Sunday, February 22, 2009

Ask Marian

Got questions? Email our resident advice columnist at!

Dear Marian,

I recently scored my first job as a librarian. I love it, but I can’t believe how my co-workers dress! Dowdy shoes, no make-up, and holiday sweaters! These people wear buns without irony. I really think they are hurting the image of librarians. I dress well but I’m just outnumbered! How can I suggest that they update their looks without being mean?

So Trendy, but You Look So Hideous

True story – I showed up for my first day of work at the library wearing black leather pointy-toed stiletto boots with a 3 inch heel. I looked hot. I looked stylish. By the end of the day I looked like someone had broken my toes with the way I was hobbling around. As we were closing up, another librarian looked at me and said, “First day, huh? You’ll learn.”

The point is, STYLiSH, that there is something to be said for functionality. We’re on the go all day, so we do have to be comfortable. That being said, nothing makes me shudder like a festive holiday sweater. That’s not function; that’s just ugly.

The thing you have to understand, though, is that your sweater-wearing co-workers are still making an effort. Chances are high that when old Sally looked in the mirror this morning while putting on her coordinating shamrock earrings that picked up the green sparkles from her St. Patrick’s day vest just so, she took a step back to say to herself, “Daaaaang, girl, you look hot.”

You’ve got different styles, and that’s ok. If your co-workers show any interest in updating their looks, by all means bust out the fashion magazines and go to town. But if you bring up the fact that you think they could use a makeover, well, be prepared to stop being thought of as the fashionable one and start being thought of as the insensitive little snot.

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