I wasn’t off to a good start this morning, and I’m sure most people have been there. You wake up, scratch your ass, and head over to the dresser to grab some clothes, only to notice while groping blindly as a bat in the morning darkness that you don’t have any undershirts clean (or some variation thereof, i.e. no underwear or socks). Then you remember that your slacks are dirty also, a much worse scenario because any schlub knows that a white t-shirt will suffice as an undershirt.
Now, having had other, more formal, jobs (like working any position at a bank), I do have a variety of pleated slacks with which to choose from that I keep in reserve for wearing with a blazer or sports coat. I tend not to wear these at work, because for some reason, wearing pleated pants makes you “dressed up.”
Not having much of a choice, I grabbed a grey pair to go with my blue shirt and my dreaded prediction has come true:
“Whoa, where’s the interview?”
“Why are you so dressed up then?”
“Maybe it is because your shirt is tucked in?”
“I tuck my shirt in just about everyday…”
I will have this conversation at least five more times today. Why do pleats make you look like a winner in the workplace? A quick glance around shows that the directors and managers in sight are in fact, also wearing pleated trousers. It is as if the usual flat front trousers are for worker bees, and the pleats are for those on the fast track baby! Of greater concern (in my paranoid, over-examining mind) is if this fashion trend is indeed accurate, am I sabotaging my own growth within the company (“Who the hell does that guy think he is, a manager or something?”), or am I positioning myself to be seen as a “go-getter?” Do I even care?
Furthermore, if pleats mean class or upper-standing of some sort, why do we look down on those still wearing pleated jeans (you poor, deluded bastards)?
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