July 10, 2004


It seems I need to dress casual corporate for this upcoming job. A week of office wear. I freeze. I cringe. I shake my head, baffled. I head to the mall.

I try on clothes. So many clothes. Because: casual yet corporate? Whatthefuckdoesthatmean? Thus, many clothes. Mostly black. Mostly ill fitting. Mostly not me.

A piece of clothing, a set of layers, top and bottom, shoes and shirts and watches, itís all a costume. We all know that. And over time we pick up one piece and another in various boutiques and chain stores as we adjust our looks to fit our lives. We develop uniforms. Sandals and shorts work for the sandbox set as well as their custodial parents. Short, midriff-baring shirts and belly rings seem to fit college kids, though in another time and part of the country, maybe flannel shirts and ripped jeans are still in. Bowties and cummerbunds signify waiters and groomsmen. Part of the surprise of a wedding, I think, is when you the bride look in the mirror and see yourself in white sequins. Image matters. How we present ourselves.

Thus the corporate look. The last time I worked in An Office of that nature, I was maybe twenty two. Temping in a bank, waiting for (and working on) my big break into the film editing world. Where the uniform is blue jeans and t-shirts. Button down shirts if youíre going for formality. But never dress pants, never an A-line skirt, never pantyhose. That would be weird. Unnatural. Unseemly, even. As if you thought you were somewhere else. Someone else.

Thereís a pile of black mixed with a bit of burgundy on my bed. My new look. Is it me? Or just a persona Iím trying on? Will it all still fit right on Monday? Will I wear it or will it wear me? Will I look like an imposter? Will it crinkle and squeak and give me away or will I slip into it and thereby slip into the role, a perfect fit?

Posted by Tamar at July 10, 2004 11:19 PM