Professionalism in dress is a slightly weird thing in library land, since as a professional culture we are unconcerned with clothes and this usually means dress guidelines are something along the lines of "erm, yeah, wear clothes".*   This tendency is mirrored in academic culture, and therefore even stronger in academic libraries.  For instance, I have often heard the advice that when working in a service profession one should try to dress about one step nicer than the average patron.  Our average patron is a science grad student, so as long as my nerdy and/or swag t-shirt isn't stained or a legitimate bio-hazard....
 If we have a dress code I have never heard of it.  On the other hand, this attitude means people find it odd, even a little suspicious, when you dress at all fancily.  I have never been told I was dressed too casually (even on that day that I actually wore my one pair of jeans and a t-shirt, in fact I believe I was complemented that day, but it was a nerdy t-shirt), but have gotten a comment or two suggesting I might be a bit over-dressed.  I personally as both disinclined and don't feel comfortable dressing as casually as I could, not just get away, but be considered perfectly well-dressed, with.

Below are two work outfits.  The first is in fact the upper limit of formality that I can get away with (and I think might have elicited comment had the Dean of Libraries not been visiting that day).  I actually myself think of this one as pretty office-appropriate and would consider wearing it (with different hair, foot and leg-wear, obviously) to an interview or something.
Blouse: Lane Bryant outlet
Belt: Torrid
Skirt, Socks: Target
Shoes: T.U.K.

This one is obviously much less formal and, while eccentric, considered totally acceptable by my colleagues and boss.

Tights, Hat: Torrid (best opaque tights ever)
Shirt: Think Geek
Skirt: Rose Mortem
Same shoes as above
Hair ribbons (for both, son't know why I have been in such a braided pigtail mood lately): 1$ ribbon bin in Michael's

*Except for front of the house public library work, which has most of the usual constraints of dealing with the public.


Sarahbelle said...

I love them all!!

You have the coolest job!

Sal Kaye said...

I love your hair the way it is in these pics!

Outfit no. 1 looks like a fantastic work-appropriate outfit to me (minus the socks, maybe). I don't think it's overdressed.
BUT! What I LOVE MOST about it: THE SHOES!!! Send them here, please!!! They're so cute. :)

VictorianKitty (Sophistique Noir) said...

Great outfits! I especially love the first one. That belt is awesome! The whole look is classy and striking. I agree that it's not overdressed at all for work. It's funny how these days it's so easy to be accused of dressing too nice for the office. I get that a lot, even though we do have a dress code! But it's always nice to be the best dressed person in the room, isn't it? :-D

Funny, I am wearing braided pigtails today too! But I will probably roll them into buns before photographing my outfit for my blog tonight because they are getting frizzy after a long day. :)

Sabayon said...

Sarahbelle -- Well sure, I mean it's all fun and games until you contract ebola.

Sal -- Thanks! The shoes are made by a U.K. brand so you can probably get them in Germany.

VictorianKitty -- Yes, I am not sure why it is supposed to be such a problem to dress too well. I was raised to think that dressing well shows respect, but some people perceive it as pretentious or snooty.

Anonymous said...

Agreed, great outfits. I especially love the hat and the black/glittery skirt in the second one.
And of course, the parasols! I have been thinking a lot today as to whether parasols have a chance of making a comeback. I think there is hope.

Sabayon said...

Ever since I first used a parasol, when I lived in Shanghai where their use is ubiquitous among women (who even use them while riding bicycles), I have thought that anyone who really tries it will be an instant convert. Not only do you have less worry about sunscreen/ sun damage, but I swear it is a good 5-10 degrees cooler under a dark parasol. So I agree they should definitely make a comeback.

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