Niagara Gazette

Community News Network

June 11, 2013

When is a nightgown appropriate in the office?

WASHINGTON —  Summer is upon us, and with it a whole new crop of seasonal questions about what is appropriate to wear in public. Who among us hasn't wondered if pajama pants are OK in the winter? What about clingy, see-through blouses for spring? And now that it's almost summer, what about nightgowns? Specifically, what about midthigh-length, straw-colored cotton nightgowns at work?

 I'm asking for a friend.

              

Last week, my "friend" was housesitting for her parents. Rummaging through her mom's closet, she found a cute sundress that she put on and wore to work. The day passed uneventfully - quite comfortably, actually - and she thought no more of the dress, except that she liked the way it rippled just above her knees when she walked. When her parents returned the week after, her mom was upset because she couldn't locate her nightgown. ("I swear it was in my closet." "Who on earth would steal a 60-something woman's ratty nightgown?") The daughter was genuinely perplexed and helped her mom dig through the clean and dirty laundry, to no avail.

              

You can probably see where this is going. When my "friend" did her own laundry and returned the clean sundress to her parents' house, it dawned on everyone what had happened. Namely, the twentysomething Office Pro had mistaken her mother's sleepwear for a summery daytime dress and worn it to work. Most miraculously of all, no one had seemed to notice. (She checked with co-workers the day after she found out about the gaffe, and they pled total obliviousness. Plus, as of now, she still has her job.)

              

My friend would like to think she learned an invaluable lesson from Nightgowngate, although she's not sure precisely what it is. Maybe that the mortifying scenarios that fuel anxiety dreams can prove inconsequential in real life. Or that everyone is too wrapped up in his or her own world to notice slight variations in your appearance or dress. Or that co-workers are observant but polite. Or that entitled millennialism will bite you in the butt: You must always ask before rifling through a family member's belongings. Maybe the lesson is that the modern woman's nightgown, a garment of increasingly beautiful construction, actually should take its part in the daily pageant of stylish office wear. It's just like a maxi dress, I told my friend when I heard of her goof!

              

But my friend's preferred takeaway is this: How you look really doesn't matter as much as you think.

              

Which is the main reason why I am telling you this story. For all the indications that we live in a style-obsessed culture, women should know that it is entirely possible to arrive at work in a nightgown and leave work in a nightgown and not die and have to be resuscitated by shamans somewhere in the middle.

              

So ladies, learn from this example! Wear whatever makes you feel productive, alluring and good, because, honestly, no one else is paying any attention.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Community News Network
  • Sunburn isn't the only sign of summer that can leave you itchy and blistered

    You've got a rash. You quickly rule out the usual suspects: You haven't been gardening or hiking or even picnicking, so it's probably not a plant irritant such as poison ivy or wild parsnip; likewise, it's probably not chiggers or ticks carrying Lyme disease; and you haven't been swimming in a pond, which can harbor the parasite that causes swimmer's itch.

    July 30, 2014

  • Survey results in legislation to battle sexual assault on campus

    Missouri U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill joined a bipartisan group of senators Wednesday to announce legislation that aims to reduce the number of sexual assaults on college campuses.

    July 30, 2014

  • An alarming threat to airlines that no one's talking about

    It's been an abysmal year for the flying public. Planes have crashed in bad weather, disappeared over the Indian Ocean and tragically crossed paths with anti-aircraft missiles over Ukraine.

    July 30, 2014

  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • 'Rebel' mascot rising from the dead

    Students and alumni from a Richmond, Va.-area high school are seeking to revive the school's historic mascot, a Confederate soldier known as the "Rebel Man," spurring debate about the appropriateness of public school connections to the Civil War and its icons.

    July 28, 2014

  • Fast food comes to standstill in China

    The shortage of meat is the result of China's latest food scandal, in which a Shanghai supplier allegedly tackled the problem of expired meat by putting it in new packaging and shipping it to fast-food restaurants around the country

    July 28, 2014

  • wd saturday tobias .jpg Stranger’s generosity stuns Ohio veteran

    Vietnam War veteran David A. Tobias was overwhelmed recently when a fellow customer at an OfficeMax store near Ashtabula, Ohio paid for a computer he was purchasing.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 1.33.11 PM.png VIDEO: High-dive accident caught on tape

    A woman at a water park in Idaho leaped off a 22-foot high dive platform, then tried to pull herself back up with frightening results. Fortunately, she escaped with only a cut to her finger.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • 072214 Diamond Llama 1.jpg Llama on the loose corralled in Missouri town

    A llama on the lam cruised Main Street Tuesday before it mistook a resident’s fenced backyard for a place to grab a meal and freshen up.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Wal-Mart to cut prices more aggressively in back-to-school push

    Wal-Mart Stores plans to cut prices more aggressively during this year's back-to-school season and will add inventory to its online store as the chain battles retailers for student spending.

    July 21, 2014

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page