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Somehow in these past few months, the professional style of Thailand has crept into my wardrobe choices. It’s mid-80s right now, and yesterday I wore a sundress. That just didn’t seem right, somehow. You CAN show your shoulders, and especially I can since I’m a foreigner and the rules don’t apply to me. However, there’s still this unwritten stigma about a woman’s shoulders when she wants to be taken seriously. Young girls, teenagers, wanna-be sex symbols, late-night partiers – shoulders, legs and mid-riffs are bared. At the OFFICE, however….short skirts, tight clothing, clingy dresses, no shoulders. I don’t know why, but I know it’s true. My coworkers claim it’s because they’ll be cold, but I don’t buy it…

To make up for the indecency of showing my shoulders, I wore a cardigan. Full-length, mind you. Long-sleeved, it came to 5 inches above my hem, cinched at the waste – I was ready to go. We walk to lunch, in the sun. I didn’t even consider taking it off. Why bother?

Then there’s the fact that the women in the office wear pants about 75% of the time, it’s fine. Pants are professional and can be cute and classy and feminine. But when I wear a DRESS. You’d think people had just noticed I’m female. I’m finally not this asexual, ridiculously tall worker. Suddenly, there’s whirl of fussing about how nice I look. I’ve finally hit the feminine rhythm.

My friend works at an all-girls school. When she explained to her boss that she didn’t have that many dresses to wear, couldn’t she just wear slacks, the response came forcefully back, “You are a LADY!”

No pants. Get with the trends, woman.

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