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The '80s Called And Wants Its Workplace Fashion Back

It's not just your imagination if you feel like you've walked into a scene from Flashdance whenever you go clothes shopping these days. The neon '80s are back, and they're bad. Bad for the workplace, that is.

Seriously, a trip to Old Navy or any other store can feel like a head trip for anyone over the age of 35. Baggy, off-the-shoulder, Jennifer Beals-style yoga sweatshirts are the new, hip thing to have in boring gray...or why not in neon green or pastel? Or how about an unflattering peasant blouse (now with polyester waistband along the bottom!) that is sure to make most women under 5'11" look four months pregnant? Is she, or is it just the shirt she's wearing? It's the burning question petite women want to ask each other as the tent blouse trend rages on. I've even seen a few people wearing leg warmers lately, and it's a sight that I can't un-see. What maniac thought that returning to the Reagan fashion era would be a good idea?



Now put the '80s fashion trend in the context of the workplace, where fashion houses have blinded us with prescience. We know we'll look laughable if we wear this stuff to work. Let's start with lawyers, who have to meet a certain fashion bar and apparently aren't all that excited about the current crop of fashion choices. No self-respecting, 21st Century professional wants to look like Crockett and Tubbs. Could the Olivia Newton John headband from her Physical days be next? Let me hear your body talk, because it's screaming for something professional to wear. According to The Careerist:
Clothes rarely make a seamless transition from the runway to the law firm hallway, and this season’s ride may be especially bumpy. One peek in a J. Crew window will tell you why (and possibly scald your retinas). Neon is back. Think fluorescent pinks, electric blues, lime greens, and canary yellows. Your inner '80s rocker may be rejoicing, but finding a way to mix trendy neon tones with your current closet of neutrals might be less cause for celebration.

These bold hues are intimidating for even non–law office dwellers.

Yes, they are. Pairing a canary yellow dress with neon blue flats is just...no, let's not go there. Canary yellow looks best on canaries, not on attorneys. We want our grey men in grey, not standing out in lime green.

Retail buyers, would you help out a wannabe boring professional by leaving the pastels in the past and fading back to black? Or beige. Or something else fairly neutral, and preferably fitted. Please? Anything but baggy, off-the-shoulder looks in neon pink or God forbid, the cookie-cutter 1987 business suit shipped directly from the Baby Boom era that I fear could be arriving ASAP. Our clients, and our careers, will thank you.

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