File this one under things we wish we could have seen: last week the Chicago Bar Association held a “What Not to Wear” fashion show in order to “educate” lawyers about proper modes of professional dress. Wait, just a minute. Does that mean lawyers don’t prance around with their Chihuahuas in tiny pink pill-box hats and Prada mary-janes à la Elle Woods?
According to this panel of legal eagles, female lawyers should avoid buying suits at Express, exposing bra straps or bending over at the pastry table, lest you expose a “tramp stamp” in the middle of your cheese-filled danish-eating. ”Ladies, have some respect for yourselves,” said one expert. “There are a lot of married men at law firms and you do not want to tempt them.” Right. Because nothing says I’m a sexy seductress like tats, polyester, and a big, old jelly crawler.
So, if Express is out, what is an aspirant attorney — who isn’t intent on stealing anyone’s husband — to wear? If you’re aiming to be taken seriously, the jury says, the more homely, conservative, and tasteless the better. Think: Mother Superior with the requisite touch of Little House of the Prairie — we’re not sure, but we think exposed ankle is allowed.
If you’re in doubt, yield to a flyer passed out at the event: “This is not the time for self-expression, flamboyance, or eccentricity.”
Reason number 157 why I didn’t go to law school.
Fashion Dos and Don’ts From the Windy City [Above The Law]