Actually, this post is only going to be a little bit about chefs.
It is, however, going to have a fair amount to say on the subject of clothing, male or otherwise.
When the Little Chef joined our merry band back in January, I was asked to order her chef’s whites – the jackets, trousers, aprons and hats that we give to every new starter. So I dutifully called the laundry company and requested said items.
There might be a bit of a delay, I was told, because “we don’t do any jackets that small – we’ll have to get them made up specially.”
There was indeed a delay; two months’ worth. When the whites eventually arrived…. let’s just say, the pattern that the suppliers were following wasn’t brilliant.
I had explained patiently that the new starter was, in fact, a woman! but sadly this fact appeared to have gone unnoticed. The jackets were cut straight, all the way down. And they were long.
The Little Chef stands approximately 5′ tall. Which the laundry company should have inferred from the fact that I had to get her trouser legs shortened by a good 7″.
The jackets were long enough to completely cover her arse, which she was grateful for – but not wide enough around her female hips to be able to button all the way down. I don’t think she was particularly grateful for that.
There has been a fair amount of speculation in some areas as to why the lacy, feminine, floral, floaty things are back in fashion. My personal take on the matter is that fashion designers are evil, vindictive jokers, cackling to themselves as they design the next vision of hideousness that they will be forcing upon the foolishly unsuspecting masses. According to most other sources I’ve glimpsed, feminine is back because feminism [has won/ is dead], depending on where you go.
Yeah. So you tell me, how can feminism have won, how can women claim to be equal, if the Little Chef can’t even get a jacket that fits – because they don’t make mens’ jackets that small. Because of course a woman can’t be present in a restaurant kitchen – her place is in the home!
Continuing the work theme, I will once again be courting disapproving looks from my manager*, as I have now filched two mens’ shirts for my own use. There weren’t any more “size 14s” (which, by the way, are ridiculously mislabeled – these shirts strain over my breasts, and I am usually a comfortable, slightly loose size 12).
This manager really does seem to have a thing about womens’ clothing. Not because he’s a perv; as far as I know, he’s gay, and not interested in our bodies, per se. But he always, always buys tight clothes for us.
He’s bought one suit (a skirt and jacket combo) for the cleaning manager, and is reluctant to buy any more, despite the facts that a) you need more than one set of work clothes and b) she has to bend over and doesn’t like the bloody skirt.
He’s bought shirts in a “size 6” for the girl who requested a size 8 only because she was aware the event required shirts to be tight; both he and she are aware she usually takes a size 10. And bear in mind that these “size 6” shirts came from the company that seems to mislabel all of its clothes to make them appear tighter…
He’s now bought shirts for us all that are cut very short – the hem sits at the top of the hips, which means that if you have breasts, reach upwards, or both, the hem rides up, exposing one’s stomach. Which is not what I come to work to do, funnily enough.
So, once again, I’ve taken matters into my own hands, and have liberated two mens’ shirts for myself. I’m sure it’s just coincidence that the male shirts are much, much longer than the female shirts – I mean, we all know that men are shaped in a way that means their shirts will ride up….
And, on a final note, I would like to reiterate that wearing a low-cut, strappy top because it’s hot and sunny and I want to stay cool and comfortable is not asking for trouble.
No, really, I know it’s difficult to grasp, but – I didn’t wear this top because I wanted to get harrassed.
I didn’t wear the hoodie because I wanted to get harrassed, either.
Or the T-shirt.
Or the jacket.
Or the bright pink shirt.
You take my point.
I wore those things because they’re my fucking clothes, dammit! I wore them because they were comfortable. That’s why. And I don’t look for trouble.
*completely off-topic, I am also a little annoyed because my manager plainly didn’t give a shit about my request that, as we celebrate every other damned theme day, perhaps we could celebrate a woman-themed day, and show The Vagina Monologues.
Dammit, where does he think he came from?! Can’t he celebrate that?
(Even if Kirsten doesn’t!)