Because I Can't Handle Another Homely Cardigan: 5 Jobs Where Your Clothes Don't Matter

Women spend one-fifth of their annual income on clothes, clothes that they feel they need to wear in order to get ahead at their jobs. In order to earn their income, women are spending it.

Jan 16, 2013 at 5:00pm | Leave a comment

Clothes cost money. This is no revelation. I mean, unless you have been residing in some M. Night Shyamalan "Village"-type situation. If that’s the case, welcome. Also, we read books on screens now, and can you introduce me to Joaquin Phoenix? Would that be cool?

Women spend one-fifth of their annual income on clothes, clothes that they feel they need to wear in order to get ahead at their jobs. So, boiled down to basics -- in order to earn their income, women are spending it. On sensible separates.

Not every woman at every job is spending this amount. This number refers to the ladies who work your standard corporate jobs. Women who have been told -- explicitly or otherwise -- that in order to keep their jobs, never mind advancing, there’s a way they have to dress that goes beyond dress code. Adhering to these bland basics is where all that money is going. It doesn’t include the amount we spend to remind ourselves that life outside the office exists.

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The idea of buying yet another practical homely, cardigan actually makes me physically ill.


That number, that one-fifth, doesn’t include the late-night purchases of ill-advised leather-look leggings or mini-dresses printed with Steve Buscemi’s venerable visage. The one-fifth being spent annually is on sensible separates, nude hose and enough square-toed pumps to fill Stacey London’s heart with ire.

(Side note: I would very much like Stacey London and Bonnie Raitt to have a talk show, where the topic is woman with awesome natural streaks in their hair. That is all. Please carry on.)

Many of my female co-workers, in a bid to save money for things like electricity and annual visits to the moving pictures, have started trying to only buy clothes that can double for work and play.

While this is a very practical and admirable solution, I can’t follow suit. The very idea of wearing one of the army of printed shell tops I wear to the office out with friends, or even as a bib for errant pizza sauce whilst I lounge at home yelling at episodes of "Scandal" makes me want to strip naked and run through the streets yelling Walt Whitman or Oprah quotes.

Being presented with that number leaves little doubt for me about certain future eventualities. Namely, that I can’t keep working in corporate America, not even as a day job, not even to fund my dirty little writing habit. They frown on nudity here. Also quoting Oprah.

To that end, I’ve put together a list of five day-job alternatives where what you wear is beyond inconsequential, not to mention cheap. Read, research, and then revel in the extra dollars you can redirect towards something more meaningful -- like spreading them out on your bed and rolling around upon them while moaning.

1.) Beekeeper

To keep bees you just need the one outfit -- and think about it, that shit probably doesn’t need to replaced unless you kill a man and leave incriminating evidence upon it, or it gets raggedy and your ass is suddenly attacked by bees. Bonus points: On lazy days, no one will be the wiser should you choose to not wear makeup on account of the giant veil. Also there is easy access to honey, which is 10 types of delicious and healthful.

2.) Chicken Sexer

When you spend your day “venting feces” from the butts of baby chickens, the last thing you will be worrying about is if your boss is impressed by your well-structured and costly blazer. If you are wearing a blazer while sexing chickens, the odds are probably high that what your boss is thinking is, “Damn, this girl takes her chicken sexing SERIOUSLY.”

3.) Freelancer

If you are a freelancer, and your office is also the place where you sleep, poop and invent new voices for the animals that sleep and poop with you, the sartorial world greets you with the open-arms of a nurturing mother. Feel like wearing a sheer tuxedo? Pasties and cargo pants? A T-shirt with your own face on it? The world is your goddamn oyster.

4.) Nude Model

If clothing of any sort irritates you, this job is for you. Whip your kit off, strike a pose, and get down with your bad, newly employed self. Hazards to this one include inclement studios, panic over visible bush-sweat, and locking-eyes with an artist for an awkward amount of time only to break it by winking. I am not speaking from experience.*

5.) A Man

If you go all "Twelfth Night" on the workforce, shit gets infinitely easier. Buy one suit and three shirts, steal a tie from your dad. Wear this every day. No one will notice. Wear these things every day. Wash monthly. Wear them more. Wear them until you make a million dollars. Then buy a boat made of gold, which will sink and you will die, but I mean, come on, you died on a gold boat.

*Lie. A bold, brazen lie.