And every few years some designer tries to pass off formal shorts as office wear. (It's not going to happen - give up.)
Admittedly, there are more choices if you shop online. But the problem with online, is that you can't tell how it fits. You can't tell from a picture that the fabric is itchy, or if the jacket cuts you off at just the wrong point. Just return them you say? True, but then I have to spend time going back and forth to the post office, and checking to make sure that the cost was credited back to me. Time I'd rather spend doing something fun. 
Men don't have this problem. Men can buy a dress shirt all year round, in a normal color. That's all I want, a corner of the department, set aside for office wear. The rest of it can be a blaze of seasonal color and string bikinis, I just need something I can wear to work in July.

1 comment:

  1. Spot on! You're right: Finding work clothes in spring is futile. I hadn't thought about it that way before. But what you've observed is exactly what I found. I ended up having to shop on-line, which is always just as tedious as you described. But at least I could find sales from previous seasons via retailers like improved options for corporate attire.

    Like you, spring colors are never my favorites, but this season--wow. It was like they took the worst of 1980s neon and splashed it over everything. I felt like the Day-Glo factory had exploded in there.