I'd love to be able to regale you with stories of the adorable cheekiness of this dress and how wonderful I felt wearing it, but the sad fact is that I'm going through a really unexpectedly rough time at work right now and am only dressing as a defense against feeling thoroughly shitty. I won't bore you with the details, though I assure you it has all the classic features of a horrific reorg: epic acts of favoritism, wholesale disregard of employees, spectacularly bad decision-making, and a shock wave throughout the department that will certainly claim many casualties before it subsides. Under these circumstances, dressing well simply becomes my way of saying, "Fuck you" to the people in charge.
The events of the last week have led me to think a lot about the sorts of ideas we convey with our style and appearance. There's a particular message suggested by coming to work looking disheveled and slovenly, but is it really the message I want to send? Is it better to say, "I've given up all hope and submitted to my miserable lot" or, "I care more about myself than I do about this job?" I've used defensive dressing in the past when I've felt bad physically, and these days I'm using it to combat feeling bad emotionally. No matter what ridiculous decisions are made around me, I'm still doing my own thing stylistically and certainly don't look the part of the downtrodden, miserable corporate drone.
It's important to remember that style is one thing we have complete control over in our lives, and it's a tool we can use to influence the way others view us. Whatever the outcome at work, and whatever action, if any, I decide to take as a result of it, I refuse to give off the impression that anyone has gotten the better of me or that I'm not in absolute control of my own destiny.
Dress: Orla Kiely
Tights: Sock Dreams