Tuesday, August 24, 2010

What I Wear to Work

One hears mixed things about American Apparel. On one hand, the company employs American apparel-factory workers at good wages and is 100 percent "sweatshop-free." On the other hand, one can't help hearing all sorts of unsavory things about CEO Dov Charney and the general culture of sexual harassment that he allegedly promotes in stores and in corporate offices.

I try to block all that out. But recent news of the company's looming bankruptcy has definitely caught my attention—because American Apparel is what I wear to work.

Specifically, I'm talking about this shirt (worn here by a model): A long-sleeved jersey shirt with a collar and a three-button placket. It comes in a dozen colors (I have two in black, two in navy, two in olive, one in pink, and two in gray).

Figuring out what to wear is frequently difficult for me, and this shirt has been a go-to for several years now. It's cut for a slim person (many dress shirts hang like caftans on my narrow shoulders). It's suitable for almost any situation, including work (in the casual environments I work in, at least)—and you can dress it up if need be with a not-too-structured jacket or a sweater. It's good in all sorts of weather and it doesn't need to be ironed. I think of these shirts as my "uniform."

In short, it's the perfect shirt to wear to work. Last week, I went to the online store to stock up—it seems the company is in truly dire straits. They're running low on many colors. Navy is no longer an option. (And I can't wear "mint," not with my coloring!) It seems I may soon have to find something new to wear to work.

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