I Make Clothes for People To Wear

Sasha Weiss: So there's a lot more freedom today when it comes to clothing than it was in the 80s, surely, but I wonder now that things are less coded and less formal, at least for people working in a creative setting, it's kind of harder to dress for work, and I wonder how women who are entering the work force learn the norms, because it is harder to draw the line now.

Cartoon by William Hamilton, 1980s (?), found  here .

Cartoon by William Hamilton, 1980s (?), found here.

Susan Morrison: That's interesting. Emma Allen, a young Talk of the Town writer here [and I] were talking about this yesterday, that when she graduated from Yale in 2010, every student was given this thing called "Life After Yale," a little publication produced by the Career Services people called a Survival Guide for the Class of 2010. And for women there's a long section about what to wear, and here I'll read a little bit of it:

If wearing a skirt, you need to wear nylons. Sheer is best. Don't forget to keep an extra pair of nylons in your desk in case of runs.

Now, I can't even remember the last time time I owned or put on a pair of sheer nylons. When I first saw this book I thought, "This is preposterous," but then I was thinking about my own teenage daughters, who I think just because they're younger and they don't feel as confident about knowing the ways of the world tend to have more conservative ideas than I do often about what's an appropriate thing to wear.


From The New Yorker's Out Loud podcast, September 13, 2013. Sasha Weiss discussed "Work Clothes" with Rebecca Mead and Susan Morrison.


Are the "rules" of (work) fashion generational? How do you dress for work? Susan Morrison thinks the only no-no is "being inappropriately revealing." But that's relative too, isn't it? Up to a certain point, I guess. Oh, and no flip-flops. Agreed.

This piece has some worthwhile contemporary observation of work dress and dress codes in literary and creative offices.

Simple and Fresh

"We believe that Steely Dan will crush you hard with love and renewed gratitude if you’ve ever longed for any person or golden age while killing dead-end days in Southern California. Fuck the devil, fuck sensible clothes, and steer clear of life vampires with their shit drugs and bad intentions, that’s what we believe."

Sensible Bud Cort as The Bond Company Stooge in T he Life Aquatic.

Sensible Bud Cort as The Bond Company Stooge in The Life Aquatic.

From "Here's Our Fucking Healthy Fast Food Philosophy," by Dan Kennedy. Published on McSweeney's Internet Tendency.

Yeah, forget sensible clothes, go crazy! Reminds of this, obviously, or even better because you can imagine the guy has seen that poster in everyone one of his friends' rooms and it has creeped into his unconscious.

You are High Priority

"You do not have to be a big fat queer to get a ride from Homobiles...but it does help! No, just kidding. But, you know, you have to understand that the real reason we are here is for people that don't get rides, normally, from anyone else.

Try getting that hair into a normal taxi. Lady Bunny, from  here .

Try getting that hair into a normal taxi. Lady Bunny, from here.

And so, if you're putting on all this padding, high heels, a wig, and three sets of false eyelashes and a bunch of glitter, you are high priority at Homobiles."


From "The Making Of...The Homobile" by the Kitchen Sisters.

How you look affects how you are perceived! No one should be denied a ride.