Originally, this project, born from conversations with close friends, some colleagues, and an innate desire to complete more writing beyond strategy matrices and my prose poetry musings, was intended to be a compilation of fashion forward and conscious office styles. Pieces of advice on leveraging pieces for both social, weekend garb and for a client pitch. Suggestions on young lady's wardrobe staples, for success in the business world. Shopping finds. Reviews of my favorite consignment and vintage shops, of fun and affordable boutiques.
In essence, being a young professional and recent college graduate, I, and many of my friends, lamented the transition from the campus to the career world, on social and emotional levels, but on a style level as well. For most of us, frankly, the thought of cookie-cutter business casual day in, day out was quite a bore. As an avid vintage, and contemporary, shopper and a lady with a plethora of funky (an adjective my mother particularly enjoys for some of my more suspect and daring adventures with clothing and accessories) and outgoing, alongside of the classic, pieces in my repertoire, I was not pleased with my prospects professionally. Raised by pragmatics, however, I knew standard business casual would be at least partially unavoidable. But not completely. Though never fully wild and unfettered, at my first office position, I slowly and surely allowed my sartorialista to come out, a blossoming, with statement necklaces, silk scarves, and monochromatic ensembles featuring bold power heels.
So, after some discussions, a few over cocktails, I decided to get myself a fancy new camera to document my daily wares, purchase a new lap top, for this and other projects (online shopping, fiction writing and editing and ultimate deserting, Netflix Watch Instantly), and just jump the gun. A perfectly, frivolously fulfilling creative outlet.
Then last December, the Thursday before my technology updating purchase extravaganza, my firm higher-ups herd us into the large conference room and pull all employees off of our salaries: the partners are splitting, the firm is undergoing a philosophic and business transition, and instead of bonuses this year, you all can file for unemployment benefit insurance. Merry Christmas. My fingers dug deep into the stiff arms of the black leather wheeling conference chair. My mouth was a clenched vice, and I can only imagine the disdain escaping from my eyes.
Needless to say, as an ingenue in the professional arena, and that girl with the pragmatic parents who played by all the proper rules (for the most part, clever cookies know which ones you can circumvent, and how), I was devastated. In the current economic climate, I had certainly been lucky to land a position so soon following graduation, and had been exposed to some new and sometimes exciting work, introduced to reputable clients, and afforded a life of decadent semi-poverty (grocery shopping often meant grapes, soft French or Dutch cheeses, and a Spanish wine). State unemployment was not what I had signed up for. Following that announcement, I had a good cry and telephone discussion with my happily-retired father (over thirty years in the trenches) and then a wine/whine and Thai dinner with my manager, a kind friend and mentor.
Though prone to pessimism and melancholia (I am a Capricorn after all, despite that recent catastrophic astrological shift), the next morning I awoke with determination and a goal to prevail. I was frightened and worried about many things, my ridiculously high monthly rent first and foremost, however, I was also relieved with my own independence, my competence in the work place, my palpable ambition and drive. I also remembered how lucky I was: an education from one of the best institutions in the country, no school loans, no car loans, no credit card debt. Miraculously, my shopping lush ways often manifested and thrived in finding deals; another shout out to those painfully practical parents.
A little over a month has passed since I stopped formally receiving my salary, and many events in that period have unfolded. Some of which have been pleasant surprises, and new adventures as far as my life goes. None of which involve major technology purchases, unfortunately. As I am working to sort through my emotions and thoughts, my next career moves and options, and my life as an emerging adult, I returned to this format, this type of project, now slightly evolved, again to serve as that outlet, that solace. There will still be fashion, shopping, some styles, especially once I get that decent camera, some romantic forays past and present, some dining, and probably more than a drink or two, sprinkled with experiences of career questions, job searching, networking, and unemployment, some fun (funemployment) and some rather bittersweet, or just bitter. I cannot promise cogent pieces of advice, and perhaps not anything poignant and riveting, but my intent, I fear to admit, is more selfish and individualistic: a desire to archive and document these running thoughts and emotions in such a turbulent and fitful time.