The Directrice Re-Presents: Workaday Suit

All the suits can’t be Best Suit. If they could, “Best” would be rendered meaningless. Some suits are, and should be, sort of ordinary. We’ve discussed this before.
The workaday suit is a form of camouflage. Office Camouflage is distinguished by its utter failure to stand out in any way: a traditional silhouette, proportional lapels, horn or black buttons, and — this one’s important — NOT ORANGE. The workaday suit must be presentable and, I personally believe, should be comfortable. A small percentage of lycra or other stretch fiber will do the trick.

Everyone once in a while, I have a really clever idea.
This is one such idea. Why not pair a pedestrian suit with a novelty sweater?
full length
MFEO: the suit gives the sweater gravitas; the sweater gives the suit elan

If anyone here knows a reason why these two should not be wed, speak now or forever hold your peace
If anyone here knows a reason why these two should not be wed, speak now or forever hold your peace
Why not, indeed?
I approved this idea in my head and liked it on my person, but I love it in these photographs. Isn’t that odd that it photographs a little better than it looks in person.
Tidbit: This sweater is one of those marvels that looks better at a 4-6 foot distance (a reasonable zone of bodily integrity for the workplace) than up close. Some of the colors are really dreadful (bubble-gum pink?! peach!?!) but they work very effectively together. It’s a Hideo-marvelous Stripe!

Perhaps you are wondering where I am going to wear my novelty sweater/workaday suit. Try this: anything internal; meetings with cool clients, cool NGOs; lesser depositions; mediation.
She thinks she's wearing it to a lesser deposition? What is a lesser deposition?
You can’t wear that to any deposition
What is a lesser deposition?
What is a lesser deposition?
Fine, I'll button my jacket
A lesser deposition involves a minor actor in a case; Fine, I’ll button my jacket

Notwithstanding the compelling/revolting stripes, I felt that a little more whimsy was needed.
As my Whimsy takes me*

Come closer, darlings, and see my funny little scarf, which I have tucked into my neckline to approximate a collar.
It’s ladies wearing the New Look

At this range, the Hideo-marvelous Stripe is going to tip hideous, so just focus on the scarf. The ladies have names.

Ginger take note!

Here are a few novelty sweaters that are particularly charming.

Serious bag
Serious bag mitigates novelty sweater; balance is the key to so many things
One last look at the striped sweater with the striped lining of my suit jacket. It works, but it seems too obvious. Like something I would have done in high school. I will leave the sleeves unrolled.
Happy Birthday, Desh!
And everyone, have a fantastic weekend!

Suit: JCrew (very old); Sweater: JCrew; Scarf: vintage; Bag: Coach; Shoes: Coach
* The Wimsey family motto.

8 thoughts on “The Directrice Re-Presents: Workaday Suit”

    • For some reason, Rebekah, this sweater makes me think of comic books. I think it’s the white stripe (which actually is a pale, pale grey) that underscores the stripes every few lines . . . It’s so lively.

  1. Fwiw, you do look wonderful in autumnal orange. You are lucky, that’s a hard color to pull off. When I clicked on the hideo-marvelous hyperlink, I thought, “interesting pattern and shape, doesn’t she look marvelous in orange!”

  2. Now you are talking! As a school administrator, this is EXACTLY the balance I am searching for daily. I want to appear engaging to children of all ages K-21… as well as friendly/not intimidating to parents who may show up for meetings in their workout gear. At the same time, I need to retain a comportment worthy of someone who is competent in decision-making, the big cheese, the grand poo-bah…

  3. Bubble-gum stripes! You look adorable. But do you keep your jacket on the entire day? I always worry about my novelty underlayers being a little too novel when I take off the jacket, as I’m prone to do. (I move around a lot when I teach, and I often find jackets confining.)

    • It depends, Regina — but if I take the jacket off it’s because I am warm, not uncomfortable. You raise an excellent point, which is that one must dress for the contingencies which include removing one’s jacket! The top layer under the jacket has to be presentable. Everyone should keep this in mind for airport travel, too.

  4. It takes a knack for this kind of thing. You look at the sweater in a store or catalog and it doesn’t do much for you, but it looks good with something else. I think it’s easier to do with stripes than prints, which can be really hard for me to visualize.


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