Unpacking My Profound Hatred for Business Casual

working girl

On the Internet, no one knows you’re a grubby college student and not the curmudgeon your writing suggests you are. I might order Cara Delevingne’s irritating fans off my figurative lawn or sniff at newfangled shoes like a blue-haired matron treading water in an Aquacise class, but I am definitely not a grump in the Jeffrey Steingarten sense of the term. Let me prove that to you by discussing a topic that’s only relevant to young people who are not yet too worn down by wage slavery to retaliate. Or at least to grouse about it on the Web.

No one even knows what business casual means.
I think of my despised 2nd grade math teacher when I try to make sense of BC, which is not useful because it summons up painful memories of dividing fractions. I never want to wear gray suits or bunchy black blazers, but that’s really all there is — literally no one can agree on what else proper work attire can be. Tell me, professionals of the Styleite universe: For the love of Olivier Theyskens, how do you live with yourselves do it?

You can’t wear denim.
You know, I’m 80 percent certain that, after graduation, I’ll be kicking it in an industry where I can get away with high-waisted, wide-leg jeans and a crop top. But while I’m still a prisoner at an institution of higher learning, every BC function calls for “work pants.” Which I refuse to own.

Why? Is this about egalitarianism? Not distracting co-workers with your Mary Katrantzou Fabergé egg skirt?
It’s just too bad they didn’t test for fashion in the Hawthorne experiments. Because then everybody would understand that fun, un-funereal clothes increase productivity fiftyfold and create a positive environment.

Growing up — and dressing like an adult — scares me.
Textbook, really.

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Don’t Call Alexander Wang’s New Line ‘Business Casual’

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