Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The mysterious allure of work clothes


Ryan is particularly attracted to me when I come home from work in office-y clothes. While this could be chalked up to the fact that dress pants and pencil skirts show off my ass far better than the dirndl dresses and harem pants, I think there's something more to the inherent sexiness of workwear.

After all, I feel the same way when I see him in scrubs.


So, what is it that's so sexy about clothes that are designed to be anything but? I think it has something to do with the unfamiliarity and mystery of that person's work life.

Allow me to explain . . .

When you live with someone (in a tiny apartment no less), you become utterly familiar with each other, and things can become a bit routine. But part of the essence of sexiness is mystery, and unfamiliarity. The one thing we don't share, can't share, will never truly be a part of, is each other's work life and each other's work self.

We are someone different when we go to the office (hospital, school, *fill in your workplace here*): we dress differently, talk differently, and practice skills that people in our personal lives may know nothing about.

I'll never truly know the Ryan that Ryan is at work and he'll never truly know my work self. Therein lies the mystery and therein lies the sexy allure of office clothes.


If you're still not convinced, perhaps you will be by the following anecdote. Back when I worked at Best Buy, I once showed up at a coffee shop open mic after work in my Best Buy uniform, and a guy friend there said, "Wow, you look sexy in your work clothes."

Let me assure you that this assessment of the way I looked made absolutely no sense. Best Buy uniforms consist of khaki slacks and huge blue polo shirts that are unisex (i.e. don't fit women at all). The "short" sleeves fell baggily to my elbow. I would post a picture of me in it but there aren't any as I hid from cameras for the better part of that year so as not to document myself at my worst.

Objectively, there's nothing sexy about a Best Buy polo shirt and khaki pants. But, when this guy friend saw a glimpse of my mysterious work self he found it surprisingly attractive. And the same thing happens when Ryan sees me in a suit or I see him in scrubs. What a strange and interesting phenomenon.

Oh, the power of clothing.

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  1. I love your cognacs accessories in the first photo! So chic.

    Great post :)


  2. Interesting topic! I'm a sucker for a uniform - married a Marine - and I've always thought it was because of the symbolism of uniforms. That what I was attracted to was the inherent promise of a military, police, or fireman's uniform ... someone who was noble, selfless, and most importantly willing to save me

    I've never really thought about how the "uniform" of the work day has some mystery to it. Certainly, when we come home we pretty much run around in t-shirts and undies, so just seeing each other fully clothed in a flattering outfit is attractive! (I write this as my spouse just mooned me on his way to the kitchen. Sigh.)

  3. @freeda Yes, I too never really thought about how and why ordinary work clothes and not just uniforms might be appealing, until quite recently. Your relationship with your husband sounds funny and adorable.