I’m trying to think of something to sing for tomorrow’s fellow talent-show, and Amneris’s upbeat piece from Aida keeps on creeping in. It is not just that I’ve been talking about Aida in my series on musical theater and human trafficking; it’s that I fear I’m developing an appreciation for style.
When I look at a certain group of the people I admire, with whom I compete, who are where I think it would be fun to be in 5 years, many of them seem to be dressed fashionably. On bad days, it seems like there is a dress-code for success, and it spells U-N-C-O-M-F-O-T-A-B-L-E.
I know where this path leads–early this summer, I was irked to realize I was utterly indistinguishable from every other intern at the Trafficking in Persons release event. From my Chico jacket to my ballet-slipper flats, the only visually distinguishing traits I had were my lack of make-up and iPhone or Crackberry.
In Operation Fake It ‘Till You Make It, I wonder if I need to spend more time on my professional costuming. Should I buy a cheap, sunny dress? Learn to wear knee-length skirts, fashionable heels (thank goodness roman sandals are apparently in this summer), blouses with flurries of ribbons down the sides?
I am comfortable in my current work clothes. My suit-pants of are good quality, my shirts fit, and I can bike, run for the metro, and walk home in the rain in my work flats. There must be some middle ground between Amneris and tomboy. I feel that I have significantly compromised (or is that grown from?) my Peninsula roots by visually fitting in all the time. Are these extra steps of looking cute, rather than passing, worth it?
I have no idea. Thankfully, I am heading back to college, where Victoria Secret sweatpants are acceptable classroom wear. I would love any thoughts from the professional women in the audience: how do you decide when you’re fashionable enough?
“A true poet does not bother to be poetical. Nor does a nursery gardener scent his roses.”–Jean Cocteau