Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Casual Friday in the Non-Profit / Federal Government World

This past Monday was the annual White House Easter Egg Roll. When the lottery results for tickets were announced --- and phooey, no we did not get one...par for the course apparently as we are discovering that La C's luck with lotteries bites but anyhoo --- some thrilled to the gills mother actually posted an inquiry on the local parents' listserve asking for guidance on what her precious darlings should wear to the event.

Give back your tickets now. Seriously.

My blood pressure cannot take repeating here what the original poster thought might be appropriate nor what the majority of posters thought would be appropriate. Needless to say, I did not agree.

In the annoyingly hypnotic words of Dora the Explorer, "Where are we going?!"

To the White House. The home of the leader of the largest democracy on the globe.

Hit it Aretha!


Parents wear dress pants, sports coats, modest sundresses, etc. Little tykes in khakis and polos and little misses in sundresses. Or some approximation of the suggestions above.

But for the love of all the civility that is ebbing from our society, this isn't a trip to Target.

Do not wear flip flops. Do not even dream of donning a tank top with different colored straps - it is called a strapless bra people and they are $9.99 at your beloved Target.

Do. Not. Chew. Gum.

I know it will either be stinking hot or pouring rain (it alternates such weather every year without fail). I know it will be crowded. I know the wait in line to get in is interminable.

Does not matter.

Remember there will be photographic evidence that you looked better at your third cousin once removed's 50th birthday party than you did on the South Lawn of the White House.

Just something to think about.

So long story short - this same dress code question rises with the sun every Friday morning of the hot and humid Washington, DC summer. Once you have slogged your way to the office sweating and dry heaving you sit at your desk shivering under the arctic blast of the air conditioning.

The key is layering. Every DC fashionista worth her salt has this mantra written in lipstick across her bathroom mirror.

The day of the peekaboo camisole is over. Today, these babies are loud and proud. Wear a cami that can be seen sans blazer/cardigan on your commute. This means investing in a strapless bra - absolutely essential. Throw on the outer layer the second the first chilling tendrils of air brush your sweat glistened skin - this means as the front door of your office building comes in to view.

The other key to DC summers is that casual Friday is a bit of a myth. It really only exists in the non-profit /consulting /government arena. The legal/lobbyist/financial sector....well you are rather S** out of luck. We'd be more empathetic but you do get those lovely bonuses....

Below are two sets of casual Friday ideas for those offices that allow and encourage it. I leave it to you to know the lay of the land in your own office. I have taken a simple set of staples as the base of the outfit and used color schemes and accessories to create the vibe.

While you may not be enamored with these outfits, I ask that you take away one thing from today's blog post -- neither of these two outfits contain denim.

That is all.

1 comment:

  1. I love you. And not just because I know exactly what thread you're talking about. I was appalled at the responses too!