Wednesday, February 11, 2009


I am still rolling my eyes inwardly.

One of my managers asked to see me personally yesterday.

She told me that my partner feels my dressing is not 'professional' enough.


Please look at my archive of work outfits!

I don't really feel that my dressing is not professional! Admittedly, I have been feeling rather 'slump-ish' lately, so my dressing is less 'power woman' and more girlie. My slump-ish doesn't equate to dressing sloppily or anything, it's just that I find myself wearing softer fabrics, like chiffon, knits, and the occasional ballet flats (when I know I have to walk a lot), 'cause frankly, crisp, strachy shirts aren't really that comfortable. My only admitted faux paus is this pair of Zara pants I have, hahaha. The story goes like this, I was looking for a pair of black slacks for work, and knowing that Zara has pretty good cut for their pants, I took a pair into the changing room and tried it on. And voila, it fitted perfectly! Like, I didn't even need to alter the length or anything, which is a massive achievement, 'cause the last time I bought pants from MNG, I ended up have to snip off 1 feet of material WTF. Only when I wore it to work the first time, that I saw these little slits at either side of the pants. That's when I realised I bought THREE-QUARTER PANTS! T__________________T That's why they fitted well in term of length for me. T_________________________T Anyway, the only slightly reassuring thought is that the pants is a little too short, like about half an inch up my ankle? Which is why I said it could be a potential fashion faux paux for work la (but I still wear them to work anyway, 'cause I spent so much on the pants already wtf).

Let me reiterate what I wore yesterday, to elicit such a 'talk' from her (I left my camera in KL, else I would have just taken a picture to show you all): I wore a pale pink high-neck chiffon top with exaggerated ruffled sleeves and back sash, and straight-cut black pants (not the Zara ones wtf), pearl earrings, and pointy black pumps. I thought I looked feminine and professional, but apparently not, haih.

I know it's because my partner has extraordinarily high standards, which extends to dressing. Guys can't even wear dark-colored clothes in my deparment, because it isn't 'professional'. :O In fact, our partner has a firm-wide reputation for being really strict. *dark* I was talking to my colleagues, and they agreed that my outfit yesterday was perfectly alright. And they also told me that someone got told off recently for wearing white shoes. -__- And that apparently wearing short sleeves is 'unprofessional'. Wtf?? And that only shirts with buttons are unacceptable. Double wtf?? And that there a time when my partner wanted to make all the girls tie their hair up in buns. WTFFF. Just shoot me and let me die.

I am all for being professional, and looking the part; but I want to look like a professional, young adult. I believe that we can look professional without having to conform to the usual norms of buttoned-down shirts and black skirts with the backslit. I want to look my age, I don't want to dress like a tight-lipped, bun-donning, all pinned-up 30-something woman. :( I admit I am relatively adventurous when it comes to my work outfits, though 'adventurous' is too strong a word. -_- I wear bold colors sometimes, there are the occasional prints, I put on accessories (pearls being a staple, but sometimes I throw on statement-making ones too) and tie scarves... It's because I feel that you can be tasteful and experimental at the same time! But I guess not. :(

I just feel really annoyed. I already feel that I am in a mentally restraining environment, no room for imagination or to expand your thinking ability... A inhibited environment too, because there is a certain way that we are supposed to talk and act... And now I feel increasingly stifled.

Just give me some space, man.


Anonymous said...

actually im quite agree wat u hv DRESSED like (abit over though :p). well, basically why do they nd their employees to dress so professional? arent they suppose to be more productive/conscious to the company instead of fashion freak??lol. chill la gal. there's always a place for u to "dress up" gorgeously :)

fourfeetnine said...

hahahaha poor hui wen:( do you actually work in a convent and is your partner's name really sister maria therese WTF

Anonymous said...

maybe ur partner is jealous or something?

Anonymous said...

how can you not able to tell the difference between a full length pants and 3 quarter? *slaps forehead*
i think that little talk is right on time

Eve said...

i think the partner is just plain jealous of your fashion sense and frankly the size of your wardrobe..hehe so they simply force everyone to look like them...;p

Josh said...

Why don't they just hire robots? -.-

Seriously, your partner needs to get laid or something. It's seriously none of other people's business what you wear as long as it doesn't affect productivity.

Anonymous said...

As much as i love your quirky sense of dressing, I'm sorry but I think your partner is right and I don't think it has anything to do with jealousy.

As a professional auditor who meets client from time to time, you do need to project professional image by dressing conservatively whether you like it or not. This applies to all accounting firms out there.

Maybe it's just me, I just feel that auditing is not the right job for you?

Anonymous said...

I agree with Jen.I don't think auditing suits you.

revel in me said...

tracy: Emm, I don't really understand what you mean about dressed! And what do you mean over? But haihh ya la they try to control and micro-manager every.damn.thing. Ughhh!!

fourfeetnine: HAHHAHAAHAHHA!! And oliver twist work besides me WTF

anonymous: Haha no la! Why would she!! She owns like 10 properties.. T___T

1. Average length of Zara pants = 6 feet
2. Hui Wen = 5 feet X inches
3. Zara pants is longer than Hui Wen wtf
4. Hui Wen finds Zara pants that 'fit', Hui Wen = excited + in denial wtf
5. Hui Wen knows more about pants than you, she thinks
6. 'Little talk' wasn't about the pants

Eve: Hahhaha! NO LAAA!! They had a reputation for being really really strict since a long time ago. =/

josh: YAAA!! I knew you would understand me. /boo I feel like i am studying in a boarding school or something, meh.

jen: Oh no, I never ever thought my partner is jealous! -_- But hmm, I would say I dress professionally-- unless you think the way I dress in my archive is not professional? I was just stressing that we can look professional and fresh at the same time, they don't have to be mutually exclusive. And the other auditors in the other departments dress more leniently-- it's really a case of my department being composed of control freaks, unfortunately.

Nonetheless, I agree with you on the last statement!

anonymous: Ditto!

Jing said...

I think dressing 'professionally' is a form of stereotype, how do you define 'professional dressing'? Boring & unattractive perhaps wtf! ;P And i totally agree with Josh, you can wear whatever you want as long as it does not affect your work productivity! And Gina, who are you to give Pants 101? -_____________- You think you Karl Lagerfeld ar wtf! Wait, Karl Lagerfeld wears maxi skirt WTF! =Pp

k said...

er hui wen should you be blogging your work and your colleagues? isn't it kinda if-fy what if they read your blog? O__O

the other day i got told off for wearing peep toe black pumps for my mock practical "client negotiation".
because they were peep toe.
and apparently in court your not supposed to wear colour except for black or dark grey.

Anonymous said...

welcome the working world babe!
and yes...besides get a cheque with $$$$ every also comes with rules and regulations..and most of the time it sucks...and you thought after high school you can run away from it huh...
to make you feel better...i have wear prostitute red lipsticks and nail polish for work AND tie up my hair and spray half a bottle of hairspray EVERYTIME i go to work...

pj said...

in accounting/banking/audit (any in these lines) are more rigid in terms of dress code - generally collared + button shirt, acceptable lengths/exposure and dark colors are the norm, most time the only choice is to conform. however, in the creative industry - the term of professional dressing is more loose.
perhaps time to change job? :P

Anonymous said...

I would brand your style as "femininely professional" =)
But I do realise, those working in audit (especially in M'sia) dress in the conventional collared button down shirts and black pants/skirt. So perhaps, your partner was very (overly) much emphasising on dressing conservatively. And maybe, your casual Friday is too casual for her liking.
Sometimes, sadly enough, people do judge you and your capability by the way you dress, even if you're a highly productive and efficient worker. This especially applies if you're working in audit and consulting.

revel in me said...

Jing: Hahahah your IMU angst! :P

skim: Yaaa in law they are way more stricter right! Like B & W only. =/ I am sure you will rock the sexy lawyer look anyhow! :P

joycezhi: Omggg you mean the red lipstick is a must??? I find that kinda hot in a kinky way, haha! :P But booo, washing out the hairspray must be a bitch! =/

plain.jane: In due time. :)

megan: Haha, ya, I would describe my dressing as that too! :) We have a dresscode manual which prescribes what we can/cannot wear, and I make sure I adhere to it, while maintaining a certain zest to my dressing. But yep, like you said, my department is very strict.

Accyee said...

aren't you afraid they'd read this.... :\

Anonymous said...

eh how come!! i think u've dressed perfectly professional what! *defensive*

Sue Lin said...

Maybe when u know u'd be seeing him/her, u should conform? Other times dun bother?

Though it ain't as strict in my firm as yours, i tend to go for button shirts when there are meetings etc

Other times i wear 'formal'ish t-shirts, sleeveless button shirts and other tops in hot pink, bright green etc, especially if i am going for dinner with friends after work - few times my friends didnt even know i went for dinner straight after work!

Anonymous said...

BUT I LOVE YOUR OUTFITS FOR WORK! You're a pop of colour from all the black + whites!

This is probably the drawback for most professional carreers, isn't it? My friend who's a chambie in this law firm in KL that's so strict in the sense that you can ONLY wear the colours black, grey and white to work, wore a white skirt, white blazer and a crisp black shirt got a telling off! She wasn't even going to court that day!! *sigh

And then when I was in Bristol, there was this joker in the BVC who wore a white suit and black shirt. He was sitting for his advocacy assessment and the "judge" told him that "This is the BVC, NOT MIAMI VICE" LOL

Why did I do law? :(

revel in me said...

accyee: Err even if they do, I will still justify the same way.

miss hazel: Thank you my dear! *tears*

sue lin: /boo I don't really think there is anything I have to conform per se, 'cause I think my dressing is ok! But yea maybe dress more sombrely at office, SIGH.

joyce: Awww, thank you! *shy* Oh myyyy, law has the worst dress codes!! Damn strict wan. T__T But HAHAHHAHAH omg the judge sure has a sense of humor! HAHAHAHHA Miami Vice HAHAHHAHAHA!

Anonymous said...

Once again, you proved yourself to be less than smart. How can an average length of Zara pants = 6 feet??? That is like 182cm my dear. Unless you wear them from your head onwards. Wouldn't be a surprise looking at your fashion sense. Trying to lecture me on pants?Ya I know, I never attended Pants 101 and i really don't know more than you... but at least i know this fact.

revel in me said...

gina: Sarcasm is wasted on stupid people. :)

Get yourself a sense of humor, love, and stop taking everything so seriously.

Anonymous said...

i've been wanting to comment on this post but kept forgetting. *smacks head*

anyway, i didn't know singapore workplaces would be so strict. i thought singapore would be more liberal, even if only slightly, than malaysia..

but i guess it's the work industry that you're in. auditing is not exactly an industry of excitement and experimentation. lol.

my mum's old workplace in nz is quite strict tho. so i guess wherever you go, there's bound to be strict companies. my mum's only 5 feet tall, so she wore short skirts, which reached her knee but her workmates say she's too 'sexy' for wearing a 'miniskirt'. -_-"