Work, Fashion, and Mutual Exclusivity

3 Oct

In case you haven’t yet gleaned from my various references to it, I work in a large department store. It’s one of the first of its kind. Stands out in its field like a big, red star. Ahem.

I work in the Junior’s/Impulse department, which is where all the cool kids shop for their Guess, Ralph Lauren Denim, and Kensie (none of which I knew about–excepting Guess–before working there. But oh well.) Our dress code when I started was all-black. We could have a colored shirt, as long as there was some sort of black cardigan or sweater over top. Recently, however, the dress code for my department was changed to allow us to wear “on-trend” clothes, as long as the bottoms were still dark-wash, if they were denim.

My problem is, while I’m a reasonably fashionable dresser, I do not follow the current “trend” in Juniors/Millenials fashion. I just bought a Guess shirt the other day (off the clearance rack for $5 with employee discount), does that count?

It’s hard to be on-trend with what we sell, when I can’t afford what we sell; and I’m a good enough employee that I want to try and keep my pushing limits to a minimum. Today I’m going to go buy a pair of dark jeans “similar to what we have available” (Levi’s are the only one I can afford), and maybe one of the sparkly embellished sweaters that are in this season. I wish I could afford one of the nice lace dresses that BCX has, but alas.

Other than that, though, it’s hard to be fashionable in other departments, too, when the dress code everywhere else is black. Black isn’t really “in” at the moment. Sure, I can dress things up in a classic style (black can always be classic, just not trendy), but it’s frustrating to have to tell customers, “Actually, no, we don’t have any plain black maxi skirts. Here is a tan and yellow geometric print one!”

An office job would be so much easier. I can dress professionally if I don’t have to wear all black/trendy, I promise!

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