OOTD :: of office ladies, portrait collars and mad men

5.13.14

5.13.14

5.13.14

So you might think that clothes are optional – marginal and irrelevant to the lives of most of us, something we can easily live without…

I consider it to be absolutely normal to care deeply about what we wear, and detest the puritan moralists who affect to despise fashion and those who love it. Who shrilly proclaim that only vain, foolish Barbie dolls, their brains addled by consumerism, would wear anything but sensible clothes made to last. As if appearances don’t matter when, most of the time, they are all we have to go on.

I think the women of the 50s cared a great deal about their appearances because it was truly the only way they were allowed to exert any modicum of power. From Hollywood bombshells to turn-of-the-century stewardesses and secretaries (and yes, I use these archaic, non-PC terms deliberately), women knew what they wanted but they also knew that using their feminine wiles was really the only socially acceptable way to get it.

And so they preened and pressed, stuffed and sprayed, teetered and tottered, and made their mark on the world with carefully constructed beauty and poise. My mother, a product of this era, never allowed us to slump or slouch or sit in any way other than with crossed ankles growing up. She knew what it meant to be a lady.

Wearing today’s outfit, slim and sleek and sausaged into it within an inch of my life, I now understand why; it is virtually impossible to be casual and careless in outfits such as these. Between a revealing portrait collar and a nipped-in waist that required the requisite torsette once again, there was no way I was gonna be able to sit in any other way but erect or I’d risk flashing the girls and/or busting a button. And between the pencil skirt and the stilettos, I could do nothing but cross my ankles or I’d risk flashing my panties or stabbing someone as I stretched.

But do I look good? Polished and put-together?

Hells yeah.

And do I feel good because of this?

Indubitably.

No pain, no gain, right?

P.S. Remember T3 is in two days…get those creative juices a-flowing and prepare to link up!

:: Just the facts, ma’am ::
Blazer – Tahari
Skirt – Mossimo @ Target
Stilettos – Type Z

:: Linking ::
Style Sessions @ Style Elixir
Stylish Tuesday @ Life’s a Party

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8 thoughts on “OOTD :: of office ladies, portrait collars and mad men

  1. Your word play is in top form here – preening and pressing and stuffed and sprayed. You really evoked the era of wardrobes that required work! But I love your outfit! That jacket is divine, and if you ever get tired of it, keep me in mind. 🙂

    • Yep, I’m such a sucker for alliteration. And yes, if this jacket one day makes the cull pile, you’ll be the first to know. ;p

    • Thanks loads! I’m glad I was finally able to put this jacket to good use; had it in my closet for ages but didn’t think to break it out of its suit status (it has a matching skirt) until now.

  2. Portrait collars are so flattering and you’re proving that here. This is a lovely look.

    Also, regarding birds and Oregonians, there is a fairly famous Portlandia sketch called “Put a Bird on It” where they imply that we put birds on everything here. And we kind of do, when we’re not putting owls, mustaches or narwhals on things. Sometimes we put birds with mustaches on things too. Oh, Oregon, so quirky. lol.

  3. You look fabulous and so elegant. I won’t be uncomfortable in my clothes for more than an hour, though, so I am not a good child of the 50’s! I slouch too. xox

    • Thing is, I actually had to learn how to slouch when I moved to America when I was ten. That, and put my hands in my pockets, which I thought was so very American and I practiced doing it extensively in front of the mirror. Now I wish I’d kept a bit of my upbringing so it wouldn’t be such an effort to maintain good posture.

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