The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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
Community News Network
  • Google acquires drone maker Titan Aerospace to spread Internet

    Google is adding drones to its fleets of robots and driverless cars.
    The Internet search company said it acquired Titan Aerospace, the maker of high-altitude, solar-powered satellites that provides customer access to data services around the world. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

    April 14, 2014

  • watching-tv.jpg Cutting the cord on cable TV, and not missing it a bit

    Three years ago, Royse City Herald Banner reporter Chris McGathey and his family decided to ditch pay TV in favor of Netflix, Hulu Plus and other cheaper web-based services. It's a decision they haven't regretted.

    April 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • spt_baylor.jpg VIDEO: Angels hitting coach suffers bizarre leg injury

    LA Angels hitting coach Don Baylor suffered a broken leg while squatting to catch a ceremonial first pitch from former Angel Vladimir Guerrero on Opening Day.

    April 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • barbour021614.jpg Sibling says Dexter drama motivated sister's 'lie' of mass murder

    The older sister of Miranda Barbour, who claims she murdered more than 22 "bad people" over six years, says the story is a lie that stems from infatuation with the Showtime TV series about a Miami cop who leads a secret life as a serial killer.

    April 1, 2014 1 Photo 3 Stories

  • Fact Checker: 'Birth control' for something other than family planning?

    "When 99 percent of women used birth control in their lifetime and 60 percent use it for something other than family planning, it's outrageous and I think the Supreme Court will suggest that their case is ridiculous."

    March 31, 2014

  • dog-sunglasses.jpg Do animals have a sense of humor?

    Right now, in a high-security research lab at Northwestern University's Falk Center for Molecular Therapeutics, scientists are tickling rats. Their goal? To develop a pharmaceutical-grade happiness pill. But their efforts might also produce some of the best evidence yet that humor isn't something experienced exclusively by human beings.

    March 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • touch.jpg Divorce is on the rise, and it's the baby boomers' fault

    A new paper from demographers at the University of Minnesota found that the age-standardized divorce rate has actually risen by an astonishing 40 percent since 1980.

    March 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • firefighters.jpg VIDEO: Firefighters sing song from 'Frozen' to calm girl stuck in elevator

    Firefighters in Reading, Mass., sing the Disney power ballad known by children everywhere -- "Let It Go" -- to calm a 4-year-old stuck in an elevator.

    March 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • muffin-brunch-food-breakfast.jpg Can what you eat affect your mental health?

    Jodi Corbitt had been battling depression for decades and by 2010 had resigned herself to taking antidepressant medication for the rest of her life. Then she decided to start a dietary experiment.

    March 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20140325-AMX-BARISTA251.jpg Coffee's third wave? The Apple to Starbucks' Microsoft

    Do you remember when Starbucks was cool? It opened in Seattle in the 1970s as a local specialty roaster, a trendy alternative to the prevailing generic swill. But the price of conquest is cachet. What was once novel — the warm décor, the gentle music, the faux-Italian lingo — has become banal. Today's coffee snobs would rather snort Sanka than set foot inside a Starbucks

    March 25, 2014 2 Photos

Elections
Front page
Clinton Herald Photos


Browse, buy and submit pictures with our photo site.

Poll

Should the city of Clinton appeal the open records violation ruling that will cost taxpayers $40,600?

Yes
No
     View Results
AP Video
Olympics 2014
Featured Comment
Featured Ads
Blue Zones Project
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.