Saturday, 24 September 2016

Dress code, respect and self-respect

This post was initially published on LinkedIn

The company I work for, BPA quality, has had a summer dress-down period. The initiative was highly appreciated by all employees, except one: me. 


But why wasn't I happy with it? 
Well, I was born and raised under a communist regime; we had to wear uniforms in kindergarten, schools and almost every day life events.

See my only picture as a student wearing my second style of uniform. Yes, it was black and white, a ripped pocket, trousers and a dolcevita jumper underneath. A complete elegance disgrace.


Believe or not, I loved the uniforms and I have never thought they were imposed. I grew up thinking that there is an etiquette for everything and was only fair.
I have never broken down these rules... except for the hair etiquette.

During the communism, girls with long hair were required to wear their hair in one or two braids/plaits. I have never had time for such a thing so I almost never followed this rule.
One day, my history teacher gave me a choice: either put my hair into a braid or leave the class.
I was a very good student and I have missed school just once in my life - and not by choice – I couldn't leave the class. I put my hair into a braid for the hour, but I never liked that teacher again. She was such a communist!!!

Growing up, I looked up to my sisters and parents and they were/are very elegant people.
My mum loved bright and very intense colours, but not to wear them. She was quite formal in everyday life. I have never seen her wearing trousers or dresses, just dark, below knee skirts and white or pale shirts. An inspiration to me.

My sisters were attentive with their looks, especially Alexandrina. She loved high heels and vaporous dresses or skirts. A goddess! I was so hooked by her style. When she wasn't at home, I used to wear her impossibly high heels shoes (and lipstick) around the house. She knew, of course, because the lipsticks were finished in a matter of days, but never said anything.  - Keep in mind it was still black and white photographies era and during the communism regime, clothing, make-up and many other things were considered not vital, therefore, very difficult to find. - This is another story though.

My dad was the worst, he'd always looked into a mirror for several minutes before going out. Everything had to be in place, the outfits were always to be freshly cleaned and the right size. He had the appearance of a president when he was a simple farmer.
I was five when I asked him why is he so concerned with his looks.
He looked at me and simply stated:
“Respect. Remember child, when you are in public, you have the duty to show respect for the environment and the people in it.”
I thought my dad was/is an exceptional human being and have never forgotten those words.

My love for clothing, high heels and deep red lipstick is well known. I am eccentric, a person once said– not a compliment to me – but being told (very often) that modelling would be the perfect career for me, is a hell of a compliment.
I love bright colours, but unlike my mum, I wear them often.
Some people think I am obsessed with my looks. I am not, it comes natural to me and if you read the word above – about my family - you'll understand why. I am an Eastern European woman with different principles and mentality.
I don't spend a fortune on my outfits, but I do spend an awful amount of time searching for the best deals.

Yes, I wear high heels and casual, informal or semiformal clothing at work, but I am not saying that we all have to do that. High heels are difficult and unhealthy, but they are so elegant! Isn't that right? Nevertheless, I don't think I would be happy wearing them everyday in a very active work role.
My actual job is very sedentary, it is extremely easy to wear high heels when you sit for almost the whole day. I am thrilled to have this opportunity.

We are white-collar people and I think a streetwear it is not appropriate in an office environment. As it is not a clubwear, heavy make-up or emo look. There is a time and a place for any outfit (and behaviour).

In a church - dress like a nun, in an office – like a serious and trustworthy person, in a club – do whatever you think is appropriate, at home you can stay naked, but make a distinction. We are humans, we have the power of discernment.


There are written and unwritten rules about everything and it is up to us following them.
I cannot tell people how to dress in every situation, it's neither my place or desire.
What I do feel to say and ask is to have a shower every day, PLEASE.
Deodorants and perfumes don't cover the sweat smell, of the contrary!
Do wash your hair as often is needed. I know some say that it is not good to wash your hair every day – opinions are divergent – but please, do your best. If not for you, do it for others. It is not so difficult and there is always time. Don't invoke this excuse.

Peace.

I thought that it will take me five minutes to write this post, as I had a clear idea about what to write and how, but I decided I would look up online for information and opinions – as always when I write for people – in the end I spent like three hours for just a few ideas.

If you like this post, please feel free to comment or share it with others who might benefit from reading it.
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