The Times West Virginian

Community News Network

June 11, 2013

When is a nightgown appropriate in the office?

WASHINGTON —  Summer is upon us, and with it a whole new crop of seasonal questions about what is appropriate to wear in public. Who among us hasn't wondered if pajama pants are OK in the winter? What about clingy, see-through blouses for spring? And now that it's almost summer, what about nightgowns? Specifically, what about midthigh-length, straw-colored cotton nightgowns at work?

 I'm asking for a friend.

              

Last week, my "friend" was housesitting for her parents. Rummaging through her mom's closet, she found a cute sundress that she put on and wore to work. The day passed uneventfully - quite comfortably, actually - and she thought no more of the dress, except that she liked the way it rippled just above her knees when she walked. When her parents returned the week after, her mom was upset because she couldn't locate her nightgown. ("I swear it was in my closet." "Who on earth would steal a 60-something woman's ratty nightgown?") The daughter was genuinely perplexed and helped her mom dig through the clean and dirty laundry, to no avail.

              

You can probably see where this is going. When my "friend" did her own laundry and returned the clean sundress to her parents' house, it dawned on everyone what had happened. Namely, the twentysomething Office Pro had mistaken her mother's sleepwear for a summery daytime dress and worn it to work. Most miraculously of all, no one had seemed to notice. (She checked with co-workers the day after she found out about the gaffe, and they pled total obliviousness. Plus, as of now, she still has her job.)

              

My friend would like to think she learned an invaluable lesson from Nightgowngate, although she's not sure precisely what it is. Maybe that the mortifying scenarios that fuel anxiety dreams can prove inconsequential in real life. Or that everyone is too wrapped up in his or her own world to notice slight variations in your appearance or dress. Or that co-workers are observant but polite. Or that entitled millennialism will bite you in the butt: You must always ask before rifling through a family member's belongings. Maybe the lesson is that the modern woman's nightgown, a garment of increasingly beautiful construction, actually should take its part in the daily pageant of stylish office wear. It's just like a maxi dress, I told my friend when I heard of her goof!

              

But my friend's preferred takeaway is this: How you look really doesn't matter as much as you think.

              

Which is the main reason why I am telling you this story. For all the indications that we live in a style-obsessed culture, women should know that it is entirely possible to arrive at work in a nightgown and leave work in a nightgown and not die and have to be resuscitated by shamans somewhere in the middle.

              

So ladies, learn from this example! Wear whatever makes you feel productive, alluring and good, because, honestly, no one else is paying any attention.

1
Text Only
Community News Network
  • 20140729-AMX-GIVHAN292.jpg Spanx stretches into new territory with jeans, but promised magic is elusive

    The Spanx empire of stomach-flattening, thigh-slimming, jiggle-reducing foundation garments has expanded to include what the brand promises is the mother of all body-shaping miracles: Spanx jeans.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Medical marijuana opponents' most powerful argument is at odds with a mountain of research

    Opponents of marijuana legalization are rapidly losing the battle for hearts and minds. Simply put, the public understands that however you measure the consequences of marijuana use, the drug is significantly less harmful to users and society than tobacco or alcohol.

    July 29, 2014

  • linda-ronstadt.jpg Obama had crush on First Lady of Rock

    Linda Ronstadt remained composed as she walked up to claim her National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can black women have it all?

    In a powerful new essay for the National Journal, my friend Michel Martin makes a compelling case for why we need to continue the having-it-all conversation.

    July 29, 2014

  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • 'Rebel' mascot rising from the dead

    Students and alumni from a Richmond, Va.-area high school are seeking to revive the school's historic mascot, a Confederate soldier known as the "Rebel Man," spurring debate about the appropriateness of public school connections to the Civil War and its icons.

    July 28, 2014

  • Fast food comes to standstill in China

    The shortage of meat is the result of China's latest food scandal, in which a Shanghai supplier allegedly tackled the problem of expired meat by putting it in new packaging and shipping it to fast-food restaurants around the country

    July 28, 2014

  • wd saturday tobias .jpg Stranger’s generosity stuns Ohio veteran

    Vietnam War veteran David A. Tobias was overwhelmed recently when a fellow customer at an OfficeMax store near Ashtabula, Ohio paid for a computer he was purchasing.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 1.33.11 PM.png VIDEO: High-dive accident caught on tape

    A woman at a water park in Idaho leaped off a 22-foot high dive platform, then tried to pull herself back up with frightening results. Fortunately, she escaped with only a cut to her finger.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • CATS-DOGS281.jpg Where cats are more popular than dogs in the U.S.-and all over the world

    We all know there are only two types of people in the world: cat people and dog people. But data from market research firm Euromonitor suggest that these differences extend beyond individual preferences and to the realm of geopolitics: it turns out there are cat countries and dog countries, too.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads
Featured Ads