Had a friend here in Singapore who asked me what I thought was the explanation of why so many women in Singapore wore “formal” clothes to work, and what was up with all the really high-heeled shoes? And these really, really short skirts that just barely cover the buttocks…where do these women sit when they go back to the office?
I wasn’t sure why my friend expected me of all people to be able to explain cultural variations in women’s clothing styles, and in point of fact I had no opinion at all on the matter, having not previously noticed the phenomenon in question (women’s fashion is something I personally can focus on only at the cost of strenuous mental exertion — I can tell you that I prefer girls who wear clothing inspired by the Hee Haw Honeys to girls who are trying to imitate this month’s Cosmo cover girl but if you want more precision than that I can’t really help you).
The Hee Haw Honeys, stylin’ it up the way I like it
So later in that day we were walking down the street looking for a place to have lunch, and my friend suddenly says, “See what I’m talking about?” Since I looked (I’m sure) confused as to what conversation we were having, she helpfully pointed to a young lady walking fifteen to twenty feet in front of us in a blue, tastefully be-bowed dress that, once I focused on it, I did have to agree was unquestionably a cocktail-party dress, albeit one that could be sat down in without concerns of accidental indecency. Was she overdressed for a day at the office?…actually, I could see, come to think of it, that my friend had a point. And, well, looking around, there did seem to be lots of really high heels (but maybe that’s true in Houston too if you pay attention? don’t know).
Well, that of course means that after that example had been pointed out to me, I started to notice others. In particular, early that evening, having worked rather late, I was walking to Starbucks and saw a young lady standing on the corner, and immediately thought about my friend’s earlier comments – if my friend had been standing there with me, I thought…
“…she’d be saying, ‘See what I’m talking about? Who wears that kind of outfit to work?’ And I have to admit she’s got a point. High-heeled shoes, check, that girl’s having to practically hold her hands behind her back to counterbalance herself from falling forward onto her face. Skirt that barely covers…man, I know short skirts are in style in Singapore but that skirt is SHORT…I mean it’s REALLY…oh, wait. I think that’s actually a prostitute. Never mind.”
So I suppose it’s not such a mystery why that particular young lady, at least, dresses like that to go to work…
(It’s too bad I can’t end the post with the emphatically-never-whorish Cathy Baker saying, “That’s all!” — oh, wait, I bet I can find it on YouTube. Back shortly…nope, no luck. Too bad.)