Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Daily MelWear: Thoughts To Ponder, Decisions To Make

Oh, you guys.

We had yet another meeting this morning about our dress code. As tired as I'm sure you all are of hearing about it, I'm MORE tired of worrying about it and talking about it. I did a brief outline of it in an earlier post that you can find here. If you haven't read about the rules by which we're supposed to abide, take a look at that.

So for today's outfit, the problems include the animal print, the neckline is apparently too low, the skirt hem is too short and the necklace should only be a single gold or silver strand no thicker than 1/8 inch. We're not even supposed to wear pearls.

Now, keep in mind that my office is NOT located in the main medical plaza. We're in an office that used to be a little house, a few blocks away from the main plaza. There are only four of us who work in this little office, my boss plus me plus two other women. Ocassionally we do have meetings here but they're typically informal and with other departments who seem to not follow the dress code exactly either. However, my boss has asked the three of us to review the dress code, decide what we all agree should be modified for our office, and then present to her for approval. The stipulation is that when we have guests for a meeting here or when we need to go to the main medical plaza (such as for our bi-monthly meetings), we need to make sure that we are following all of the guidelines. 

All that being said...I'm seriously wondering if I should continue to keep a style blog if I have to begin complying with every single one of those regulations. I write this blog to express my personal style, to find what works for me and what I enjoy wearing. I don't have the money to go out and buy all new "corporate approved" items and I don't feel as though dressing each day will be enjoyable if I'm not permitted to dress for myself. I take great care in making sure that I'm appropriate and professional, and I feel as though that should be sufficient.

I'm sorry for being so wordy. I just feel slightly defeated right now. Obviously these photos were taken before I left the house this morning when I thought the outfit was pretty cute!

Hope your day is going better than mine has started! :)

Today's outfit:
Dress: Ross
Wrap Blouse: From my aunt
Silver Heels: Payless
Black Necklace: Wal-Mart


  1. Oh Melissa, I definitely think you should still write a blog, even if it's not an OOTD blog - I love your personality. I can't imagine having such a restrictive dress code...I have absolutely no help other than really try your hardest at the meeting
    to keep your dress code as lax as possible :) good luck, lady!

  2. Yes yes, keep your blog!

    So, you get to try to change the code a bit to fit your office? I think the main things I would want to change are the jewelry rule, the print rule, and the bright color rule. Maybe the neckline rule, because that shirt seems fine with a cami. Best of luck with trying to get the code modified. Let us know how it goes!

  3. your outfit is cute. To me you work dress code suck. The only thing is have to worry about it chipped nail polish b/c they will send us home.

    I think you should keep your blog. Its doesn't have to be about what you wear.

    The best of luck. I hope you ladies can get things change.


  4. You look awesome today. And you should definitely keep the blog up. Since she is allowing you to input ideas for your should reconsider bright colors, and jewelery, and tights colors. The neckline should not be questioned in this unless the line in question is the red shirt which is remedied by the cami underneath....

    Sorry it's so rough. :(

  5. I think Anna's right about what you should lobby to change. Those seem like reasonable things to bring up. I just hope you don't stop your blog!! Maybe just OOTD on weekends? :)


  6. First of all, I love that she's giving you an opportunity to alter it for most days. A lot of employers wouldn't allow employee input!

    As for when you have to adhere to the full dress code, I think it's important to keep blogging. While your dress code is certainly more one of the extreme, I'm sure it's not the most extreme out there, and once you get used to working within the confines, you can help inspire others to express creativity in strict dress codes.

    And you could always find ways to be devious: an animal print scarf worn when getting into and leaving work... bright red underwear... crazy print lining to a blazer.

    I'd like to see you keep the blog. You could even show the whole process of "toning it down"... how you take one of your outfits that you love to adjust it to the dress code. It could also switch it out to an evening & weekend wear blog.

    The dress code enforcement will knock you off your groove, but you'll get it back... it might be a quieter, slower groove, but it's all about finding a balance between the job and you!

  7. That dress code sounds really tough. I vote for keeping your blog. Maybe it will help you find new ways to express yourself within the dress code restrictions.

  8. The problem, my dear, is that you are working for a VERY conservative Christian hospital system. I can see both sides.

    That said, maybe you sit and talk about what you'd like to change---I, honestly, would stick to the jewelry and maybe colors. I'm fairly sure the animal prints are going to never fly.

    It's not that terrible...:) You can do well with what you have, you just have to present a more conservative you for awhile.

    Besides, who cares what you look like when you're heart is beautiful?! There is no outfit in the world that can make a truly ugly person pretty. Conservative with your attitude will be gorgeous.

  9. I'm still in shock about how strict your dress code is! I think you are dressed VERY work appropriate and SO cute! Try to enjoy the days you do get to have a few extra options...otherwise just remind yourself to be thankful you have the job. =]

  10. Mel - This is crazy. I'm certainly on the more conservative side of dressing and I don't think there is anything about this outfit that is inappropriate. Good grief. Don't let it stop you from keeping a fashion blog. Maybe you can focus on how to let your style shine through even with strict restrictions in place. Or do a photo of your desired outfit and then how you tweaked it for the work environment. - Katy

  11. Melissa! I hope your office works out something so that you don't have to go buy all new stuff. I do think it would be a good feature to your blog to show how to take your fantastic sense of style and mix it with what's expected on those days when you have to be in meetings.

    If I remember correctly - you have a 4 day work week? That still gives you 3 days a week to dress to the nines. Don't give up on your blog, but maybe change directions a bit.

  12. I just took a quick look at your employer's dress code. All I could come up with is, "Amish Country." I like the outfit you're wearing, although I know the print doesn't look like a solid from a distance - but the neckline seems pretty darned modest. I hope your satellite office can work out a reasonable compromise, too, and am sending best wishes and good fashion vibes your way.

  13. Come on Melissa, now you are having a second thought about this blog after all those times I have spent on your little project. You can still blog about casual wear and everything else in life, right? Readers enjoy your blog because they like who you are. Those heels are soooo pretty.

  14. KEEP THE BLOG! I agree with the other commenters - it would be great to show how you edited outfits to fit with your dresscode. AND you can stil document your other days that you don't have to be in the office (weekends, evenings, etc).

    I think it's nice of your boss to be willing to adapt a slightly different dress code one some days- I would go for color first, then prints (maybe not animal prints, that may never fly). And the bracelets/necklaces - it seems like you could stay completely appropriate by adding fun/interesting necklaces and that would be a good way to keep your own style.

  15. Wow...seems like they need to chill with the dress code...I really don't see the big deal, I think you always look great and work appropriate! Oh, and please keep the blog....I love it!!

  16. The dress code sucks! I hope you don't quit blogging. I would suggest asking to modify the prints and jewelry parts but at the very least the colors part. What are you supposed to wear if you can't wear bright colors? Black and white all the time or navy or brown or pastels. Yuck! I hope you figure it out!

  17. oooh, love the sassy metallic heels! and don't quit blogging. seriously. you could make a khaki-and-white-button-up daily dress code look adorable. good luck, friend!

  18. Hi Melissa! I'm sorry that you had yet another meeting regarding the dress code. We don't have a dress code at our office and I still worry about what I wear, so I can only imagine how difficult this must be, especially for someone who is as expressive and creative as you.

    But please don't feel defeated. I think you can show initiative and resourcefulness by offering some well-researched suggestions for howto alter your dress code. Perhaps you could find out the dress codes at other local hospitals and large organizations, and use this as justification for why your dress code should be relaxed?

    I absolutely agree that you might have the best chances of success in lobbying to have the rules regarding jewelry, color, and bold prints lifted. I personally think you are very modest in terms of the amount of skin that you show -- in this outfit and all others --, but I sense that would be a hard sell for your workplace.

    I hope this helps! And I really, truly hope that you continue to blog. Even if you don't post every day, we'd love to gawk at your gorgeous outfits whenever you have the chance (hey, I'm dress code free and I STILL only post a few times a week...but that's because I never manage to wake up early enough to write a post!!!)

  19. Okay -- I wrote a novella. Sorry 'bout that!

  20. don't quit the blog!! i love your outfit today and i say if they are cracking down on you harder for your dress code, just try to modify what you currently have (maybe add a cardigan / blazer or layer on a darker color to animal prints)...

    good luck and be optimistic! :)

    cute & little

  21. Do not quit! Just because your job does not allow you to be creative (what is up with that dress code?! Outdated much??) doesn't mean you stop feeling creative. I have to image you started this blog for lots of reasons, one of them being an outlet for your style ideas. Don't let that end.

  22. Oh Miss Mel... How disheartening... I understand (on a much smaller scale how you feel). Having such a strict dress code just makes me want to rebel in little ways because I'm a child at heart! I'd miss you very much if you left the blog. I know you can find creative ways to show who you are even when you're wearing corporate gear! We all believe in you!

  23. You are not allowed to quit - I forbid it.

    What do the other ladies dress like? What kind of suggestions do you think they'll make?

  24. I really feel for you Melissa, I echo everyone else and have to say, please don't quit blogging! I heart your blog. I believe that you can find creativity in your outfits even with such a restrictive dress code.

    Btw, I love your outfit and think it's totally work appropriate.

  25. I would be so sad if you stopped blogging, I really enjoy seeing your lovely creative outfits. I can't believe how incredibly restrictive your dress code is. I understand that it's important to maintain a professional image, but nothing you've ever posted here is anything less than professional. What do other employees wear?

  26. You're not even allowed to wear pearls? WHAT in the world is wrong with pearls?? It's about ALL I wear... With that said, I would still like to see your outfits despite the strict dress code. I rarely get to wear anything fun or even "me" because of the dress code for teachers. I'm constantly making sure I'm not wearing anything too low cut or short and most principals don't like teachers to wear anything too "distracting."

    Anyway, I LOVE your outfit today!!

  27. I disovered this blog only today, but as a fellow fashion blogger, I must jump on the don't-quit bandwagon. We only get a few places to be "us" in this world; don't let them take yours away from you. Good luck!

  28. PLEASE KEEP BLOG! I can't even compose more than a caveman-esqe sentence because I'm so distressed. Even though my dress code is nowhere NEAR as strict as yours, I know that feeling of frustration having to worry about what I'm wearing and whether it's appropriate or not. I agree with other commenters, maybe you could just cut down OOTD posts or make it a challenge (albeit a hard one). You're SUCH a great presence in this community, it would be horrible to lose you!

  29. My 2 cents. Adventist's biggest qualms with fashion are revealing clothes and jewelry. And how the whole point is to not draw attention to oneself. (I'm glad I don't live in a conservative adventist community anymore, I really feel your pain!!)

    You are very lucky you get to wear any jewelry, where I worked you couldn't have pierced ears! I would offer up that you are willing to forgo necklaces, big earrings and rings, and bracelets in exchange for the bright colors. Honestly that seems weird to me that they would care about colors, except that it is attention grabbing. Maybe offer up animal prints too.

    Take this as an opportunity to show you value their point of view but you reinforce how much change you have already made in order to adhere to the code. and that you will continue to be respectful of it, if they can understand your point of view.

    Best of luck!! And definitely keep blogging no matter what!

  30. First that outfit IS super cute!! Even if it doesn't meet that crazy dress code. Seriously! I love everything about that outfit! But please don't stop blogging or even style blogging WITH that dress code! And I just want to say, I don't know if it's your new camera or what, but you just look so HAPPY in your pictures the past few days!! And don't let that crazy code get you down! :)

  31. I LOVE the outfit. You put it together so well with the shiny burgundy jacket and the fantastic animal print dress!!! You look fabulous and you have to keep the blog. You're amazing. But I hope you can keep your style though understand if you have to change it up for work. So sorry about that. But keep your head up!!!

  32. Don't leave us! You can still post weekend outfits and I'm sure you can come up with some other fun posts. I just read about your dress code That's rough. So, I guess you'll all wear black and beige suits and speak in monotone voices from being so incredibly bored by your clothes. I don't what I'd do. I go out of mind! Good luck though.:)

  33. Oh, BTW. you look freaking adorable!

  34. You look so great today! I LOVE that dress - oo those zebra panels, just too cute! And the wrap blouse is perfect over top of it!

    I hope you will keep your blog. I absolutely love all of your outfits and your wonderful, beautiful personality that shines through all of your posts! I'm so sorry that the dress code at your work is so strict, but I really think you could still have a fabulous fashion blog while staying within the code! You're so creative and your outfits always look appropriate so I have no doubt that you could do it girl :) And on the weekends you could always post outfits wearing anything that YOU want!

  35. This outfit is totally cute!

    What a bummer about your dress code. I agree w/the above posters--it's really nice that your boss is letting you and your coworkers decide what's best for your area on days you get to yourselves. Perhaps these will be the fun days? Your voice and your smile would be sorely missed if you were to stop blogging, but I support you in whatever decision you make.

  36. What?! I so cannot believe your work's dress code! That is a major bummer.
    Fab pics with the new camera! You look so happy and amazing in the wrap blouse - perfect colour on you! :)

  37. Sorry I'm so late to comment :( But as the others said don't quit blogging! You would be MISSED!!

    What do the other ladies think about the dress code? Do they always abide? Perhaps this is the opportunity to do some tweaking with the dress code but agree that for meetings you will always wear some "approved suit" or something. So what if the people at these meetings perceive the meeting outfit as boring. You don't have them that often anyway :P

    Some people have to wear uniforms to work everyday so they unfortunately don't get to express any kind of personal style. I think this might give you the opportunity to be more creative in the toned down conservative sense and it will make you love your weekend and going out wardrobe even more.

  38. don't quit your blog or feel defeated. Hopefully you guys will find a middle ground and come up with a solution!

    A lot of great suggestions have been offered up, though! :)


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