My new favorite show to watch is the American version of "WHAT NOT TO WEAR." My favorite part is when Stacy and Clinton make the fashion disaster of the day stand in a 360 degree mirror and then ridicule their obvious lack of common sense and decency. They are like the Simon Cowells of the TLC network. And I love every rude, "make you cry as you stand in those ugly cow-print pants" minute of it.
Maybe I love it so much because I'd like to host my own What Not To Wear show right here in corporate land. Don't get me wrong ... I'm no fashion maven. I have been known to come to work with two different kinds of shoes on. Although that's more of a tribute to what happens when the coffee maker doesn't work, than to me trying to make a statement with my clothes. And I am not a fan of fashion snobs. I don't understand the point of buying a $900 purse when a $25 knockoff will do just fine, thank you. I only shop when I have coupons, or when I see a big number followed by the word "sale" in a window. I'm the type of girl who brags about the money she SAVED, not the money she SPENT.
But please people! Use some brain power here! It seems everywhere I turn people care less and less of the image they are projecting - unless the image they really do want to project is that of a lazy slob or a cheap whore. Is dressing yourself appropriately now a lost art, like customer service and cooking your own meals? I'm tired of seeing people wearing sweat pants to the office, or tube tops to interviews. Flip flops are not dress shoes! Pinning your pant-leg under does not constitute hemming! Your best shirt shouldn't be chosen on the basis that it is the only one still with all its buttons!
So I'm doing all of you people out there who can't dress yourselves a favor. Here is Cookie's six-step guide to fashion at work or on job interviews. I've made it simple, so even you dumbasses out there should be able to understand:
1. If you are not 20 and a size 4, don't pretend to be. Get over it. You aren't young and you aren't thin. And you only look fatter and older, and very pathetic, when you try to dress like you're Jessica Simpson when you are more like a Roseanne. Burn your miniskirts and throw away all your clothes that make you look like a sausage bursting out of its casing. Then go shopping for clothes that fit and are age appropriate. No one sees your tags anyway, so no one has to know you're a size 14. And the dignity you save could be your own.
2. If you are 20 and a size 4, don't dress like a pole dancer. Remember you are at work. And unless that work requires you to wear pasties, leave the club gear at home. You aren't at work to get laid. You're at work to get paid. No one is going to take you seriously when they have the urge to stick dollar bills down your pants.
3. First impressions matter. So if you are applying for a job, even if it is to fry hamburgers at McDonalds, dress your best. The only instance you should wear jeans to an interview is if you are applying for a job as a jeans model. If you come in your sweat pants and stained T-shirt, it shows you don't give a shit, and the person interviewing you isn't going to give a shit either. So stop acting surprised when that happens, moron!
4. Hygiene, hygiene, hygiene. Wash your hair. Brush it. Wash yourself. With soap. You think this sounds simple? You'd be surprised how many people can't grasp this concept. My step son, when he was 12, thought it was too much work to swipe deodorant under his arms each day. I called him "Smelly Boy" (even in public) until he saw the light. Now he doesn't smell. Some say I'm mean - that humiliation is not a good parenting tool. I say better me - someone that loves him - humiliating him than a future employer. I've seen people at work who look like they just woke up in a gutter that morning. I've known people to wear dirty clothes to the office, and have smelled people's breath from 50 paces. If only their parents would have called them "Smelly" or "Piggy." It would be nice to know when you go to work that you can actually take deep breaths and not be afraid to touch anything.
5. Some body parts are better left covered. That hairy, gnarled toe really should be in a closed-toe shoe, bundled up where it belongs. Your boobs should be more in than out. If you have a farmer tan, don't display it. Do your coworkers a favor, for the love of GOD!
6. Remember: bosses, clients, and potential bosses and clients grocery shop too. So don't wear your 1970s white polyester bell bottoms to the store thinking you are "safe." A client will have a hard time handing over a blank check to someone who wears rainbow socks with individual toe holes - even if they only wear them when they are picking up a carton of milk. One manager at a company I know, who was on vacation at the time, popped into the office one day because he had to get something on his way to some vacation type activity. He came in the office wearing Daisy Duke shorts so tight and short that his pale white buns were hanging loose in the wind for all to see. It is hard to respect someone after that. It's hard to sleep after that.
If you follow these simple rules, I guarantee you will be dressed for success. If you can't follow them, please, get out of my office.