Thursday, 6 November 2008

Smart vs. Casual

This week in the office, we've been given the 'reward' of wearing casual clothes for the week. Not the bonus we were perhaps expecting (biscuits work best for me), but it has confused me as to the importance of smart clothes at work. On the one hand, it's good to have a pride in your appearance, and feel confident when arriving to work, especially if you have to deal with clients. But most people in the office have come into work in some form of smart/casual; replacing work trousers with jeans, and to some extent shoes with smart trainers, but keeping a smart top half (unlike me; I sit here in my new plaid trainers, a Silver Surfer Marvel t-shirt and a salmon-coloured cardigan). I guess I am to the younger end of the office spectrum, but there has not been the level of casuality I might have expected. And this has got me thinking; perhaps I should smarten up properly for work, and dress up more for the evenings. As much as I love comfy jeans and a slouchy jumper (my vintage Folk one is perfect), it's not really a 'going-out' look. One thing I have noticed as a Northerner living in London is that there's no real division here between day- and evening wear; the time taken to go home, change and have dinner which would be commonplace back home, is spurned here for more time down the pub. Both have their advantages, yes, but from a sartorial point of view, unless you are in the habit of changing at work, the weekend becomes the only time to experiment fully with your wardrobe. I guess that's why I'm sat here in a bright cardigan, and everyone else isn't; and why people on Brick Lane look quite so umpressive/odd on Sundays. So next week I'm going to endeavour to wear smarter clothes at work, and go a little further with my evening outfits. Doubtless this weekend's trip to the Manchester's Warehouse Project will make for an interesting outfit choice...
This week's Staples:
The Chandos pub in Covent Garden
Wearing the right shoes with the right outfit (more later)
Nigella's brilliant Express recipes
Tuesday night's great TV
Grace Jones new album, 'Hurricane'
Topman's sale (plaid boots + check short for £20 total)
'The Conformist' by Alberto Moravia

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