Often you can get away with wearing your regular
clothes to work if you're still a student or if you work in a
clothing store or bookstore where people expect you to be
"eccentric." But what if your college days are long
past and you're expected to get a "real" and/or professional job
and arrive at work in "business" attire?
I know, I know. "Why should I have to change myself for a
job?" I ask it, too, but I also like the benefits of working
like $$ to buy more clothes and shoes and hair dye. Also, I think
that if I'm a goth, I'm always a goth. Putting on a work uniform
(suit) doesn't alter my chemical makeup. Being a bit different in
different situations doesn't make me fake.
Until the working world becomes that utopia where people are
judged solely by the quality of their work, you're going to have to
think before you wear that corset to work. Maybe by sneaking
into that job and slowly revealing our true nature, we can let
the world know that goths and and suits do mix.
Here are some of the tricks I use:
see what others have suggested
1. Live for casual days and days with extreme weather.
Dress code requirements are loosened a bit on casual days,
but that still doesn't mean you can put in your fangs. On
days when the temperature is extreme -- 3 feet of snow, 102
degrees in the shade -- you can often get away with veering
from suit-and-tie dress.
2. Cut the 3 hour prep time down to 45 minutes.
45 minutes is the time the "average" person
takes to get ready for work (whoever that person is). I know
that once I've been making myself up for a while, I can start
to get caught up in it and end up looking some way that is
not good for work. If I stop before I hit that point, I
usually look okay for work while still expressing enough of
my personality. Have a plan and go for "underdone."
If necessary, you can always apply more after you get to
3. Get dressed, then take off one or two accessories.
This is one of those classic pieces of advice. Less is more.
4. Wear a sweater or a jacket.
Excellent for covering up on those days that your top is a
little too low cut or revealing. Besides, when most people
look at you, they look toward your face. If your top part
looks okay, they usually overlook the bottom.
5. Wear long skirts.
Of course, this applies to women. It's easy to convince
yourself that your skirt isn't too short, then when you get
to work and have to reach for something or drop something on
the floor, you find out otherwise. Long skirts also keep striped and ripped stockings and boots from being so noticeable.
6. Get a pair of Mary Janes.
I love these shoes and they come in many different styles
(my fave pair have 2 buckles and witchy-squared off toes). At
this point in time, they're trendy, and they go with
everything and are generally comfortable.
For some reason, your haircolor won't get noticed as much
when you have your hair pulled back. Ponytails are a must for
guys with long hair; for some reason, it suggests that you're
"trying to fit into the business culture."
8. Don't talk about it.
Don't acknowledge it. I don't mean deny it if someone
insists that "there's something about you;" that
just causes people to look for reasons to justify their
assumptions. Refuse to be drawn into conversations about what
a freak you are. Trying to explain usually results in someone
telling you that you're "going through a phase," telling you
about their own "freaky" youth, giving you one of
those "kids today"/"in my day" lectures,
or (my favorite) someone deciding that the whole problem is
your lack of religion (God, don't go there). Some people may
genuinely want to know about you and your style, but most
people are just trying to find something to focus on other
than what's going wrong in their own lives.
9. Make this your mantra: "I can be confronted for
wearing inappropriate attire, but not for having 'bad taste.'"
Think about that woman in the cubicle next to yours. She wears
those hideous flowered mumus. People shake their heads when they
see the pattern, but no one ever says, "she could at least
cover her ___."
Usually when people use this expression, they refer to
making sure that they've done everything they can to prevent
being blamed for something. In this case I mean it literally.
It's okay to wear a shirt that's cut low enough for someone
to say, "I guess there are breasts down there."
Your shirt is too low if someone can see their reflection in
your nipple ring.
11. Think "uniform"
If you can start to think of work as an activity that
requires a certain uniform, it won't be so hard to put on
that blazer and sensable shoes for those 8 hours.
thee Corporate Goth website
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Corporate Goth Survey
pics coming someday
Copyright Jennifer Wilson 1997-2000