Women in Spain dress elaborately, and at work female dress code is pretty ample. Americans and English people are usually a little shocked when they first arrive here, enter the business world and notice the liberal way women dress. My first time noticing this was in Madrid a couple of years ago when I was visiting companies for interviews. For me it was a pleasant change. I was used to dressing pretty conservatively working in Oman, and before that in the US.
Here, things are different though. You have skirts of all lengths, colours, topped and layered with funky pullovers, whacky jewellery, eccentric boots, three-quarter trousers, shorts (the kind that are above-the-knee short, except these I would call "business shorts" which look like they want to be a formal skirt, but also dont want to stop being pants and are usually black, brown or grey and much more practical than skirts when you ride a scooter), all kinds of stocking and panty-hose... and the list goes on. In fact it seems as though the good ole business suit has pretty much disappeared from the scene here. And when I say ample, I'm not referring to the seductive kind... its everything. To give an example, one of the top bosses of my department is semi-hippy! (I say semi-hippy cos she leaves that little bit of executive touch in her outfits). She totally dresses the part too. Multi-coloured long skirts with dangling stuff and very colourful jewellery... I would say she's rather an urban hippy, and pulls it off successfully. On more eccentric days I imagine her showing up to work at the company I worked at in Atlanta dressed the way she does, and the outright scandal it would create (LOL). Its almost as though instead of "business casual/formal" the Spanish work dress code atleast for women is "if you can pull it off, it works."
Men on the other hand stick to the traditional tie and jackets, although on days when we have training or are told to arrive in "business casual," they too interpret it as they like. Yesterday at training a colleague of mine arrived wearing a formal shirt and jeans claiming to be business on top and casual on the bottom :)
As for me, I am loving the flexible work-dressing. My wardrobe is under evolution; the black/white and grey only is reducing in number, being replaced by new shapes, colours, cuts and designs. Yippie!
Mi Bodeguita del Medio
While my blog is named after a restaurant in Havana I hope to someday visit, here you will find musings, rants, political incorrectness, thoughts on Indian Nationalism, strong straight-forward opinions and tid-bits.