This is an amazing time for women. To think that just a short century ago, women weren’t allowed to vote, wear their skirts above their ankles, or hold a “male” job is absolutely staggering. We’re lucky, really. We’re lucky to be able to not only have dreams but to pursue them as well. And for sure, there’s a lot of work to still be done in terms of feminism, but that’s not what this post is about. It’s about appreciating how far we’ve come and to applaud the work of being a modern lady… because it’s not all fun and games.
I wanted this look to really represent how it felt, to me, to be this “modern lady”. I still work full time in a male dominated industry, that is subconsciously ridden with gender assumptions. It’s not so bad really. If anything, I’ve become more inclined to want to work with the opposite sex. There’s still that balance though. In a bro-culture, there’s often a really tight form of camaraderie – ass slapping, chest bumping, and what I like to call “last night recollections”. I can’t say I was comfortable to do the same things with them. And that’s really ok. Some might see this differently, but for me, I laughed, I joked, I just didn’t ass-slap and chest-bump. I’m okay with that.
I know this sounds anti-feminist, but I love the guys I work with (literally, it’s all guys). I’m also not well versed in the research of feminism and am confident that these advocates are making incredible strides to benefit both genders. I will tell you that what I have noticed is that there’s a lot less gossiping in a male dominated workplace though (which is amazing), but more on this later.
WHAT THIS LOOKS MEANSThe Modern Lady
Anyhow, back to the look I wanted to tell the story of this gender balance that females still have to be so conscious to. We’re lucky, but we’re still different as females; and we straddle these differences at home and in the workplace all the time. Whether it’s this way or that, whether you’re a stay at home mom or a single career woman, we’re still being faced with judgments. Living with these judgments, straddling a still clouded definition of what it means to be a modern lady is what I wanted to symbolize in this outfit.
The fully done-up pleated oxford dress embodied my sentiments perfectly. I knew it as soon as I pulled it off the Zara sale rack a couple weeks ago. It’s strong and, from the top up, could easily pass for a male dress shirt. On the bottom, it flows, moves gracefully, and has a feminine flare – the perfect dress to represent the paradox between the genders.
The heels are a classic silhouette with a bit of a retro block heel. Their typical “work wear” vibe, represents the entrance of females in the workplace… something our foremothers worked feverishly to accomplish for us. It’s an ode to them. They’re from my friends at Geox, so they’re also blessed with the comfiest soles your feet have ever felt. They’re lightweight, transitional, breathable, and are so easy to slip on; but the gradient is what really drew me into this pair. The colour gradient of the grey heel when you look carefully really symbolized how far we’ve come as a community. We’ve moved from dark times to lighter times, and that movement is really what I wanted this look to appreciate.
Sure, there’s a lot of work to still be done. But we’re getting there and we’ve come so far. We should celebrate that.
The accessories were kept minimal, specifically to let the central message shine. The purse is an old vintage piece I found at a thrift store (probably previously owned by a badass modern lady). And the aviators were a stolen piece from Dave (a little subtle thank you to him for being the most supportive man in my career and goals).
So sure, crucify me for not saying “THERE’S SO MUCH TO DO. WE NEED TO KEEP PUSHING FORWARD”. That definitely goes without saying. There are still a lot of injustices that still need to be ironed out. What I want to say is thank you. Thank you to our mothers, our grandmothers, our great grand mothers, the non-mothers, and the hardworking men and women who have it made it possible for us today to be a true modern lady.