Stupid Tuesday questions, Neil Patrick Harris edition

Russell Saunders

Russell Saunders is the ridiculously flimsy pseudonym of a pediatrician in New England. He has a husband, three sons, daughter, cat and dog, though not in that order. He enjoys reading, running and cooking. He can be contacted at blindeddoc using his Gmail account. Twitter types can follow him @russellsaunder1.

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97 Responses

  1. Boegiboe says:

    I like the torn jeans look, and I could wear them to work, but I don’t because I’m an almost-forty manager of world-class engineers. I would like to, though, and I keep my favorite pair from high school, which I can still barely squeeze into (if I haven’t eaten recently), just so I can occasionally squeeze into them and pretend I’m younger.

    I do, however, indulge in occasionally wearing clothes to work that really ought to be on someone 15-20 years my junior, because there will come a day when I will have to stop doing that, too.Report

    • Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to Boegiboe says:


      The worst I do is cargo pants & a t-shirt (usually when I really need to do some laundry), but if the clothes have wear & tear or stains, they never get worn to work again.Report

  2. NobAkimoto says:

    Did you also wear sneakers and jeans with your doctor’s coat, Russell?Report

    • I don’t think I’ve worn a lab coat in over a dozen years, but back in the day? I’m sure I probably rocked that look a time or two.Report

    • Kim in reply to NobAkimoto says:

      at a lab I worked at, that was standard attire for researchers.
      AKA “research participant is coming, throw on the coat!”
      I used it a few times while wiring people up — figured it helped
      when they were not more than two years younger than me.

      “Yes, I do really know what I’m doing, with these potentially
      lethal electrodes.” (Note: in practice, they’re no more lethal than water).Report

  3. Glyph says:

    I…used to have my eyebrow pierced.

    That’s not the shameful part…the shameful part is, I STILL think it looked kinda cool.

    I could do it again; I had it years ago when I still went into an office, and now I work from home.


    Plus, kids pulling out a fistful of beard is painful enough.Report

    • Chris in reply to Glyph says:

      R (the girlfriend) has her nose, lip, and tongue pierced, along with a dermal above her lip. She regularly takes them out for an extended period of time, because she decides she’s too old for them, then on a whim gets them re-pierced. I’ve come to accept that on any given day, I might come home and find her with or without the piercings. I admit it’s weird feeling like I’m the mature one in a relationship.Report

      • Glyph in reply to Chris says:

        I work in a pretty conservative industry (not always politically, but generally in terms of appearance/lifestyle). When I first came in after getting it, an old Italian New Yorker who’d been with the company since approximately the beginning of time looked at me, waited a beat, then asked “What…didja lose a bet?”

        I also briefly covered it with a band-aid the first time I visited my grandma afterwards; some lame excuse about a cut.

        She wasn’t fooled.Report

      • Kim in reply to Chris says:

        At times I feel like I’m the mature one in my marriage.
        Fortunately, I come to my senses quickly.Report

      • Chris in reply to Chris says:

        I’ve only ever had my ears pierced, and though the holes are still very visible, it’s been more than a decade since I last took them out (3 in one ear, one in the other). I could easily get away with them and any facial piercings I wanted, though. It’s just not the life I lead anymore, as a friend of mine likes to say.

        For R, on the other hand, the piercings may actually be encouraged in her industry, and she is going to lead whatever the hell life she wants at the moment, so piercings on, piercings off.Report

  4. Kazzy says:

    First off, I’m pretty sure earrings as sign of hipness ceased to be a while ago. But I’ll let you dream a little more.

    Second, if I may go on a tangent…

    I’m on record as saying that I bristle about the way in which we judge people based on clothing choices. I understand that some of this is unavoidable and/or happens on a subconscious level, but much of it seems quite conscious and deliberate. I also understand this might put me at odds with you and others here, a position I am comfortable taking.


    I have a new superior at work. She was formerly a colleague but has advanced to the head of our division. She is a pretty good friend of mine… as close as I am with anyone I work with… and we are of the same age (both having turned 30 this past summer). She looks very young for her age.

    But she also does the whole manic-pixie-girl thing. Or whatever that is called. When we hold meetings, she’ll sometimes sit cross-legged and barefoot on the floor while her subordinates, most of them older (if not significantly older) sit in chairs. When giving us deadlines for our reports, she’ll say that we need our “Practically perfect Mary Poppins-style” reports by a given day, instead of just saying, “I need final drafts.” She seems to have a never ending supply of sun dresses which she wears year-round, complimenting them with contrasting leggings for the winter months. All-in-all, she seems to go out of her way to act like a child at times. This isn’t unique to her assuming the role she is currently in, but seems to be a broader MO. Now, she is fully competent and an otherwise well-put-together person.

    But I find it hard to take her seriously when she’s sitting barefoot and talking about Mary Poppins.

    Is this wrong of me? Am I being unfair to her in much the same way I consider it unfair to consider someone as less serious because they are wearing an earring? Or is this something different than just clothing?Report

    • Kim in reply to Kazzy says:

      Has she ever been mistaken for being under 12?
      (This happened to me once, while browsing for samples at Costco.
      “Excuse me, are you with someone?” The sample lady asked.
      “Yes, my husband.” I responded drolly. Only later did I realize
      that she was unsure she was allowed to be giving me samples).

      I think the use of “Mary Poppins” is kinda… eh. But sitting on the floor
      is a deliberate rule-reconstruction (if a very odd one, because everyone
      else sits on chairs — were I an employee, I’d probably also sit on the floor,
      with a clipboard to write on.)Report

    • Russell Saunders in reply to Kazzy says:

      I think you and I are of slightly different opinions about the appearance thing, if somewhat resignedly so on my part. I agree with your ideals, but as one of the partners of a small business that has to consider the face we present to our patients (read: customers), sometimes it’s a consideration that cannot be totally excluded.

      Your description of your colleague TOTALLY reminds me of one of my best friends from medical school, a friend I really loved and whose friendship I miss now that we’ve drifted apart over the years. She absolutely developed a very similar kind of manic-pixie-girl thing, with kind of a tomboy spin. Despite her having now trained at some incredibly competitive, elite programs for residency and beyond, I still have a hard time picturing her in a professional capacity because of how persistently she presented that persona to the world. [Confidential to RW: three guesses who I’m talking about here.] And yes, I think it is fair to make judgments about a person based upon the way they deliberately present themselves.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        The tougher question vis-a-vis my friend/superior is about our other colleagues. She is already seen as suspect among them for a number of reasons, some legitimate, some not so. And I don’t think she has any clue about how she presents. Should I offer her the feedback? As a friend? As a subordinate? Leave well enough alone?

        I mean, I would want to know, but I generally take criticism fairly well.

        I also know enough about her past to think that her present personality is not some flight-of-fancy but rather the manifestation of an atypical path she has and continues to walk.Report

      • Kim in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        god, I would really want to know.
        And I’m the type who doesn’t take criticism well.

        If nothing else, the feedback (just as
        importantly “some people don’t trust you” as
        “you’re being a bit more informal than folks expect”)
        may allow her to recalibrate. May not change her
        responses in groups, but she might try to be a
        bit more formal in one-on-ones.Report

      • Rose Woodhouse in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        If it’s who I think it is, I saw rather more of her than I bargained for at your wedding.

        Clothes are a way one chooses to present oneself to the world. Why shouldn’t you judge based on them? It’s not like you’re talking about, say, a visible disability. Clothes are a form of social communication. As is certain behavior in one’s professional life. I find child-like behavior in an adult annoying, especially in the workplace.

        Which relates to my answer to this question. I could wear pretty much whatever I want to teach. But I do not wear jeans, and generally wear somewhere between business casual and business. I do think that communicates to students an attitude I take toward the class.Report

      • @rose-woodhouse Yeah, that would be her.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Russell Saunders says:


        But who decides what something communicates?

        If I wear jeans, it is because I think they are comfortable. Any message I’m sending is, “I like being comfortable.” Why should any more be read into this?Report

      • Kim in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        wearing jeans to a wedding would be seen as disrespectful, perhaps.Report

      • Rose Woodhouse in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        @kazzy who decides what anything that communicates communicates? There are agreed-upon norms.

        If you wear jeans, it shows me that you value comfort. If you wear them in a situation where people normally don’t wear jeans, it shows me that you value comfort more than following social norms.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        What if I wear a pair of super comfortable slacks? What do I signal then?

        And who decided on all these social norms? How many people need to disagree with them in order to change them?Report

      • NewDealer in reply to Russell Saunders says:


        That is a rather difficult question and it is probably based a lot on “tradition”/”respect”
        and a whole lot of other factors.

        Jeans started out as clothing for miners and gold prospectors. They started getting fashionable in the 1920s or 30s but the depression gave them a strong association with convicts and the worst victims of the depression/Dust Bowl. It really wasn’t until fairly recently that they became the democratic and every day clothing item that they are today.

        The West Coast has a more relaxed business atmosphere than the East Coast. Most places have “jeans Friday”, many places might allow jeans to be worn all the time. But there are still some old-school firms and organizations that demand a suit and tie or the female equivalent be worn at all times, Monday-Friday. Is this the right of the business owners or not?

        There is also an issue of respect. Suppose a couple has a wedding and they want it to be semi-formal. Men in suits and ties and women in the equivalent. If someone shows up in jeans and says he is just “not comfortable” in a suit. Is he in his right? What does it say that he can’t put up with just a few hours of discomfort?Report

      • I understand that we will get judged on what we wear. Sometimes, I will even dress because I don’t feel like getting judged or giving an unintended impression (most times, work aside, I don’t care a whole lot). However, the cavalier attitude there seems to be on this thread (and more generally) to judging people does not sit well with me.Report

      • Kim in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        showing up in supercomfortable clothes that just happen to pass as the :”expected uniform”?
        it shows you’re de shmart guy!Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Russell Saunders says:


        You think people are all-too-willing to judge? Or aren’t being judgmental enough?Report

      • @kazzy I think people are far too willing to judge.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        “There is also an issue of respect. Suppose a couple has a wedding and they want it to be semi-formal. Men in suits and ties and women in the equivalent. If someone shows up in jeans and says he is just “not comfortable” in a suit. Is he in his right? What does it say that he can’t put up with just a few hours of discomfort?”

        I think this is somewhat different. If someone explicitly and specifically requests something on a very important day for them in order to make it how they want it to be, ignoring that is kind of douchey.

        But work isn’t a wedding. And assumed social norms are not an explicit dress code.

        We see this with naming conventions. Some people are fine with children calling adults by first names. Some insist on Mr. and Mrs. I met a woman once who preferred to be called by her first name with children but was told she had to have the children call her Mrs. So-and-so because of “Respect!” Her response: “Wouldn’t the best way to teach respect is for them to call me what I prefer for myself?”

        That did not go over well.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Russell Saunders says:


        I tend to agree. Though I also fully concede that I can be very judgmental at times. I make my peace with this largely by thinking what I think in my head and doing my best to not let it impact how I interact with someone. I may look at your skinny jeans and think you’re a douche, but I’ll still treat you the same as the person who dressed like he has more than three working brain cells.Report

      • Kim in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        ND is posing a different hypothetical than me.
        if you attend a funeral, a wedding, the default is
        to dress “respectfully” (and that’s not jeans!).
        I know people who have attended church in
        baseball uniforms (because that was the
        most formal clothes they had — point was,
        they were trying).Report

      • @kazzy It seems to be something most people do. I know I’m guilty of it at times, but I’m trying to get better about it.Report

      • Rose Woodhouse in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        @jonathan-mcleod Being judgmental does not mean a negative judgment, necessarily. If I judge that Kazzy is more comfortable in jeans than conforming to a social norm, that is not necessarily a negative impression. For example, I was glad when I saw people dressing down in my parents’ synagogue, because I thought the dress requirements were too stiff. It should be a place where people are more comfortable.

        The “who gets to say what X means” came up in the thread on the Washington football team. I don’t know who gets to say. But the way people dress does connote attitudes toward an event/place/other people. I try very hard not to assume anything based on race, gender, physical attractiveness, apparent economic class – anything over which someone has little control. But dress is one of those things over which people have control (except the part that is due to social class, which I do try not to judge on), like their behavior or speech. I do judge people by behavior and speech. As we should- it’s part of our moral being.Report

      • Kim in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        Yeah, people ought to judge based on how folks are /trying/ to look, not based on
        whether they have the culturally appropriate touchstones to do so. 😉Report

    • Jonathan McLeod in reply to Kazzy says:

      “I’m on record as saying that I bristle about the way in which we judge people based on clothing choices. I understand that some of this is unavoidable and/or happens on a subconscious level, but much of it seems quite conscious and deliberate. I also understand this might put me at odds with you and others here, a position I am comfortable taking.”

      Ya know, that kind of made me think of this.Report

    • Kim in reply to Kazzy says:

      Honestly? I’d ask her.
      Assuming this is a reasonably deliberate tact,
      it probably means “hey guys, I trust you to do your jobs”
      and “I’m trying not to be the grinch”.

      A certain level of “not being taken seriously” may be
      exactly what she wants.Report

    • NewDealer in reply to Kazzy says:

      How much of this could be because she does not want to be known as being too tough or the ball-buster for being direct and saying “I need final drafts by Thursday”

      She could be dealing with sexist assumptions.Report

    • NewDealer in reply to Kazzy says:

      Also you work in early childhood education. This could just be her personality type. Maybe she is around kids all day that she has a hard time switching it off or she is just the type that treats everyone like kids.

      When I was in college, I knew someone who had a mother hen personality type and basically treated everyone like they were 5 or 6 years old and in need of cookies and milk and a cuddle.

      Most people seemed to appreciate this deeply. It drove me up the wall.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to NewDealer says:

        It is definitely not new to her role, so I think it is deeper than that. However, I have batted around how sexism may be a factor, including in my own response.

        And it tends to permeate more through her life. She simply is a manic-pixie-girl. Which is totally cool if that’s her thing. If she needs to do a full twirl when someone calls her from behind instead of just looking back on her shoulder, power to her.

        But it feels unprofessional. Yet, I bristle at the one saying that because I do struggle more broadly with social norms. So I’m a bit flummoxed as to what my response ought to be, both internally and externally.Report

      • NobAkimoto in reply to NewDealer says:

        Does she also speak with a “girl”ish voice? In that she deliberately ups the tone of her voice or refrains from letting it come out that way?

        I’ve noticed a trend of some women speaking in higher pitches even in professional settings, which strikes me as a bit odd.Report

    • Will H. in reply to Kazzy says:

      Yes, you are wrong.
      As a complete fucko, you should stick your head in the toilet and flush, immediately.

      I worked for a guy that liked to sit on a table in the lotus position. A young cat, too.
      He was very intelligent (and, presumably, still is), and I have a lot of respect for him.
      He knew more about vodka than any person I have ever met. Which is sort of odd for someone who prefers a lotus position for sitting, come to think of it.Report

      • Glyph in reply to Will H. says:

        Well, that seems unnecessarily harsh.Report

      • Will H. in reply to Will H. says:

        Agreed. And I regret it. I should have read the whole thread before responding.
        Actually, the whole jeans thing upthread reminds me of wearing shorts in coastal areas.
        I went to a job interview inland wearing shorts one time. At the end of the interview, the guy asked me why I came to a job interview wearing shorts. It was only then that I noticed that people inland weren’t wearing shorts.Report

  5. Kazzy says:

    Answering this question assumes I have a sense of what is expected of me.

    How silly of you.Report

  6. Damon says:

    Everytime someone pulls out in front of me on the road causing me to break hard. No, they couldn’t wait until the road is clear, after I pass. Hell, it’s not my fault, I have right of way. I could totally not brake. The airbags would deploy and I’d live and maybe they’d be taught a lesson.

    Why I don’t? If they are that stupid to do it, they probably wouldn’t learn.Report

    • Russell Saunders in reply to Damon says:

      Also, your insurance carrier would probably be unmoved by your protestations that you rear-ended someone for educational purposes.Report

      • Glyph in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        Strangely, this protestation doesn’t work with spouses or significant others either, if you know what I mean.Report

      • Damon in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        Ah but that’s the point….it’s not my fault. I was in exactly this same situation a few years ago. Driver pulls out in front of me, I locked up the brakes, and clipped her car. NOT MY FAULT. 🙂

        Also, I’m currently not married, and I’d never pull that stunt when driving with a passenger, unless of course, they were of similiar mind.Report

      • Kim in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        When in doubt (and where practical), swerve to the side.Report

      • Damon in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        Yes, I did that. She got off with some minor damange to her left rear quarter panel. I had 8K of damage. Brakes fused to the rotors as I stood on the brakes, bumper, radiator, steering, etc. All kinds of damage. Funny thing: I saw her looking right at me when she pulled out in front of me, so this wasn’t a case of not seeing me. I already started moving to the left. I remember thinking “no, no she’s not going to do that!”. She’s lucky she wasn’t killed or seriously injured. I was travelling at 50 MPH. A full on impact likely would have wrecked my car and hers. More info: this idiot had a history of poor driving which I found out from the insurance company.Report

  7. Will Truman says:

    A few observations that don’t really answer the question:

    1. My first job out of college, my nickname was Doogie. I was thinner then. But I was young and younger-looking for my age. I had blond hair and I was white and (presumably) nerd-smart.

    2. In Vegas, I noticed the twin earrings one evening and actually asked myself “Did he have those on before? I don’t think he had those on before” and wondered if there was a backstory there. (Maybe you did have them on there before and I hadn’t noticed.)Report

    • 1) I realized as I was writing this that it totally dovetailed with your “Dressing My Station” post, which I was then going to link to and couldn’t find. But I intended to, man!

      2) Yeah, I thought “what the hell!” in Vegas and actually bought earrings to wear the second night of Leaguefest. (I hadn’t even packed any.) I figured, y’know… wearing them seemed a little more Vegas-y.Report

      • A bit of a coincidence, sort of: Much of what I had to say on that post was from a previously aborted post on the subject of dress, respectability, and age.

        The title of that post was: Taking Out The Earring

        The post opened with a story of a guy my parents knew who had become a CEO of a chemical company. He decided to put an earring in his ear to find out how long it would take for someone to say something to him about it. He was relieved when it took less than a couple of hours (relieved because it meant he was surrounded by people who were straight with him that such things were not appropriate for a 50-something CEO of a chemical company in the south).Report

  8. Tod Kelly says:

    “Maybe the earrings would say “Yes, Young People. I may be over 30, but I am still hip and free-thinking and worthy of your confidence!”

    No statement of any kind made by an adult to teenagers to let them know they are hip and cool ever goes well for the adult.Report

  9. Tod Kelly says:

    But to answer your question, back in the pre-retirement days, I used to buy ties that went with my suits, shirts and sports coats … and then almost never wore them, because this is Portland, Oregon after all. Which makes me perhaps the only person answering this question that will use a case of wanting to dress more formally than less as an example.

    What can I say. I like a good tie.Report

    • Rose Woodhouse in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      My eldest son and you could bond. He asked if he could wear a tie to the playground.Report

    • scott the mediocre in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      I feel your pain, Tod. In my field and location (medical electronics design – Orange County CA) to wear a tie to work on more than the rarest occasions would probably elicit more raised eyebrows than a low key earring. I’m 55, white, and hetero – you would think a tie would simply (re)present as premature/accelerated fogeyness, versus the earring’s denial of time’s winged chariot hurrying near, but no.

      And we won’t even go into the hopelessness of wearing French cuffs, which I quite like, without a tie. I was happy when I occasionally got to go to NYC or Washington for business, because I could actually dress decently.

      Then again, my boss, two years younger than I, makes a point of sometimes wearing shorts and flipflops. At the very least he could wear a belt that matched the flipflops.Report

      • Kim in reply to scott the mediocre says:

        I think I also would get a lot of stares if I wore a tie.
        (sidenote: yes I do own a tie.
        Yes, I have worn said tie to a wedding (matched with my husband).
        Yes, I was not informed it was a “stripper tie” until we got to the wedding.
        remember what I said above about maturity?)Report

    • Chris in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      I probably wear a tie 5 times a year, and I complain about it each time. City folk are weird.Report

      • Russell Saunders in reply to Chris says:

        I actually enjoy wearing more formal clothing from time to time, though I usually err on the casual, comfortable side. But a tie at work is a non-starter, since it would get in the way too much during exams and blood draws and the like.Report

      • Chris in reply to Chris says:

        My father, who is also a pediatrician, has always worn ties to work, usually with bright colors of children’s characters on them. Due to certain… hazards associated with working with sick children, he’s tended to go through ties pretty quickly, so that’s often all he will ask for for birthdays and Christmas. I remember, years ago, going to a department store every year and just asking the guy in the men’s department, “Where are your Mickey Mouse ties?”Report

      • scott the mediocre in reply to Chris says:

        [This is really for Dr. Saunders’ comment below Chris’ – for some reason I have no reply button at this nesting]

        Infectious disease specialists in hospitals hate it when medical professionals wear ties in the hospital, which most do of course: the ties almost never get cleaned (or so I am told), and thus develop quite an accumulation of potentially pathogenic organisms.Report

    • James K in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      One of my pet hats is people who wear business shirts without a tie. Business shirts are cut so as to be worn with a tie, if you don’t want to wear a tie then wear a more casual shirt. A formal shirt with no tie doesn’t make you look laid back, it makes you look indecisive and sloppy.Report

      • krogerfoot in reply to James K says:

        People who don’t wear a tie, fine, whatever.

        People who make a point of not wearing a tie, such as by wearing suits or shirts buttoned up all the way, in order to advertise that they are boldly and courageously refusing to wear a tie, look like dorks. Hey people, I’m not judging, I’m just telling you how you look.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to James K says:

        I love wearing ties and envy the folks who are capable of mixing it up with different knots (my attempts at getting freaky with my tie knots always result in people asking me if my dad died before he could teach me how to tie a knot proper… which, you know, pretty regularly ruins my day). I just hate wearing slacks/khakis. Let me wear jeans and a tie every day, and I will wear jeans and a tie every day.Report

      • Glyph in reply to James K says:

        You have pet hats?! I KNEW NZ was a magical place!Report

      • krogerfoot in reply to James K says:

        Wearing a tie is a good and noble thing and should never be discouraged. This guy’s dedication to the correct tying of various knots makes me thankful for the Internet, but this guy’s attention to detail and plum classiness just about makes the monocle fall right off my fool face every time.Report

      • krogerfoot in reply to James K says:

        Here is a statement that makes me glad to be alive:

        “This dinner suit gets a lot of use in Moonraker. Not only does he wear it out in the evening, but he’s still wearing it the next morning. Obviously Bond didn’t make it back to his hotel suite that night, and that’s the only reason someone should wear a dinner suit during the day. But by the morning he has discarded his bow tie and is wearing the collar open, with the points outside of the jacket. Wearing collar points outside the jacket was a popular trend in the 1970s, but not a very attractive one.”

  10. Chris says:

    By the way, if I’m not mistaken I saw on Twitter that you aced your recertification test. Congrats. I hope you wore shorts and a Misfits t-shirt to the testing. 😉Report

    • Russell Saunders in reply to Chris says:

      Thanks! Yes, I passed and am relatively pleased with my score. (Not that it matters.) Now that it’s passed, I’m going to get around to writing about my beefs with the certification process, which kind of dovetails with my recent post about medical licensure.

      And I wore jeans and a hoodie. The testing was at a Prometric testing center, and the security measures they make you go through to prevent cheating are serious, man. I got wanded down with a metal detector every time I came back from a break, had to turn my pockets out and lift my pant legs over my sockline.Report

    • Will Truman in reply to Chris says:

      You got your score already? Clancy won’t get hers for another month.Report

  11. Patrick says:

    Almost any time I feel like getting away with something, I do it. I feel it rarely enough that this doesn’t really qualify as a sign of maturity. When I do feel it, it’s usually because a moment of levity is indicated as highly necessary.

    In a way, this makes me a clown.Report

  12. Mike Schilling says:

    For about a month now, I’ve been at a new job, working with people I didn’t know before, so I’ve more or less eliminated bad puns and relating everything to baseball.Report

  13. Jaybird says:

    I still pop my collars.Report

  14. Burt Likko says:

    I rocked the royal blue shirt with the white tie in court one day under my charcoal suit and I’ve noticed two other attorneys have since then copied that look, so be assured that I’m quite the fashion plate in my courthouse.

    And I have square-toed dress shoes, which should make the Doc quite happy. According to the girl who sold them to me at DSW, square toes are making a comeback. She was half my age and had a tiny-tiny-tiny gold stud in her left nostril, so she must be right.

    Sadly, attorneys oft labor under a strict and judicially-enforced dress code. So my subversiveness must perforce be behavioral rather than sartorial:

    Defendant: “Your Honor, the place is a dump! The hot water heater barely works. The air conditioner is broken and leaks. There’s dangerous black mold growing under the sink!”
    Me: “So, of course, she wants to stay.”

    That’s about as edgy as I get.Report

  15. Reformed Republican says:

    I had long hair throughout most of high school (even when I was in 4H and showing pigs at the county fair). I cut my hair during my junior year, after breaking up with the girl I had been dating since my freshman year. It was part of my attempts to find my own identity. My breakups tend to lead to a period of personal assessment and improvement.

    I am in my early 30s now, and I work as a chemist. In theory, I could probably get away with growing my hair back out. In practice, I think it would be a hindrance to my career opportunities. Maybe in a decade or so, I will be the crazy genius who can do whatever he wants, but that is not my position right now.Report

  16. Miss Mary says:

    Low cut shirts/dresses. I could wear them to work, but I don’t. I’m already younger than all other members of management and all but one of my employees. I dress my age, but I try to keep a high collar.

    And my belly button ring. No one would know if/when I have it in, but I stay away from it just the same.Report

  17. Maribou says:

    I was all “I wear what I want!” but then I saw Miss Mary’s comment and realized, yeah, actually, I do stay away from anything low-cut (also flirty sundresses and the like), even if I would otherwise be in the mood to wear them, and I wear plenty of things that are even more informal (snappy t-shirts, anyone?) and they are within socially-appropriate bounds for my work environment….

    …. because most of the work peers who wear them also don’t work directly with a bevy of 18-22 year olds.

    I notice, also, that the librarians don’t dress cute either.

    Boundaries, we can haz dem.

    Except in the summer when it’s like 100 degrees outside, then all our clothing sensibilities go out the window.Report