Fashion

Workwear For a World That Doesn’t Exist
 © Balenciaga 

The idea of an office uniform has changed in the decades separating ourselves and our mothers’ entry into the workforce. But what masquerades as a revolution in self-expression feels instead like the long fingers of work culture extending into our most precious and delicate inner lives.

There is no doubt that work today means something different than what it did at the start of this decade. Over the last ten years, “work” has begun to be employed to describe behaviours that we once considered social or emotional. The nature of work, and where we do it, has since become more and more muddled. To a cynic (or a realist), this is the result of a father-culture not wanting working people to be able to easily distinguish between life and work, making it harder to criticise or reject more traditional ideas of employment. My experiences of work have been varied, but fundamentally they have veered off course from what I expected as a child – both practically and aesthetically. My hard-working mum, in her Marks & Spencer suits, always cut a fine, nyloned figure at her of office. Many would argue that she was imprisoned by the uniformity... 

– This text appears in Spike #62. You can buy it in our online shop –