I want to bring a grave injustice to the fore that for some reason isn’t getting the attention it deserves. I’m talking about the underserved ire for denim, particularly from whoever decides what constitutes “business casual” attire.
Folks, we are facing a war on jeans here, and this pacifist has had enough.
I’ve been a lone ranger comfortably swaggering into work meetings in denim for some time now, but I’m realizing it’s time to take this justice wrangling to the next level.
Because while I’ve been quietly bending (more flexibly than others, I’d wager) the rules of work attire with smart, dark denim I’ve noticed that my satisfaction has sky-rocketed and my productivity has, too.
So I am becoming a dungaree warrior riding my horse into town to free our bodies of polyester and rayon like the courageous and unreasonable mid-level management professional I am.
I get that it’s kind of millennial of me to think we all deserve a little more respect at work — like being able to choose denim as legitimate, professional attire — but just because I might be a tad entitled doesn’t mean I’m wrong.
I mean, why does discomfort get to be the quality that defines dressing for success? Because I, for one, have never heard anyone say that feeling stuffy makes them measurably more productive, efficient or creative.
Even people who enjoy suits, slacks and unreasonable footwear might argue that everyone deserves to wear what they want (as long as general cleanliness and nudity norms were followed — nobody wants to see janties at the water cooler).
So as we identify what fabrics we want to drape on ourselves for the majority of our weekday hours, let’s not disregard such qualities as durability, comfort, fashion and general awesomeness.
Medical professionals do, and nobody’s harping on scrubs! Plus, if corduroy gets respect in biz caj circles then denim most certainly should.
Think about it. What has found its new home on the fashion runways of the world? Denim. What pairs well with a nice Ann Taylor blouse and some fun wedges for a totally put-together ensemble of fashion and function? Denim. And what allows me to high kick when I complete a task? YEAH DENIM!
Plus (and perhaps the most valid reason here), the more we reasonably expand what is considered appropriate work attire — especially to include that which may be more affordable — the fewer barriers we present in getting diverse employees into our businesses and organizations.
I wondered if I was alone in my Lee-nings, so I took to The Salt Lake Tribune’s Facebook page and my own to find out. Turns out, there are traditionalists who feel like rules are rules and this is how it’s always been so that’s how it shall always be, but there were others who advocate — and not just for pig farmers — on the inclusion of denim in the workplace and in other business casual environments.
There were qualifications in color (dark) and quality (no holes), but I think we’re on to something, chaps!
So let us unite to tell anti-denimites that it’s time they Levi their antiquated wardrobe notions at home and instead pull on their pants one leg at a time and march toward an inclusive, comfortable workplaces of jean justice.
Maybe it’s crazy (or maybe it’s jean-ius).
Marina Gomberg is a communications professional and lives in Salt Lake City with her wife, Elenor Gomberg, and their son, Harvey. You can reach Marina at email@example.com.