March 31, 2011

The Mysterious Allure of a Full Skirt

I have fancied a full circle skirt à la 1950s and 60s style for some time, and recently procured such a skirt from that fabulous online emporium, Etsy. The vintage skirt -- quilted black material with gold threads embroidered in a subtle, swirly design -- arrived last week to my delight.

After getting it dry cleaned, I chose to wear the skirt to work yesterday with a black turtleneck, black tights, and black heels. The only pops of color were the gold in the skirt and the gold locket around my neck. I must admit to feeling quite the sophisticate, something out Desk Set or, dare I use the common reference, Mad Men.

It was a cold, rain-filled day -- perfect for such an outfit that had considerably more coverage than most due to the fact that the only skin to be seen was my face and hands. My shirt was somewhat form fitting but not in a provocative way.
This is all to preface a most bizarre, yet not unpleasant experience that I cannot disassociate with this skirt. Yesterday I have never received more stares from men passing in the halls or "good morning, ma'ms."

One gentleman stopped me in the hall to say, "Ma'am, I hope this doesn't get taken the wrong way, but you are absolutely beautiful." Absolutely beautiful. I have to linger on that comment for a moment because I have never received such a compliment before.

Okay, now before you think, "Um, that is totally creepy and gross."  I have to say that I wasn't at all offended by this attention (especially because for once a man paying attention to me wasn't super old). Should I be offended? I've had offensive things said to me in the workplace before, and mostly in relation to my appearance. Those times I remember being was offended. But somehow, yesterday, I was amused and fascinated by the fact that I was receiving so much attention and that is was somehow related to this skirt.
Later in the day, a couple of guys in my office made jokes and references to my skirt -- one said it looked like a comforter, while another said it looked like curtains. In the context of their joking, again, I wasn't really offended because a) I am tough and b) the frequency and focus of their comments regarding my skirt suggested their fascination with it. One would think a particularly tight pencil skirt would draw more attention than a full skirt that betrays no hint of my body shape underneath. But perhaps, it was the full and total mystery of the shape that intrigued the men (for it was mostly men commenting, besides one female coworker who said "cute skirt!").

Instead of becoming incensed over the somewhat chauvinistic focus on my skirt, I just found it so interesting. Men conjuring up ways to bring my skirt into the conversation. It felt so silly.

Instead of getting mad, I just made jokes right along with them -- better jokes à la Tina Fey's method of mastering how to work successfully in a man's world, which is sometimes how I feel these days.

1 comment:

  1. i think the skirt looks amazing on you! love, loving it in the photo. and you know, i think men really dig a classic cut--there's something to be said for that 50's charm. it's the tension between the known and unknown that really turns them on.


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