He Said, She Said: Facial Hair and Footwear
Dec 9, 2009
The differences between men and women have been the subject of countless self-help books and romance novels. But while psychologists dissect the social aspects of the gender dynamic, we here at CHS prefer the sartorial ones. Every week, Capitol Hill Style’s resident Y-chromosome, Beau, will join me in a discussion about gender, fashion and the battle between the sexes.
So if you need a female and/or male perspective on things, drop us a line at capitolhillstyle (at) gmail (dot) com.
I’ve noticed that when Congress is in recess, many of my male co-workers decide to stop shaving. It doesn’t matter whether we’re out for a day or a month, they simply refuse to pick up a razor with any regular frequency. Why is it that the second men are away from their boss or their office they decide to grow a scraggly five-o-clock shadow? I mean it’s not like I get to stop shaving my legs just because the Boss is away.
Beau: I’m sure there are a lot of reasons that may be specific to individual men, like the desire to grow a winter beard or something. But — since I don’t see any lumberjacks around here — the only thing I can think of is pure laziness. Many guys may even think that it’s “sexy” to have some sort of scruff going. Since it is unlikely these men are male models, it is probably best to remember a few things.
It’s easy to believe that your LD, or CoS, or whomever you report to is your friend. After all you see them every day, you share details of your life, you may even joke around. Not to mention the age gap probably isn’t overwhelming. I think a lot of Hill types, being relatively right out of college, make the mistake of not treating their jobs like a career since the atmosphere on the Hill can be so collegial. They think “who cares if I’m unshaven, it’s recess”.
Well, this is politics and in this business, as in life, the only thing you have is your reputation. Sure, your Chief of Staff may think you’re a nice guy — you may actually be a nice guy — but he may also think you’re a slob. And slobs are lazy. You think he’s going to promote a guy to handle the Boss’s legislative portfolio who can’t even manage to shave himself in the morning?
You’re right, shaving isn’t hard and men should always make a point of having good grooming habits. It never hurts to make a good impression, but it certainly can hurt to make a bad one.
Belle, this has me wondering, what’s up with women and Uggs? Yeah, I get it, it’s cold. But at work? Why do some women insist on looking like high school seniors on their way to lobby day?
Belle: While the flock of unshaved miscreants roaming the marble halls in August annoys me, the bevy of women who select Uggs as there winter time “walk to work” footwear is seriously depressing. In fact, today, my own office-mate who is typically so adorably preppy in a Blair Waldorf kind of way, showed up in the shearling nightmare at right. Yes, those are beaded, tassled Uggs.
I have written before about my hatred of the Ugg brand and their crimes against fashion, but seeing her in those boots stabbed me in the heart. Clearly, this was an attempt on my life.
But in all seriousness, Uggs might as well be sold with a t-shirt that reads, “I have given up.” Because no matter what the salespeople at Nordstrom (traitors) tell you, Uggs are overgrown bedroom slippers that are not suitable for professional consumption. What you do in your own time is your business, but what you stroll into your office wearing says something about how you view your job.
Now I know some of you are thinking, “But Belle it’s cold outside. How will I keep my feet warm in this bone chilling weather?” Well, for rainy/snowy days, I recommend Wellies and fluffy fleece socks. For dry, chilly days, I suggest a casual, flat, leather tall boot with a fluffy fleece sock.
You are not Nanook of the North, and this is not Greenland. This is the United States Capitol, and only 17-year-old tourists are allowed to wear Uggs here. So leave the shearling at home, and nobody gets hurt.