Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Lolita In The Workplace

The dress code of many workplaces can be very restrictive and not conducive to the over the top lolita lifestyle. However, you don’t have to leave all of the aspects of your lolita life behind as you enter the workforce. Here are some tips that I’ve found to work in my lolita wardrobe with my job as a web developer at a conservative Southern bank. While I’m not going to wear OTT sweet lolita anytime soon, I’ve found ways to add little motifs into my outfits that make me feel more like myself while being able to wear lolita to work. Depending on how strict your dress code is, not all of the following will work for you, but I hope you manage to glean some small way to edge your style into an integral aspect of your life.

1. Add In Small Lolita Accessories.

Do you have a delicate head bow with lace detailing and a simple print? Or how about a favorite necklace with cameos or deer accent? Even with sweet lolita, you can incorporate your more toned down basic accessories into an everyday professional outfit. You could use items from your favorite brands or opt to grab more “lolita-esque” off brand accessories from places that cater more to mainstream fashion. Purses that remind you of the lolita aesthetic while pairing with the level of formalness of your work also do well for integration into your work wardrobe.

2. Wear Simple Lolita Skirts

The cuts that op’s and jsk’s come in are seldom seen in general fashion, so I’ve found lolita skirts to be the easiest to blend in with the workplace. They’re generally made out of professional level material if you’re working at a place with a business casual dress code, and they’re easy to dress down by excluding the petticoat. Try to avoid over the top prints and instead opt for solids with lace detailing.

3. Victorian-esque Shoes Are Your Friends

Fortunately, shoes such as oxford heels are becoming increasingly common in mainstream fashion, making them great candidates for work wear that can perform double duty by also integrating in with your lolita wardrobe. Look for shoes in your wardrobe which have basic motifs such as Mary Jane straps, simple bows, or eyelet leather detailing.

4. Cardigans And Boleros FTW

I find cardigans and boleros to be some of the easiest items to integrate in with a workplace look. Pick up a simple black bolero with ruffled edges, and you’ll be able to pair the accessory with many outfits in most seasons. Lolita specific outerwear can be a bit more tricky, but the key is once again to stay simple with your choices and do your best to assess the explicit or implicit dress code at your workplace in picking what level of details will work for your situation.

5. Avoid Generally Considered ‘Abnormal’ Elements

While at work, you’re generally representing the interests and values of your employer. While I don’t feel like the lens of general society is particularly fair or impartial, you’ll want to stay away from some items especially if you’ll be interacting with the public often. I would include in the items:
  • Obviously false eyelashes and circle lenses
  • Wigs, especially ones of obviously unnatural color
  • Over the top prints in general
  • Any over the top style of makeup such as shironuri
I hope you’ve gained something from my above tips. Ultimately, be aware of the details of your particular work situation and the atmosphere of your office especially if your position involves directly interacting with customers or top level management. While the eye of scrutiny can feel unfair, you can likely still make your style work in some way in your work situation.

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