The Workday Reading: April 13, 2015

Apr 13, 2015

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1) The NFL has hired its first female referee.  She’s been reffing for 20 years, so it’s great to see her get her due.  Good luck to her, the sexist comments on ESPN radio will be brutal.  Hope she has thick skin.

2) I received a sample of Julep’s Plush Pout Lip Crayon, and I love it.  It’s hydrating and has the perfect amount of shine.  Try the magenta plum.

3) A woman explains to Harper’s Bazaar why she wears the same thing to work every day.  (I can’t think of anything more boring.)

4) Max & Chloe is one of my favorite online shops; they have the best jewelry.  I adore these rose gold ear crawlers.  And this A.V. Max silver embossed cuff will go with everything.  I’m pretty sure I would wear it every day.

5) While the weather is warming up, it’s still chilly in some locales.  So Lucky discusses when the right time to stop wearing tights is.

6) When I was decorating my apartment, finding affordable pillows was tough.  I can’t believe what people will pay for a 16×16 throw pillow.  If you’re looking, Gilt has Safavieh’s stylish pillows on sale.

7) I started going grey at 29.  This article from Marie Claire talks about why we grey and what you might be able to do to slow down the process.

*image found here.

Workday Reading

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  1. Pillow Talk says:

    I picked up throw pillows at places like TJ Maxx or Marshalls, or Target. Or just get an old pillow and then buy just a case that fits.

  2. GoGoGo says:

    Hey, I kind of admire the woman who gave herself a work uniform. She identified a problem and gamed out a solution, and good for her.

    Fashion is kind of like cooking. Everyone has to participate at least a tiny bit. For many many people it’s a hobby and passion that brings a lot of joy. For some people it’s just a chore, and they’d prefer to do the minimum of it.

    For professional women, fashion’s a mandatory hobby that you’re obligated to participate in and expected to like. For professional men, it’s a hobby you can opt into if you feel like it. Cooking used to be the same way, right? And now it’s gotten to be more of an opt-in hobby for both genders and I think that’s positive.

    It makes sense that fashion fans would consider this writer to be missing out on fun–but if it’s not fun for you, and you feel it disadvantages you against your peers, why do it?

    She could probably have avoided attention and criticism with a set of five shirts of different colors, but I kind of like her choice to make a minor statement with it.

    • Belle says:

      I thought she did a great job of identifying what mattered to her. I don’t think you need to participate in the fashion “hobby,” if you’re presentable and well coiffed for work, pull a Steve Jobs and wear the same thing every day. I just think I’d be bored out of my mind living that way…though I’d probably save a ton of money and time.

      • Angie says:

        @GoGoGo made a really good point- it’s nice to see that both men and women can choose to participate in professional fashion (if it’s fun and creative for them) or not, if it’s just one more thing to add to their busy schedules. I always find it interesting that some of the most creative and avant-garde fashion designers (men and women) openly profess that they wear the same outfit almost daily.

    • SN says:

      I like the idea of a uniform. I am 60, a former upper level executive and with my own consulting company. I love this blog, even though I am not the target demographic-it’s one of only 2 realistic fashion blogs I have any use for- but at my age I am tired of having to spend so much time deciding what to wear. The blog has, in fact, helped me develop a uniform of classic yet stylish pieces that I can modify gradually and need not replace too quickly. Though nowhere as rigid as the writer’s, it takes some of the work out of daily dressing. I would rather be thinking about something else, and, the expectations are, unfairly, higher for women. It didn’t use to be this way when I was in my 20s. We had fewer clothes, shopped carefully and wore our things more frequently.

      • Kimberly says:

        I made the choice to go to a more “uniform” look this past year, just because I wanted to clean out my closet, spend less time getting dressed, but still look work-appropriate (my company does not do business casual). While a white top and black pants would bore me silly, I am pretty much down to 10 pencil skirts and 5 blazers, with various tanks/shells to go underneath, and it has definitely helped reduce morning stress. I am also down to two pairs of work shoes- one winter, one summer – which just sort of happened, and is amazing to me!

    • JNick says:

      I agree 100%. I couldn’t get away with wearing the exact same thing every day, but the underlying impetus behind her decision feels spot on to me. I purchase wear-to-work items with a similar uniform mentality, which for me has resulted in a wardrobe full of well-fitting neutral items with interesting details but minimal color–almost any given item in my closet can be paired with another. Some might say it’s boring, but I’ve actually received compliments from several female coworkers about my “sleek” style–what they don’t know is how relatively little time, effort, and money I put into my wardrobe. I definitely care more about fashion than the article’s author, but I’m by no means interested in belaboring the shopping/dressing process.

      To stir the pot further: I’ve actually found that women/girls who are very into trends and fashion sometimes end up shooting themselves in the feet. Though I don’t prefer them myself, I’m not against bright colors or statement jewelry–but in my DC circles, I’ve noticed an undeniable correlation between girls who are really into fashion and lower aptitude, hardiness, maturity, (appropriate) confidence, and well-spokenness. Which makes me kind of sympathetic to suit-wearing men who don’t take fashionable females seriously. Yes, I just said all that, and no, I’m not a sexist devil.

      I once attended an important meeting of eight people from two different organizations (five men and three women, including myself), where the other two ladies in the room, both clad in bright wrap dresses and silver jewelry, spent the first 30 seconds of the meeting complimenting each other’s necklaces and chatting about BaubleBar while the rest of us sat there awkwardly. It wasn’t a huge deal, but the two females proceeded to engage far less substantially in the actual meeting (one of them did a quick, not-so-subtle Instagram check. Cringe). Based on how the men in the room interacted (question asking, eye contact, affirmatively responses) with each other and with me, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that the cuteness quota of the necklaces in the room didn’t up the stock in the other ladies present.

      I’m not at all saying that this gives anyone the right to be sexist towards women who like fashion, but I do honestly think that there are a lot of women, particularly in my age range (20s and early 30s), who reinforce unfortunate stereotypes. I guess my bottom line is that it’s best to dress in a way that is respectful of both your work culture and your personal taste, and then just be an excellent, serious employee who keeps BaubleBar and Instagram in their rightful places and out of the board room.

      [End rant]

      Whew, sorry for the novel. Apparently I’ve been thinking about this a lot.

      • GoGoGo says:

        Hey, I guess data is data, right?

        No one can argue with “be an excellent serious employee.” I think the rest can be very environment-specific.

      • W says:

        This is appalling. And I can’t believe you actually think you aren’t being sexist. If you are as serious and intelligent as you think you are, you would know a little something about confirmation bias. P.S. you are the person holding women back, not those girls.

        • JNick says:

          Sorry, I didn’t intend to sound sexist. But pardon me for saying that I think you misread my intended point. No one (man or woman) should be pigeon-holed for their hobbies, interests, or looks, but there are real (albeit unfair) stereotypes that can be pitfalls for both. In my experience, for women, that’s beauty/fashion (stereotyped as brainless vanity), and for men, it tends to be sports (stereotyped as brainless machismo). I’m pretty sure it would have been equally unimpressive if two men were having a loud one-on-one conversation during meeting about Fantasy Football in front of four other people, and then proceeded to not contribute to the actual substance of the meeting.

          I normally wouldn’t respond to someone who took my comment in a way that it wasn’t intended, but I’m pretty sensitive about being accused of being sexist and “the person holden women back,” especially by someone who doesn’t know me. Pretty frustrating. I’m in a male dominated industry that does have some legitimate sexism and I try very hard to encourage my female colleagues to contribute assertively in meetings, seek management opportunities, and negotiate their salaries and raises. I’m no saint, but I try to think about all of all of the relevant undercurrents, and apply the same standards both genders. If that’s what sexism is, guilty as charged.

          • W says:

            You can feel as sensitive about it as you want, but when it comes down to it, when you react like that YOU are the one doing the policing of gender roles and stereotypes, no one else.

  3. GoGoGo says:

    (BTW, article I liked that made me think about this: https://www.salon.com/2013/04/28/is_michael_pollan_a_sexist_pig/)

  4. Anna says:

    Ugh, I’ve had 2-3 gray hairs since high school. All of a sudden at 29 they’ve become too many to count. So not ready for this.

  5. Sara says:

    Stress really does seem to play a role in gray hair. When I was getting ready to defend my dissertation (age 33)…my hair was really starting to show some gray. As soon as I finished, I didn’t see any more for years. I’ll be 37 soon and I’m starting to see strands pop up more recently…I guess I’m lucky I made it this long, but I’m still not ready for it and not sure what kind of color or highlight routine I should start to cover it.

    • Jennifer D says:

      Greetings Sara – I’m sure there will be opinions about this all over the place . . . but I used Natural Instincts for a few years when the gray hair started getting too numerous to pluck out. I didn’t want to make the salon investment yet, and I figured since NI washed out in 28 shampoos, I wouldn’t have to re-color it or wait for it to grow out if I made a mistake. It’s a semi/demi-permanent color, and I chose the closest to my shade as possible. I was pleasantly surprised at how my gray hairs didn’t turn brown, but reddish blond instead, so hey, natural highlights! Unfortunately, at home color can be somewhat messy, but I had a glass-enclosed shower, so I could get in there and wash everything out without worrying about potential stains on the bathroom floor, etc. It lasted at least a couple of months. I go to a salon now, but still request a demi-permanent color. The salon questions me every time, I tell them to do it anyway, then the stylist comments about how great the color turned out and what nice, natural highlights resulted from it (go figure). The color does a gradual fade-out, so the gray comes back, but not as obvious “roots.” I’ll eventually need to go to something stronger, but it has worked well for a long time – I’ve been able to keep close to my natural color (which I always liked), got “free” highlights and avoided the monotone-color look, and spent less time and money at the salon. Good luck – Jennifer

      • pilates princess says:

        I second the Natural Instinct approach. My stylist discouraged both box color and semi/demi permanent, but the coverage worked well for my black-brown hair. It is rather messy, especially if you aren’t careful, but if you cover things with towels and have paper towels and some bathroom cleaner with bleach it’s rather manageable. I recently went back to the salon for color to avoid the mess and because I get a slightly better color match. Although, you can mix two colors of Natural Instinct at home, it just means there’s more opportunity for mess, imo.

  6. Angie says:

    @Anna and @Sara, I feel you. I’m 29 and what started out as a few stray gray hairs at 25 has become random gray chunks in places that are difficult to hide. My hair is naturally auburn/reddish brown, so for a while I just hid the gray with partial copper highlights. I’ve recently started doing a single process (allover) color at the salon in my natural shade, and the colorist will add a few blonde highlights at my temples. The gray hairs come back in a few weeks, though, so to save some money (good professional coloring in DC adds up!) I buy a drugstore coloring kit and touch up the roots.

    All that said, I still feel like there’s a double standard when it comes to turning gray. There are some female fashion icons that rock it, but women definitely get judged more than men in the workplaces for prematurely graying. My boyfriend’s hair is almost completely gray at 27, and his coworkers just tell him he looks “distinguished” and “authoritative” when they find out how young he actually is.

    • Angie says:

      p.s. For reference, I get salon color done every 4-5 months, and use the drugstore color kits every 3-4 weeks on my roots. As long as you pick a color formula with a conditioning or moisturizing base, it doesn’t dry out your hair texture (I personally use the L’Oreal Excellence Creme because it comes in a shade closest to my natural hair, but there are a lot of options that cost under $10/box).

  7. Sarah says:

    I find the tights article amusing–it’s SO specific! I hate tights and sometimes don’t even wear them in winter if I’m wearing boots with a skirt or dress. I’m wearing a dress and heels today with no tights, and I didn’t do any math or calculate beforehand 🙂 If women are stressing out so much about tights, no wonder they are going grey! 😉

  8. […] This ad agency art director wears the same outfit every day. And she’s much happier doing it than when she stressed over clothing choices. (Via Capitol Hill Style) […]

  9. Kim says:

    Tights was amusing because it seemed to say tights or no, without the various weights in between. I do fleece Dec-Feb, regular in March, and semi-sheer black hose Nov and April.

    As to the uniform, when I had kids I had less time to dress, so now I have 10 dresses. It’s sort of like a uniform in that I can think less about it, though it doesn’t feel like one.

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