Style

He Said, She Said: Facial Hair and Footwear

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.

Dear Beau-

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.

Sincerely, Belle

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.

 

Leave a Reply to Belle · cancel comment

    14 comments

  1. Belle says:

    Alexandra-

    What do you think of these boots from Geox? They’re durable and they don’t look like slippers.

    https://www.zappos.com/geox-d-cruz-waterproof-black

    November 30, -0001/Reply
  2. ant says:

    @mom in heels – well clearly i made that up – i mean it looks like their ankles fall in instead of keeping those joints straight – like when little kids learn to ice skate?

    November 30, -0001/Reply
  3. Belle says:

    Alexandra-

    What do you think of these boots from Geox? They’re durable and they don’t look like slippers.

    https://www.zappos.com/geox-d-cruz-waterproof-black

    November 30, -0001/Reply
  4. ant says:

    @mom in heels – well clearly i made that up – i mean it looks like their ankles fall in instead of keeping those joints straight – like when little kids learn to ice skate?

    November 30, -0001/Reply
  5. pqresident says:

    while I don’t find going to work with scruff acceptable, if I’m staying at home for most of the weekend letting the scruff grow has one benefit. it means you aren’t abusing your facial skin. shaving can be not-so-nice to a sensitive face and there is nothing like letting a day or two grow over the weekend and then clean shaving on Monday morning. it feels much better that Monday than it would if you shaved both Saturday and Sunday morning.

    I don’t recommend scruff for dates or for church though, unless you’re Don Johnson.

    December 9, 2009/Reply
  6. Alexandra says:

    While I understand your hatred of Uggs, Belle (I too think they are HIDEOUS), I still own a pair. The conundrum for me falls on this: I walk. A LOT. We’re talking 2 miles on just my way to work. This tends to wear out any nice shoes faster than you can see them turn up on your bank statement. What’s a girl to do when winter comes and doesn’t want to wear out the sole of her pretty, leather boots?As a girl from the south, unaccustomed to both winter and public transport, any suggestions for me?

    December 9, 2009/Reply
  7. ant says:

    These are my winter boots of choice: https://www.zappos.com/n/p/p/7462999/c/665.html
    Cozy and warm on the inside but don’t say HELLO I’M WEARING SLIPPERS. Also, it just seems like every girl who wears Uggs has really bad ankle posture and that makes Uggs look even shlumpier.

    December 9, 2009/Reply
  8. J.Williams says:

    So who is Beau? Is this your significant other? Is it one of the male DC style bloggers? OfftheCuffDC.com? DistrictCut.com? Inquiring minds want to know. While im on the point, who are you?

    December 9, 2009/Reply
  9. Mom in Heels says:

    What is "ankle posture"?

    December 9, 2009/Reply
  10. Annie G says:

    Get new post Belle! I look forward to reading this type more often ­čÖé

    December 9, 2009/Reply
  11. Belle says:

    Who am I? I’m anonymous, that’s who I am. So cute of you to try though.

    Beau is not my boyfriend as I am a committed non-dater. He is a male reader who had some great ideas and so I asked him to come on board to give the blog a dash of Y-chromosome. The estrogen was becoming a bit stifling.

    December 9, 2009/Reply
  12. Disgruntled Julie says:

    I suspect many men fall into the same sensitive skin problem as the first commenter suggested. My husband gets horrible razor burn regardless of what products he uses; he has been back and forth to several dermatologists and none have been able to suggest anything that has helped. If I had massive, painful, red bumps every time I shaved, I would probably try to avoid shaving whenever possible, too… but I don’t, so I keep it up. If he didn’t have the pain, I am sure he would shave through vacations as well.

    December 9, 2009/Reply
  13. Belle says:

    Alexandra-

    What do you think of these boots from Geox? They’re durable and they don’t look like slippers.

    https://www.zappos.com/geox-d-cruz-waterproof-black

    December 10, 2009/Reply
  14. ant says:

    @mom in heels – well clearly i made that up – i mean it looks like their ankles fall in instead of keeping those joints straight – like when little kids learn to ice skate?

    December 10, 2009/Reply