Dear 20-something Girl(friend)s,

Dear 2o-something girl(friend)s,

This week I saw many of you, as I visited a college town, during its graduation weekend. It would be wonderful if this entry was as prolific as the famous Wear Sunscreen which Mary Schmich published in the Chigago Tribune the same year I graduated from college, 1997.

My advice will probably come off as snarky and jealous of your young figures. I am a 37-year old woman, with 3 kids, a husband of 13 years and over 15 years of work-life-experience under her now tight-fitting belt.

What I want to tell 20-something girl(friend)s is this:
Smart women wear smart shoes — and clothes.

I have been teaching college students for the past 5 years, and I also work professionally with 20-something women in design studios, and advertising agencies. I have decided to tell you all first, that smart women wear smart shoes.

YES girl(friend)s, there are plenty of smart women (Carrie Bradshaw was one of them), who wear Louboutins. Carrie made it look like she wore them all day, while she worked. She didn’t.

Girl(friend)s, please, I beg you, when it’s necessary to stand, walk or function, wear smart shoes. Technology is on our side these days. Cute shoes, nice shoes, all smart shoes are in our grasp. You can get height WITH support if you need it. Don’t wear cute, yet dumb, cheaply constructed shoes for a long day of walking, working or standing. I saw this past week, at your college graduations, walking all over campus, showing grandma around — you were wincing because of your shoes! That is dumb — YOU ARE NOT, you just earned a degree. Girl(friend)s, smart women wear smart shoes. Imagine a day where you don’t have to worry about aching feet, or back, be SMART! Be smart.

Now, let’s talk about the strapless sundresses.

These are not work wear. Where is it appropriate to wear these? To a picnic, on a Saturday or a Sunday, to a concert in the park, on a Tuesday or a Thursday night. Not to the office (or to your graduate thesis presentations). Whatever office you start working in, is full of dirty old men — even if those old men are only 30. These dresses seem to come inches above your knee and they are billowy from the waist down. You have a tendency to constantly pull them up — to cover your busts. Is this comfortable? Is this time efficient? Is this smart?

Girl(friend)s, are you watching Madmen? We have come so far from having to wear pantyhose, girdles and skirts to work — so please don’t take us back 40 years, just because you think your dress is ‘pretty’ in the midst of your advertising agency’s creative casual attire. I don’t care if 39-year old boss wears superhero t-shirts to work! Girl(friend)s, dress for the job you want — not for cocktail hour on a cruise.

So do I need to mention what happens when you brilliantly match one of these sundresses with the aforementioned less than sensible shoes, in the office. Jeez — where are your brains?

Recently I purchased a shrug at target. It covers my shoulders and arms, and keeps me from getting a chill from the Atlanta air conditioning. This shrug is machine washable and so sensible over a t-shirt or sleeveless t-shirt, that I ended up returning to the store and buying a second black one and another grey one. I wished they had a white one, I would have bought two.

Have you 20-something ladies not heard about jeans, a blazer and heels? It’s easy, comfortable, and so sensible. You can wear a low-cut top if you like, just put a blazer over it! You can wear high heels if you so insist, just cover your legs with some sexy jeans! You can wear both sexy jeans, a low cut top, just match them with a blazer and smart, sensible shoes!

You all are smart women — wear some smart clothes — otherwise you just look stupid (and cold).

Now go get ‘em girlfriends — let’s take on the world!

This entry was posted in design, teaching. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Dear 20-something Girl(friend)s,

  1. Stacy McGinty says:

    You are refreshingly authentic… simply put, you are brilliant. Thank you for keeping it real.


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