My New Summer Dress


One of my responsibilities at work is to give a presentation to groups of new hires in an orientation session.   It’s on Business Professionalism, Etiquette & Perceptions and covers appearance, behaviour and communication  – basically while they work for X-company they represent X-company and they’d better put their best bloody effort into it!
We’re a conservative company with a written Dress Code  –  “Business Dress”  in winter but a more relaxed “Business-casual” in summer, which basically means the guys can take their tie off and the ladies their pantyhose.
Anyway,  as I run through examples of what is, and what is not, acceptable (on powerpoint slides) I say something like “and ladies, if you put on a skirt or dress and think “I wonder if this is too short….”    then it probably is.
Yesterday I did that exact thing but instead of abiding by my own maxim and changing,  I went off to work and spent  9 hours feeling uncomfortable and really self conscious.  And tugging at the hem; and tugging & tugging; so much tugging I’m surprised I didn’t rip the material somewhere!
Now, I’m not talking about a mini here, something barely covering my undies;  I’m talking maybe 3″ above my knee.  But my hemlines normally sit at my knees;  my comfort level is 22/23″ from my waist.
I find it difficult to get a dress off the rack at the right length for me.  And, I’m not that tall anymore –  just under 5’8″ .    The alterations guy at the dry cleaners is my best friend but oh how very annoying to have him tell me that a dressmaker cut material out at a pleat or at the split and it’s missing a crucial bit of material meaning it can’t be let down!  And why do those splits at the back have to go so, so high?   I get them sewn shut.
Anyway, here is the offending item. I was attracted by the vibrant green,  lightweight material and relaxed sort of fit –  a perfect summer dress.  It’s a shift dress so it doesn’t have a proper waist,  just that band around the hip and it just skims the body      IMG_1240aIt has a cute button detail and a  little pleat:  IMG_1237and next time I wear it, it will be longer – provided there’s no material missing under that flatly lying pleat!

30 responses

  1. That is a DARLING frock! I’m sorry you felt uncomfortable, though. That’s a bad thing when you’re at work. Anyway, I suppose, but with work, you feel worse.

  2. Oooo! LOVE that color!
    Short that’s not comfortably short is really annoying, isn’t it? You can tug the skirt down only so many times before the material shreds in your fingers.
    I hope they can make it longer for you, fast.

  3. Dress codes have their quirks. In one job, we could dress down for casual day, but men were not supposed to were Docker brand pants. Go figure. Wonder if the heat wave we’re under is hot enough for your sister, Jane?

    • Isn’t that funny about the Docker pants – I think some styles can look dressier than jeans which presumably you were allowed to wear on casual day. LOL – think Jane might enjoy one or two of our “warm” days before wishing her winter back. It hasn’t been as hot (so far) as it was last summer though.

      • Causal Day I have leanred and what is and isn;t allowed depends greatly on the corporate culture and just how uptight (or not) the managerial level staff are. A good guidline for men at least is business dress without the neck tie

    • Really?, interesting. I think it’s weird that there actually had to be a law implemented. Our dress code doesn’t actually say you have to wear hose but I’ve noticed that even in summer women of a “certain age” still do. It was only a couple of years ago that I stopped wearing pantyhose in summer only if I was wearing a midi-length skirt. This year I’ve got even braver and have bare legs in my knee length skirts – with age comes the “I’d rather be comfortable” philosophy!

      LOL re the men!

      • Some “professions” were requiring it. It probably was women of a certain age who campaigned against it. Likely also some pandering for the women’s vote. Employers can strongly suggest it, but they can’t fire someone who refuses to wear them.

        It’s probably why your dress code doesn’t require it; as California goes, so goes the nation. The law was passed maybe 20 years ago when office wear was much more formal. And since wearing panty hose doesn’t apply to men, it was rather prejudicial to make women walk around in the damn things.

        I haven’t worn a pair since my mother’s funeral, and hadn’t for years before that. If I was going somewhere formal I would, but who has the money to do that? Weddings and funerals, that’s it.

        • That’s interesting. Until I came here I’d never worked anywhere with a written (Office Policy & Procedures) dress code. As long as one turned up on time and was decently dressed, (bottom & boobs covered) all was okay.

    • See, that’s what I wonder about – whether it’s better to make a short dress with a big hem or a longer dress that short people could take up. I see girls in my office much taller than me with dresses on that look more like shirts. When I think about some of the dresses I’ve bought even if they let the hem down to the fullest it would still be short on them. I guess it’s too expensive for labels to do Petite, Normal and Tall sizes though.

  4. Very cute dress! Argh, I know what you mean about the back split being so high. I just got rid of a skirt that, while below the knee on me, had a split that came up almost to my butt. It never occured to me to have it sewn shut. But really, why would it be made that way to begin with?

    • I often wonder that about the splits – and I wonder if ladies riding the metro escalators upwards realize how much we lower riders can see when we look upwards to gauge how much further the escalator ride is….. it’s not always a pretty sight.

  5. I think it’s really pretty. Such a cheerful color! I think that during this crazy heat wave, anything goes! I bet no one thought it was too short. That’s an awful feeling, though, when you are uncomfortable. It feels like everyone is staring at you, when in actuality, they probably don’t even notice what is making you uncomfortable.

    Here’s a quick fix, if it ever happens to you again…just go to Walmart and people watch. I know I’ve seen some crazy things here in the country (so many people in thier PJ’s in the middle of the day!) I can only imagine what you would see where you live!

    • I think if I was a teacher I’d wear trousers all the time, or perhaps long skirts. I remember boys “dropping” their pens and trying to look up the skirts of our teachers – mind you in the early 70’s those skirts were pretty short!

      LOL @ Walmart dressers – I’ve seen them online. We don’t have a Walmart in DC yet….. I think the first one is due to open late this year/early next year.

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