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Sometimes I wonder about people

No lie, this exchange just now happened.

Highly Observant Coworker: Merry Christmas! Hey, what are you wearing?

Me: *blink* Clothes?

HOC: Black? You don't do black, do you?

Me: ......

It's also relevant to note that I've worn this exact outfit to work on more than one occasion. O_o


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 29th, 2008 11:51 am (UTC)
I've taken to wearing black almost all the time. Everything matches, all my clothes can be tossed into the same laundry load, and I think I look good in black.

One of my sillier coworkers comments on it whenever she sees me. Her tone suggests both disapproval and surprise. Why she disapproves of wearing black, I do not know. It's not like Lee Ryder chinos and a cable-knit pullover over a mock turtleneck look even remotely Goth. (You've met me; do I looke even remotely Goth? I don't even have the right shade of red hair for it.)

In my never-humble opinion, it's highly inappropriate to comment on a coworker's attire unless you're paying a not-overly-personal compliment.
Dec. 29th, 2008 01:44 pm (UTC)
Well, this is a coworker with whom I have casual enough conversation that I didn't really think "inappropriate." Just surprising that he commented at all, because he is so completely, borderline stereotypically, A Guy. To the extent that he apparently hasn't noticed in the last four years that probably 85% of my clothes are black. *snerk* (Barring the substitution of a turtleneck for a man's dress shirt, and winter-appropriate clompy shoes for the pseudo-Victoran boots that cost a lot more, this is the same outfit I was wearing the day another collector's visiting wife mentally tagged me as "the really tall blonde goth chick." Nothing out of the ordinary at all.)

You, like quite a number of my friends, do what Alison Lurie dubbed "urban black," in a really interesting book (published before "urban" became effectively synonymous with hip-hop). Most of my fallback habits come under the category of what she calls "dancer's black."

My hunch is that your silly coworker is in the category of people who seem to object to the low-maintenance factor for some weird reason. You can't seem to convince them that clean and tidy are perfectly sufficient; they're certain that "making an effort" to Have Style is compulsory, rather than a fun option.
Dec. 29th, 2008 01:49 pm (UTC)
Who doesn't do black?

What is the definition of "urban black"? I know nothing of fashion...
Dec. 29th, 2008 02:08 pm (UTC)
Excellent question. Apparently, in HOC's head, cheerful people? I do actually do bold color a lot, especially in the winter, but still.

"Urban black" isn't a fashion term, just a phrase this particular author used in her book. (And she's an anthropologist, not a fashionista.) I can't remember now exactly how she defined it and what it encodes, but it pretty much boils down to the low-maintenance principle of "this is easy to do and looks classy." I'm thinking it's about time to reread it, actually -- it's been long enough that I remember I didn't agree with everything she said but that it was all interesting, but specifics are fuzzy. That phrase stuck in my head as handy, though.
Dec. 29th, 2008 02:22 pm (UTC)
And now I'm all curious about her anthropological definitions of what I tend to wear...especially since so very many folks ID me as a teacher--often an English teacher--just based on my appearance (which is pretty much what it's geared to elicit). :-)
Dec. 29th, 2008 03:09 pm (UTC)
You're welcome to borrow the book. Remind me when we do the next Bones night. (What does your upcoming weekend look like? Email me!)
Dec. 29th, 2008 02:15 pm (UTC)

Oooo-kay, then.
Dec. 29th, 2008 03:08 pm (UTC)
I have no earthly clue. And he's a GUY.

I'm wondering if his girlfriend attempted to coach him on noticing clothing or something.
Dec. 29th, 2008 02:20 pm (UTC)
*shakes head* You should've said: 'It's not black, just a very very very very very very very dark blue.'
Dec. 29th, 2008 03:07 pm (UTC)
Nah. He's entertaining enough without purposely messing with his head. ;-D
Dec. 29th, 2008 08:07 pm (UTC)
black is the new pink.
Dec. 29th, 2008 11:50 pm (UTC)
Well, it needs something to keep it out of trouble while silver is the new black. ;-) (I'm pretty sure that's the current one. At least it's not orange this time. Oh, silly fashion magazine people, never change!)
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )


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