I do.
Focus Blue

So much of this is down to personal taste and subjective interpretation though. For instance, many workplaces have highly prescriptive dress codes, particularly corporate ones. Personally, as a creative type who’s hated uniforms since school and has never had the misfortune to work in that kind of environment, I find the formality of corporate drag repellant regardless of gender. It allows little room for personal or creative self expression and doesn’t particularly signify approachability to me.

Also there’s the matter of women being expected to do a hell of a lot more than men are in order to appear capable and professional and much of it is inarguably sexist. For example, an insistence on make-up, particularly “natural looking” make-up which takes time and skill to apply – as opposed to an actual natural make-up-less face, which somehow conveys laziness, lack of ambition, and unprofessionalism. Then there’s hair. Caucasian women are expected to (again) waste valuable time and money getting someone in a salon to blow their hair about two or three times a week in order to convey professionalism and competence; meanwhile women of colour are strongly discouraged from wearing “ethnic” hair styles, so they have to ponce about with weaves and chemical straighteners and bugger only knows what else in order to emulate whatever the Caucasian women are being forced to do. And then there’s the heels, which are compulsory in some work environments because they’ve been subjectively pronounced “professional looking”, most probably by someone who’s never had to wear the bastards. Why, when a good brogue is considered perfectly smart and work appropriate for a man? So thus far we have sexism, racism and ableism. Men don’t have to deal with any of that crap. They’re just expected to wear a suit and not smell bad.

Personally I love getting dressed for a whole heap of reasons. But while I can be relied upon to dress appropriately to the occasion, I primarily dress to amuse myself and express my whatever aspects of personality I feel like playing up on the day. And, on occasion, some people find that an affront to their personal sensibilities. For instance I once rendered a perfect stranger positively apoplectic with incredulity wearing this ensemble:-

I kid you not, I was given the third degree. Verbatim: “Why do you wear those bright colours? I don’t mean to be rude but I don’t understand. Why do you dress like that?! Is it to attract a certain type of person? The right type of person? Why do you dress in that way?” I have no clue what conclusions she was drawing about my character through my sartorial choices but she obviously had no truck with whatever she thought she saw. You, meanwhile might see approachability, openness and fun. Or not.

The fact is that none of us can dress to please everyone and people will read us in a wide variety of ways, much of which we have no control over. Plus some people have zero interest and no art when it comes to getting dressed and I don’t think that says anything much about their character.

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