All Dressed Up With Nowhere to Go? WTF???

Dressing up for the office is something that I like to do.  Actually, I love dressing up for work.  Not only do I get a kick out of it, but it makes me feel more professional.

So—you can just imagine my reaction when a co-worker saw me yesterday, looked at me and said “Hey. You’re all dressed with nowhere to go.” I was so stunned that I was at a loss for a comeback—and for me, that’s a tough one!

My Little Navy Dress, a strand of tiny pearls, navy pumps and  a remark of being all dressed up nowhere to go.  Really?  Well……I went to the mail room and then to the ladies room and spent the rest of the time in my cubicile so I did have somewhere to go!

There’s something emotionally uplifting about choosing the outfit to be worn, coordinating separates, choosing shoes…. it’s a ritualistic for me.

Bitmoji Image

It really is–getting my clothing ready. It’s as ritualistic as the nuns taking my classmates and me to church on the First Friday of the month to pray all afternoon.

When I was in my early twenties into my early thirties, I worked on Wall Street.  Back then, in the mid-1970’s to early 1980’s, everyone dressed for work.  It was what you did.  You felt good entering an office building dressed for success.  It was a matter of self-pride and self-respect—not to mention there was a strict corporate dress code that nobody cared to challenge.

It’s the strangest thing.  I wore what she’s wearing.  I had that same Coach bag and wish it would be reissued.  But hey–we Yuppies loved our dress codes!

Even during the years when I was a stay-at-home mom I still dressed up a bit when I left the house. I’m not talking about dressing up to the nines nor am I saying I wore a little black dress to the grocery store.  It’s just that I didn’t dress like a slob or that I didn’t care. about how I looked.  I wanted to look nice….for me!

The funny thing is that I dress the same way now that I did when I was a stay-at-home mom. This is definitely a mom outfit!

After my first marriage broke up, I re-entered the work force.  I worked at a local bank and there was a dress code—and the staff always dressed office-appropriate.

From the years I started working at that bank and onto other positions, with every job change came a less stringent dress code—to the point that where I’m now employed, the dress code seems to be null and void.

Welcome to my life.  And I won’t get rid of the business professional clothing!

Welcome to the casual workplace.

Throw a blazer of it and you have instant office polish!

I don’t know what your thinking is but my train of thought is that we Americans have gone way too casual.

First…people started dressing like slobs at airports and even going so far as wearing pajama bottoms with flip flops to their destinations.  That is an exercise in vulgarity—I always end up on long flights sitting across people with the most disgusting feet that are showcased for all to see….and sniff.

Snookie and Brittney Spears make slovenly bookends for the one in her pj’s at the airport.  No wonder the airlines treat us like cattle.

Then it was noticeable during the winter when men were venturing outside in shorts to shovel snow.  Not only that, but even at casual restaurants diners at times take things a bit too casually.  My mother never allowed my brothers to wear baseball caps or any cap in the house

Compared to the average Joe, Jack Nicholson is wearing formal attire here!

Now it’s the normal to see men in department stores, grocery stores, restaurants and even church wearing baseball caps with their favorite teams or logos.  You know—it’s kind of crude.

I don’t know what’s more offensive. The fact he’s wearing a cap indoors or the fact the cap is polyester!

Is this what turned the office environment into an “anything goes” as far as dressing is concerned?  It’s just so weird.  I knew parents who were so put off by children wearing uniforms to school that they tried to have uniforms banned—and they failed.  Their reasoning was “it stifles my child’s creativity”.  Screw that–give your child a box of crayons and paper and let them get creative by drawing.  And when they get older, they can express themselves with clothing after school!  I tell you, I’m the biggest proponent of uniforms because it sets the tone for professional dressing…when need be!

A “Jeans Friday” look.  But with a blazer thrown over it…………for polish!! 

At the office where I work we have “Jeans Friday”—and it’s somewhat of a  mystery to me because on Monday through Friday many co-workers wear jeans.  And leggings.  And what appears to be workout pants.

And don’t get me started on workout clothing and activewear at work!

And so, I’m the odd ball out with my carefully thought-out ensembles.  Oh yes. I will take advantage of the casualness of work but when I do, I make sure it’s a polished version of casual.

Yo!  I said put a blazer over it…………………..for polish!!  And a scarf too…

…and perhaps metallic heels to finish the look!

Too casual with dressing means a too-casual demeanor and in the workplace, I don’t think it’s a good thing to be too casual. Dressing in a more professional manner helps me to work better and give off a better impression.

And in this work-from-home day, you can be a total slob,  But when you are going to the office, it wouldn’t hurt to just dress up a bit and not arrive as though you just rolled out of bed.

…yeah…that’s about right!

If I seem snobby, I certainly don’t mean to be.  Look.  The job I have now is, most likely, the lowest-paying job I’ve ever had so I’m not rushing to the mall every payday to buy new clothing.  In fact, it’s just the opposite.  My closet is my boutique and there are a lot of clothes from over the years that I wear on repeat.  I can bet good money that most of my outfits cost less than the leggings, sweaters, workout pants and jeans that many workers throughout the country are wearing.  It isn’t a matter of snobbishness for me.

I wore this today. J. Crew Pixie pants that are about seven years old.  A J. Crew Blazer I got on sale for $29.99 about five years ago, a Gap Tee that was around five bucks on clearance.  See the photo of the shoes. They are so old that they are falling apart.  But I love them.  My closet is my boutique!

Trust me, when I’m home, and not expecting any guests, I dress like a total pig!

My sentiments exactly.  When I’m at work, and out and about I make an effort.  When home–it’s piggly wiggly time!

Rather, it’s a matter of professionalism.  And self-respect and just wanting to have a nice appearance.  Is this train of thought old-school?  It is a Baby Boomer thing?  Is it a pro-aging thing?

On Monday I went all yellow and blue..and Chippy licked my fake tanned legs..

On Tuesday I went with Blue and Yellow. As you can see, I don’t stray too far from my comfort zone!

And Wednesday’s outfit which was cause for comment…

I also wore this cute coat all week…so far..Monday through Thursday. Tomorrow I wear jeans!

What say you?  Am I the only one who is “All Dressed Up and Nowhere to Go”? What are your views?  Do you work at home?  Do you commute to an office every day?  I’m very curious about this because I was almost offended by that remark made to me.

Another favorite work outfit!  I love metallic heels!

Seriously.  What’re your views on dressing.  Are we too casual?  Is office casual the new normal?  What do we do with our good clothes?  XOXOXOXO


About Catherine

Far from perfect, but enjoying life as a non-perfect and flawed individual at 60 years young. I'm still wondering what I'll be when I grow up! The characters in my life's screenplay include my better half. He is a refined Frenchman who grew up in Paris and summered in St. Tropez. I grew up in Long Island and summered in Long Island. I am not refined. My three grown children are also a big part of my life. For their sake, they happily live where their careers have taken them! But I can still mother them from a distance! I write about the mundane. I write about deeply shallow issues. But whatever I write or muse about--it'll always be a bit on the humorous and positive side! It's all good!
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

65 Responses to All Dressed Up With Nowhere to Go? WTF???

  1. Deborah says:

    My husband is a retired investment manager but still watches CNBC every morning….one day a week or so ago they were talking about the fact that Goldman Sachs just relaxed their dress code and that the future of stores and companies that sell men’s business suits will be feeling the ripple effect of that change in a big way…..I live in southern California where it has been ultra casual for many, many years. My son is 27, recently received his Masters degree and just relocated to D.C. to look for a job in his field…he left here with one suit, one tie and a handful of dress slacks and dress shirts. Who knows what he will need when he lands a job? He will have to scramble and spend a weekend shopping! My husband and I found we were in no position to advise him as we haven’t lived on the East Coast since the 80’s and, as you say, times have SURE changed!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Deborah. Much of DC is still pretty old-school as far as dressing goes so he may want to hit Brooks Brothers. Things surely have changed for sure. My oldest son is in LA so it’s sport’s jackets for him and when needed a suit. My middle guy works at SNL and Fallon so he’s in jeans and tee shirts and my daughter’s company does have a business casual dress code –she’s one who likes to dress but her style is more boho than mine. Lord only knows what people will be showing up to the office in in another ten years!! LOL!!! XXXOX

  2. Great read

  3. Toni Soucie says:

    I am now retired (Labor Union Rep.). I dealt with a lot of professional individuals from school district superintendents to lawyers every day (mostly men) and dressing as a professional was very important to me. The only time I wore jeans was when I had an office day and wasn’t seeing any union members or management people. Even though I am retired, I still lay out my next day’s outfit every night. Of course, now my outfits are more casual but it is just something that I enjoy doing and have been doing for more than 40 years. I love dressing stylish as you do (I’ll be 64 in 2 weeks). I’m curious, how old was the person who made that comment to you? As far as I’m concerned, the outfits that you show us are beautiful and to hell with what other people think.

    • Catherine says:

      Toni! Do we have the same birthday? I’ll be 64 on the 16th!!! When is yours??? The person who made that remark was around 40-ish! I was stunned! But it’s so true-even on the weekends I plan my outfits for running errands!!!❤️❤️❤️❤️

  4. IN the comic strip L’il Abner, there were two towns near Dogpatch, USA. Upper Slobbovia and Lower Slobbovia. That is where we live now. Men in baseball hats and slovenly clothes at nice restaurants. Athletic shoes also. Bermuda cargo shorts, tee shirts. It is so revolting. I think it shows such a lack of self-respect, and lack of respect for others. Who wants to look at these slobs when out to dinner at nice places?
    Daisy Mae and L’il Abner were hayseeds, but they were well-groomed and looked attractive. No one looks attractive in slovenly, and often dirty clothes and hats.
    My grandmother used to say, “EVerything is going to hell in a handbasket”! She was right!

  5. annelouiseinwinona says:

    I’m 77 and live in an apartment building for people 55+. I don’t leave my apartment without makeup, my hair done (or a wig), a coordinated outfit, and some jewelry – nothing glam or inappropriate, just put-together. Nobody needs to know I get my stylish haircut at a beauty school and clothes from second-hand stores or my own pre-retirement closet. It makes me feel good; it’s my way of saying to myself, “World, I’m ready for you!”

    When I first moved in, my female neighbors were amazed (and faintly disapproving). But I’ve noticed a small but growing number wearing a bit of makeup, polishing their nails, using some jewelry, and clothes in flattering colors with a little shape to them. And the old guys show their appreciation. Hah!

    • Catherine says:

      Anne–I love this so much. All it takes is one person to get a bit dressed and the rest will sometimes follow. Oh..when I lived in NJ, I used to go to the Votech beauty school girls to get my hair and nails done all the time. It was great and cost-effective and those girls did a great job!! You Go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! XOXOXOXOXO

      • kfreed says:

        Don’t stop dressing down because others are too lazy to rise to the occasion. You have a sense of style and appear well assembled/professional. I’ve always taken grief for “dressing up’ – even in my twenties, but mostly from boyfriends who dressed like perpetual teenagers. Dress for the occasion and never wear the moniker of “snob.” I never worked on Wall Street, but i did work in education and held office jobs. Even after work, I dressed well. Though the pay was horrid, i managed to live, behave, and dress like an adult, even in college. I am now in my 50’s and refuse to dress like a slob unless i happen to be making a run to the hardware store in the middle of a renovation project 🙂

        P.S. I’m from Germany. We take our fashion sense seriously. Take it from me, you’re lovely. When you look good, you feel good.

      • Catherine says:

        Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I don’t know if it was the European/UK/Ireland genetics of my mother and my dad’s mother and sisters but they ALWAYS looked and dressed beautifully. Even during the great depression. I dress like a pig at home while cleaning and cooking and writing but as soon as I exit the house, I dress appropriately! I’m so happy you agree! Happy New Year my dear! XOXOXOXO

  6. Jane Billman says:

    I do work from home most of the time and I make sure I do get dressed before I start my day. It does give my day a kind of order in my mind. When I do venture out for a customer meeting or conference I do dust off a dress or skirt and fluff up!! I enjoy the change as it is a slippery slope of sloppy working from home .


    • Catherine says:

      Hi Jane! Even when I was unemployed and pounding out resumes, I still dressed. It puts you in a better mindset for sure! Yeah. Being home can be a slippery slope of many sorts! XOXOXOXOXO

  7. Lisa says:

    Well, I guess I will start by saying that I loved this post! I am 61 so, maybe I am old school too. I have always loved to dress thoughtfully for work. I feel more important, more confident when I look “professional”. Dressing up also means that I can dress down when I get home!

    I have been retired for about two years and I have to say that I have gotten to a place where I like to dress well to do my errands, meet people and volunteer. One of my younger sisters (55) loves to dress professionally for work, yet her twin prefers a more casual look.

    I will always believe that dressing thoughtfully and professionally is important. If that is old school, so be it.

    • Catherine says:

      Hey Lisa! Old school it is and there’s nothin’ wrong with it. I do think people should do a turn-around to being more thoughtful with how the appearance is. I also think that when you have a nice appearance, it makes for a happier outlook!! XOXOXOXO

  8. Cathe says:

    I work out of my home and never talk with a client by phone unless I’m properly dressed. Guess I’m old school, but I feel more professional when I’m dressed. Maybe it’s the way we were raised. When I was growing up we weren’t allow to wear pants to school, only under our skirts when it was snowing. Guess it’s evolution 🙂

    • Catherine says:

      Cathe, when I attended high school, the dress codes had just changed to allow girls to wear jeans and pants. My mother had a fit and wrote letters to all my teachers requesting that if they saw me in jeans or pants to call her immediately. I did not mess around with me mom–nor did my teachers!!! XOXOXOXOO

  9. Momcat says:

    I work in a hospital but don’t wear a uniform and we tossed our lab coats years ago. I see patients everyday so I guess dress casual is the way I roll. I rarely wear dresses and when I do ( in winter) I wear thick black tights. I do wear heavy leggings ( more of a skinny pant) with long tunic tops if working in my office. If walk a lot and comfortable shoes are necessary but not runners. Last fall I was invited to sit in on job interviews for a professional position. We interviewed six women. Hmm blue jeans, badly chipped nail polish, ink stained hands, poor interpersonal skills, no research done re: the position…the job pays 70,000.00/year. Sad. Very sad.
    I first noticed people attending funerals dressed in a very casual manner a few years ago. If you are going to be a pall bearer borrow a damned jacket if you don’t own one, just don’t carry the deceased out in your shirt sleeves, that’s disrespectful. My late brother’s first words to my nephews after entering a restaurant was ” Gentlemen, your hats.” Didn’t matter if they were in their thirties….he couldn’t stand the baseball cap at the table thing. Wearing a hat in church OR at a funeral is as bad as it gets but I’ve seen that too. No wonder Europeans shake their heads…..dressing nicely is just good manners, and shows you care about the face you show to the world and therefore care about the people you meet. As our friend above pointed out you don’t have to buy expensive or be groomed at an expensive coiffeur to look good and feel good.
    Just look at that ‘People of Walmart’ website to get an idea of what can go horribly wrong when we neglect to ‘pull ourselves together’ ( as Ma would say) before heading out……

    • Catherine says:

      Momcat—You’re working in a hospital. I don’t think anyone would expect to have a worker be the epitome of glamour!! But I hear you on the job interview thing. I’ve been horrified at how prospective employees come dressed for an interview. It blows my mind!! And the hat thing. It’s just so disgusting. These men have no respect for others or themselves. Your dad was correct! LOL. Yeah. Those Walmart peeps are sure a stylish bunch!! XOXOXOXO

  10. Joni says:

    I agree totally with your post, and well remember that Yuppie Handbook! I always enjoyed dressing up for work, it was expected, suits and dresses and skirts. I didn’t even wear pants to work until about 2005. In my last job before I retired people dressed very casually, a lab coat over tight yoga pants or capri pants or shorts and sandals which just looked silly, and unprofessional to me. I wish people would go back to dressing up. Even now in retirement, if I go out I make an effort to look presentable, if more casual. I love your little navy dress look with the pearls, so classic and stylish. Maybe your colleague who made the comment was jealous of how nice you looked!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Joni!! I swear I would love to get my hands on that Handbook just for laughs and memories!! Ohh that Navy Dress–I love it but I don’t think she was jealous–I seriously think she thought I was nuts to get dressed up for work. That’s where the new normal has taken us!! XOXOXOXO

  11. I’d rather be all dressed up and have nowhere to go than be like modern people who have somewhere to go but haven’t bothered dressing up !

  12. Penny says:

    I am so with you on this and totally amazed at that airport look! And actually dressed down sports wear for work? I used to live in a town where the only clothes some people could afford to wear were saggy sweat pants – it was a sorry look in more ways than one. And I really don’t get the rich young things who say wear sweat or gym pants – they have no idea how people actually live. Always take time and effort – because it says something – you’re making a statement about yourself. Your little dress and pearls – beautiful outside and inside xxxxxxx

    • Catherine says:

      Hey Penny! BINGO!! The airport look just astounds me to no end. Especially going overseas. No wonder Europeans think Americans are slobs! And you bring up an excellent point. The rich young things that dress way down think it’s cool but there are many people who can’t afford designer clothing or middle-of-the-road clothing.
      We really do need to bring back self-respect in dressing! XOXOXOXOXO

  13. Julietc says:

    Love this post. What can the poster have meant “nowhere to go” pfffft as if you need an external reason/validation. It’s too easy to dress down – much harder to start dressing up, and contrary to what people generally assume – dressing down doesn’t feel good, but dressing up does. Why? Because it feels like someone values you, even if it is only you. No one ever feels worthy wandering about in PJs with matted hair, it is slobby and disrespectful on the one hand and unhygienic and uncared for on the other – it’s not cool in the same way it is not cool to embrace ignorance or bad manners. I think (hope) that the younger generation (based on my daughter who is a classic and very stylish dresser at the ripe old age of 23) are wising up to what they are missing. I’m hopeful the pendulum will swing back to looking niceband making an effort – how I loved my mum in the late 1960s wearing a hat and gloves and carrying a purse that clasped shut with a satisfying “click” when business was finished – keep flying the flag for stylish women, eventually the slobs will realise they get no respect because of their entitled assumption they can look like that and have everything handed to them. Who wants to emulate that nonsense??? No one

    • Catherine says:

      Juliet–you are bringing back memories of my own mom. In the ’60’s. She was a lover of hats for every occasion and the gloves and that purse that clasped! She loved skirts and crisp blouses too! And she was a stay-at-home mom–her stylish appearance began each day as soon as she finished cleaning the house–then she tended to herself!
      All my sisters have good taste..and our daughters do as well. I think good taste is passed down with values! We need more of both! XOXOXOXO

  14. Julietc says:

    I should also mention Kate Spade has opened in Glasgow in Princes Sq, I wandered past but didn’t go in as I’m slightly frightened by the very bright snazzy colours, not sure what the good women of Glesga will make of it or if it will survive…

    • Catherine says:

      That’s interesting. I love a bright color every now and then but I tend to stick with the neutrals. Kate Spade, IMO is wayyyyyyyyyyyy overpriced. Way overpriced–it will be interesting to see how the shop does!! XOXOXOXO

  15. The Lakewoman says:

    Ladies….loved all the comments, and Cathe your blog was on point!
    Have you noticed these slovenly dressed girls, with uncombed hair, are wearing more make-up than a Broadway star onstage? Just makes this pro-ageist 70 year old laugh!

    • Catherine says:

      Hey Lakey! LOL! Yeah!!!!!!!!! They pile the makeup on their faces so they can look Instagram Ready and they forget about the rest of their look!! That’s so funny! We pro-agers are so much more adept!! XOXOXOXO

  16. emjayandthem says:

    you always look so put together ~ I can only hope to! Yes I dress for the office, more relaxed at home and dressed “up” when we go out as a couple. My guess is the person commenting harbors admiration for your polished presentation ~ I wouldn’t be offended.

    Cheers! MJ

    • Catherine says:

      Hi MJ and thank you! I especially love getting dressed to go out to dinner and when we travel! You know, under normal circumstances I would not be offended but it was in the “tone”–it was very sarcastic–LOL!!!! XOXOXOXO

  17. Jane says:

    Just love your blog! I’m 55, teaching young children, trying to incorporate lots of exercise into my daily life, etc. That is the hard thing for me: If I’m dressed up at work, I’m sure to get paint on my clothes or shoes; if I go out for a long walk after work or run laps around the playground with my students, then I have to wear appropriate shoes. I like to wear skirts and casual dresses, but I don’t want to have to change clothes half way through the day. My husband despises dressing up and then I feel overdressed in a dress when he’s wearing jeans. First world problems😄

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Jane! OMG. That’s so funny–first world problems it is!!! I can bet that you still look good and stylish while teaching! I’ve never seen a badly dressed teacher!!!! XOXOXOXO

  18. Sherrie says:

    I worked in a male-dominated industry as one of the few female professionals. Although the dress code was casual for the men (khakis and golf shirts), I usually wore suits, skirts or dresses, rarely pants (of course this was 15 years ago). I think it helped to convince them of my seriousness.

    I hope this doesn’t upset you, because I think you look gorgeous in your dress and pearls, but perhaps your co-worker was affected by the length of the dress. Since it was above the knee, she could have felt that it was more appropriate for cocktail party attire than a casual office.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Sherrie! Good point. Nah…if I was going to a ccocktail party I would wear a longer dress so I could sit any way that I want. I prefer a shorter skirt/dress at work because I’m literally in my cubicle 98 percent of the day!! In fact, tomorrow I have to buy eye patches because my eyes are crossing so badly from being at the computer all day–LOL!!! XOXOXOXOXO

  19. ^5 . Only a slob need a validation to dress accordingly. You need values for yourself ,either… “going nowhere”
    I’m a 70th (B)old retired lady ,appalled by pj’s “spring contest” or leggings anywhere 🙁
    It’s about self respect.
    This world is falling apart.

    • Catherine says:

      Hey Windy! Oh.,,,this world is falling apart in so many ways!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I honestly think that self-respect is a thing of the past because in order to respect others you need to respect yourself…Am I right???????????????? XOXOXOXOXO

  20. Lise says:

    WTF??? You were where you had to go – at work! People in their 40’s came of age in the grunge era – so some of them (not all, obviously) do always dress down (or slovenly IMHO). You look fantabulous in all your pics – your style is truly inspirational to me. Lise

  21. Cindylou says:

    I think it’s partly an age thing, those of us in our sixties worked at a time when it was important to look appropriate. I remember when I was in college my mom was appalled to see me wearing jeans to class! Now that I’m retired I wear jeggings, cardigans and more casual attire every day but I have fun with shoes and bags. I do my hair, put on makeup and get dressed everyday for myself, even if no one but my husband sees me. He the one that has gotten a little sloppy. We were going to the movies one day and he was in ragged clothes. I told, look at me, I can’t go out with you looking like that. He went and changed and I later went out and got him a new shirt and shorts. Seriously.

    • Catherine says:

      Hey Cindylou. You have a point about the age thing–but when you mentioned how your husband looked I couldn’t help but chuckle. My mother would refuse to go out of the house with my dad if he wasn’t dressed properly–it was exactly like you and your husband! XOXOXOXOXO

  22. Cindylou says:

    P.S. I love your style.

  23. Mary says:

    I’m totally with you, Catherine, on this one. It probably is an ‘age’ thing. Like you, I like turning up at work dressed professionally while some of my younger colleagues arrive in leisure gear. Your sense is style is wonderful, it inspires me!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Mary! And thank you so much for your compliment! It may be an age thing and I think we are on the better end of that age thing!! XOXOXOXO

  24. Sandra says:

    I retired last year and donated all my suits and high heels to Goodwill. I make an effort everyday to look presentable to the world, but no matter where I go (theater, museums, nice restaurants) the majority of people are wearing jeans and sneakers. It’s definitely generational. My daughter’s office allows flip-flops in the summer!!!!

    I find that women in France make more of an effort than American women to dress nicely. Thankfully, I have a reason not to donate my silk scarves 🙂

    Good post, Cathy!

    • Catherine says:

      Thanks Sandra! Yeah–hold on to those scarves! It’s true though. Even when I go to the beach in France I make sure I am dressed to go to lunch or out and about afterwards. In all the years I’ve been going to Paris and throughout France I’ve never seen a bad dresser at a local restaurant. And I’ve seen sloppily-dressed Americans turned away!
      OMG. I’ll never forget when my daughter called me a couple of years ago from her office to tell me that a young woman came to a job interview in flip flops! For a corporate position! I was secretly thrilled that she was shocked!!! XOXOXOXOXO

  25. Marsha Banks says:

    Seven years ago, I retired from teaching. I then lost 60 pounds so I had to buy a few clothes! My problem then (which continues, I finally realized) was I shopped as if I were still teaching! I love to “dress up”! We go to church on Saturday nights, and I am the only woman there in a dress or skirt. One of the reasons is I’m old-fashioned and think you should dress for church. Another is I have these gorgeous clothes so I’m going to wear them. We are being told there are no rules for what you wear when…like white pants after Labor Day…so why don’t those rules extend to those of us who want to dress up? Just a thought.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Marsha! Oh..the five-o’clock Mass at our church has certainly become very casual over the years. I remember the days of the lace mantilla and if we didn’t have one, my mother kept white kleenex and bobby pins in her purse and we would walk into church with a tissue pinned to our heads! No kidding!!! You brought up a great point about the white pants and dressing! Why the heck shouldn’t we dress up a bit when we want! I’m with you! XOXOXOXO

  26. Chris says:

    I’m late to the party, but this is such a great post I had to comment. I come from a line of women who always dressed well and were put together when leaving the house. My mother was very modern and stylish right until the end of her life. I believe in putting my best self forward regardless of whatever the prevailing cultural dress code might be. People do notice and comment and frankly, they mostly feel a bit of respect for you. I really feel rather sad looking at the way some folks dress. But the U.S. has gotten casual in more ways than just dress. Pretty much anything goes in many aspects of the culture. Some call it progress and liberation for everyone to be themselves, but it sure can be hard to look at sometimes.

  27. Maxine says:

    I have a daughter who works in the warehouse of a drug company. Her hours are 4 pm to 1 am. She does a variety of different jobs but none of them are “office” jobs. She is always dressed in well thought out clothing with hair (we are both fellow wig wearers), jewelry and even makeup that coordinates. She has been told she dresses too well for her job. What does that even mean? It is the satisfaction within yourself that is important not the pleasing of others.

  28. Heather says:

    I love this conversation! All is not lost! I am in my early 40’s working at a large investment firm in Los Angeles where we still have a dress code – no jeans, no baseball caps, no flip flops. Professional attire is what everyone wears (even the 20 year olds!) – dresses, slacks, blazers, heels, cute flats, button down shirts. Works for me because I love getting dressed up for work AND for the weekend. I love your blog as I have a very similar style to yours and take inspiration from you. Thank you for talking about this. My husband and I are going to Paris for a week in 3 weeks and I am already planning what I will pack (for both of us!) I also have written down all your shopping recommendations and plotted them out on a map! 🙂 Have a great day.

    • Catherine says:

      Heather!!!!!!!!!!!! I love that you work for a firm with a solid dress code. I miss that so much! WHERE IN PARIS ARE YOU STAYING? Have a great time shopping and get to CityPharma early in the morning to beat the crowds! Remember to bring an umbrella! XOXOXOXO

  29. Amy kalama says:

    Loved this post! As a 67 year old I still work full time and Ialso love to dress up. My work for the past few years has been to visit people in their homes so I need to look professional but also some homes are less than clean so my clothes have to be washable and practical. I find a nice pair of washable pants with a nice top and often a scarf or blazer takes care of it. But when I go out to dinner, I love to dress up with dress, skirt, jewelry and nicer shoes etc. Even years ago on my first honeymoon, we went to a much awaited brunch at the Thousand Island Club all dressed to the hilt and everyone there was in very casual wear. A big disappointment. I wonder if its because we used to play dress up with our mom’s clothes? Or watch the more glamorous television shows that were on back then. All the women dressed up. Remember Donna Reed?

  30. Susie says:

    When I first started working in an office I always wore dresses, or a nice pantsuit (remember those). That was back in the Mary Tyler Moore Show years. The way she dressed for work was my inspiration back then. I would love to wear dresses even now that I am retired but have one ankle that is permanently swollen, so I wear nice slacks.

    I can’t imagine wearing the pajama pants that one sleeps in to go out in public. Usually when I see that, the bottoms of the peoples’ pants are dragging the filthy ground and store floors. I always wonder if they are going back home and crawling back into their bed with all of that filth on their pajama pants.

    Remember when nurses wore the white uniform dresses. The last time I was in the hospital, all of the medical employees who came into my room were dressed in scrubs, and I could never tell if I was speaking with a resident doctor, RN, tech, housekeeping, or volunteer. I could never read what their badges said because the writing was too small or turned around so it was not visible.

    I’m used to seeing baseball hats being worn everywhere, but when they are worn backwards that is just one step too far to me.

    • Catherine says:

      Oh Susie! Do any nurses wear whites anymore? Please–I swear it drives me crazy when I see any man wearing a baseball cap indoors, I want to go up to them and rip it right off their head! Trust me, I’ll bet those people who wear PJ’s outside have every intention of wearing them to bed as well–it’s gross! XOXOXOXO

  31. ratnamurti says:

    Sadly, I do think that it’s a generation thing to dress up. Even when I dress down, for some mysterious reason, I end up looking dressed up. Even around the house I look nice, in drawstring pants or leggings. But, if we look slobby when we are ‘older’ we look crazy-old-lady-ish. Sigh. Dilemma. Stick to your guns and look as great as you do.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Ratna! It’s true, I do believe that it is a generational thing and it is sad. I wonder about self-respect. Is there none left? As I write this, it’s raining. And I’m not leaving the house–yet, I have makeup on, a nice wig and a shift dress. The husband and I will be enjoying an aperitif later and dinner. I want to look decent. There’s nothing wrong with that and I stick to my guns! Thanks so much for your support! XOXOXOXO

  32. Chrys Moore says:

    I got this referral from Frugal Fashion Shopper and this post seriously made my week!!! I am 65, still work full-time and hope to forever and work with millennials in an office that has no public traffic. We have a business professional dress code that NO one follows!!! These gals wear yoga pants that are see-thru enough to see their thong underwear and the guys wear baseball hats, hoodies and saggy pants – and top it off with $300 Air Nikes!!! I’ve never been more uncomfortable in my life!!! I started out in mortgage banking in the Bay Area in the financial district in the early 80’s…only two things mattered – where you went to school and what label you were wearing!!! Dressing for work was very serious, competitive business. I also dress very much like you do for work and while no one has ever said anything so rude to me as was said to you – I save seen it on their faces, believe me. I totally believe that we have become too casual and I absolutely hate it!!! I still wear hats at funeral services and weddings, I dress up for house parties and at Thanksgiving and Christmas….and I try to look nice when I fly – I have never, in my life, gotten on an airport in sweatpants!!! Both of my sisters are exactly the same way. We would never dream of going out without makeup and nails done – ever!!! So I do think that this is very much a Baby Boomer thing and I hate it. My BFF is a gorgeous African American woman who dresses to the nines every single day so that helps – I don’t look overdressed when we are out together, ever. I hate it though – it makes me crazy, How much lower can the bar get??? I am SO glad to have discovered your blog!!! Have a great day!!!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Chrys! OMG. I’m so glad that you found this blog through Penny (I love her). We are like kindred spirits!! Our career paths are similar as are our present positions with no public entering. I can’t even anymore. There is less and less self-respect and less respect for others. When I was waiting to board the flight last week, a plane was disembarking. I almost needed a Depends when I saw a man leave the plane in hospital scrubs. HOSPITAL SCRUBS–and let me tell you, he was in no way headed to a medical emergency. Three minutes later he was at the bar having a beer! My crossed eyes almost saw triple! And I thought pajama bottoms in public were shocking. Nothing surprises me after that one! Welcome aboard and I hope to hear from you often! XOXOXOO

Leave a Reply