Friday, February 24, 2012

The End is Nigh: Fashion Signs the End of Civilization

It's official: civilized culture is over and done with. Polite society is completely kaput. Get out your sweatpants, tube dresses, and swim sandals, because that's where we're headed for daily professional wear. Seriously.

My friend Ivan, for whom I recently created a $50 business wardrobe capsule, went to an interview fair at the Discovery Science Center on Tuesday. He's freakishly smart and has a solid background in physics and chemistry, and loves anything related to outer space. He dressed in the $700 suit we found him at Goodwill, a crisp white shirt, and a nice tie. When we went to dinner afterward, he relayed, "Women came to the interview tables in tight skirts cut up to their backsides, see-through tops that showed their bras, and leggings so tight you could tell they weren't wearing underwear... guess which candidates were moved forward."

That's right, friends. Forget your traditional interview attire. Science Centers are now considering job candidates dressed like Jersey Shore rejects. Child-oriented businesses are now staffing people who expose butt crack even in their most professional (and I use that term loosely) attire (I use that term loosely as well, come to think of it). You might think that Ivan is just being bitter, but I've known him for sixteen years, and I know he has a keen eye for women's fashion and favors French and 60s influences. He's not a prude, and he knows his stuff.

What the H-E-double-hockey-sticks is going on here? With unemployment running rampant, companies surely have a large pool of candidates to choose from - thing is, they're choosing the very people I was raised to know would be sent home on sight as having no sense of respect or professionalism.

This isn't even about my friend anymore - for all I know, the company had a valid reason to cut him - but they sure had reason to cut the over-exposed candidates as well. This is about our standards as a society. This is about what we expect and accept from one another. Why are companies accepting this type of dress from their potential employees? Why are mothers, sisters, and BFFs allowing their so-called loved ones out of the house like this? Don't we care about one another anymore? Don't we care about ourselves?

Or is society really so far gone that we no longer know we should care? So far gone that a sexed-up, leggings-as-pants ensemble is considered professional? Is the concept of projecting modesty and self-respect through clothing really dead? Is virility all a woman can advertise through her outfits?

If so, then this is, truly, the beginning of the end.