Monday 8th June
What a strange day I have had, but overall it has been a great one, even if I was unsure at times.
I was extremely eager to get to work this morning, I could not wait to see what Mr. Wilson had bought for me. It was certainly more interesting than the work I was doing. I almost squealed with excitement when he brought in some bags of clothes and had to bite down on my tongue to keep some decorum.
He suggested that I try on one of the outfits straight away. I was about to rush off the ladies room, when he suggested that I change in my office. He would stand outside the door to make sure I was not disturbed. I felt unsure at first, it seemed strange to change there, but he pointed out that it was actually more private than a stall in a shared toilet. He is so wise.
So I quickly undressed to my underwear. Oh, it felt so strange to be almost naked in my office with my boss standing at the door. His back was to me, thankfully. Though I must admit that for a moment, my imagination pictured what would happen if he turned to face me while I changed clothes. Sort of little fantasy daydream, I suppose. That thought both embarrassed me and sent a little frisson of excitement through me.
Anyway, I quickly pulled on the blouse, it was a little more sheer than I am used to, but it was beautifully made and a very fashionable cut – Mr. Wilson has taste, give him that. I did wonder if he had got advice from Alison though since the blouse was quite similar to the ones she wears.
The skirt however was much shorter than I had expected. It ended very far above the knee, actually up at my upper thighs. I felt sure that I could not wear a skirt that short around the office and I thought that maybe he had made a mistake.
However, it was a good quality skirt and the label was certainly fashionable. I tugged it as far down on my hips as it would go so that it covered as much of my thighs as possible and then told Mr. Wilson that I was decent – even though I did not feel particularly decent. I hardly wear skirts, let alone microskirts, so I definitely felt a bit uncomfortable.
Mr. Wilson told me that I looked great and that he was glad that the clothes fit. I did express my concern that the skirt was a little short, but he soon disabused me of that and explained that short skirts were all the rage for female executives. That made me feel much better.
Then I remembered what Alison wore around the office, so I guess he is right. That is what successful young female executives wear. So I agreed with him and he seemed pleased that I had made the connection.
We sat down for a chat. Well, mostly he talked and I listened. He explained that it was a post-feminist trend. Back when women did not have many opportunities we needed the feminist movement to advance and advocate women’s rights, and part of that was to dress in unfeminine clothing. I was reminded of my lectures at university which were clearly still stuck in the feminist era. However, now that women are treated equally at work, we no longer need to worry about sexist and chauvinistic comments, so we can dress how we like. Further, the most powerful women are dressing in feminine clothing to demonstrate and prove that they have succeeded and moved beyond the need for feminists. After all, a man can wear what he wants to the office so in an equal society a woman can wear whatever she wants too.
I had not realized any of this. Thank god I listened to Mr. Wilson, otherwise I would have gone on stuck in the outdated dress code of the feminist era. I am sure though, since I am a smart girl, that I would have worked it out, but it is so much easier to have such a wonderful mentor as Mr. Wilson.
If I am going to make it in this dog-eat-dog world, then I am going to have to get used to things like this. So even though I felt quite uncomfortable and a little embarrassed in my sheer blouse and short miniskirt, I soldiered on. I just know that I need to demonstrate just this sort of attitude to make it to the top.
And honestly, dressed like an executive, I felt like an executive. Mr. Wilson told me just how professional I looked and that put a spring in my step. The rest of the day flew by and I did not mind working through invoices and receipts in the slightest.
I did feel a little uncomfortable at first since, when I sat behind my desk, my new skirt rode up and it felt like I did not have much material under my bottom. After a while though I got used to it, telling myself that it was just something that I would have to learn to put up with.
In some ways, sitting there so close to being exposed, I felt a touch of excitement. I do not know where that feeling came from and I do not entirely understand it. I guess maybe it was just a feeling of excitement from the idea of the responsibility that would be coming my way. That must be it.
Since my job is rather easy, it did not take a lot of my mental capacity and my mind drifted off a few times. Oddly I kept re-imagining the daydream from earlier and my mind kept replaying the fantasy of undressing in front of Mr. Wilson.
I do not know why that thought kept coming to mind, but I found the idea quite electrifying. It was just a harmless little daydream but it stuck with me all day, even to bedtime.
At five-thirty I was ready to go home and I was embarrassed and surprised to realize that during the afternoon my skirt had ridden up further and was essentially bunched around my waist. I must have been really engrossed in my work and in my daydreaming to not have noticed.
When I got home this evening I tried on all the clothes that Mr. Wilson had bought me. In all there were five blouses and five skirts. They were all beautiful and all in a similar style, though in a range of colors. As I modelled each outfit in front of the mirror, I imagined standing in front of my employees in the future as their managing director. It was exciting to think about.
The blouses were made from thin, expensive-looking, silky, sheer fabric that fit snug yet felt smooth, and made me look great. But I still found the skirts far too short. Some of them were so extremely brief they barely came down far enough to cover my butt decently as I walked. However I knew I had to get used to them so that I could portray myself as the executive I knew I would become. So I reminded myself to make sure that in future I must be careful to keep my new skirts tugged down to protect my modesty. Alison manages it so I am sure that I can.
Wednesday 10th June
I am getting used to my new skirts and I love them. At first I was very cautious, continually making sure they were tugged down with the waistband low on my hips, so the bottom would hang down further to cover more of my thighs.
But constantly fussing with them was a hassle, as they tended to ride up, the natural position for the belt being way above my wide hips, around the narrow of my skinny waist. And it turned out that I was being overcautious, since nobody said anything the couple times I forgot to tug them down as far as possible. I realized that nothing improper was being revealed, so I stopped fussing with them all the time, and let them ride high, which was more comfortable. Anyway, these new skirts make me look great – Mr. Wilson has complimented me quite a few times this week.
However, I still find it hard to sit in a lady-like manner while wearing a skirt. Whenever I sit down, my skirt rides up until it is bunched around my waist. So I am glad that my little office is quite secluded and that I have a modesty panel on the front of my desk. Alison must deal with her skirt riding up whenever she sits, so I can too.
Though it seems that Alison has left the company. Mr. Wilson explained that she had been offered a position at a larger company which she just could not refuse and while he was very sad to see her go, he did not want to hold back her career.
It is a shame since I have not had any chances to talk with her about what it is like to be a female executive. But at the same time I am glad since her departure has meant a shake up in the company’s organization which will give me an opportunity to shine.
Thursday 11th June
Yes! I have been promoted. No more pouring through the accounts. Mr. Wilson came in this morning and told me how pleased he was with my work. I am now a junior consultant. Much better than an account clerk.
He explained that he was so confident in my abilities that he was sure I would soon be moving on up even further. Yes! I knew he would recognize my talents and that I would not have to spend a long time working in accounting.
My first job as a consultant is to help a customer put together a corporate brochure. Mr. Wilson said that if I do a good job with my first assignment then no doubt he will want to introduce me to the customer. I am excited about that possibility. I just know that I will be able to impress them.
My first assignment is really interesting. Mr. Wilson wants me to sort through a whole stack of stock photographs of men and women to help pick good ones that can be put in the brochure to portray the right professional image.
It seemed a strange assignment at first, but Mr. Wilson pointed out that it was important for the customer to give the right impression. He hinted that he could only trust someone as intelligent and clued-in as me, to pick the right photographs. He did not want to rely on the marketing bods.
It made me proud to know, even though he did not say it outright, that he trusts me. Even though I am only a junior consultant he must trust me more than the other, much more senior, people that work for him. It just shows that he is priming me for bigger and better things.
Actually, I found it interesting and fun to work through the pictures. I sorted them into three piles: no way, maybe, and good. After a few hours I had my short list and rang Mr. Wilson to ask if he had a few minutes to give his opinion.
He came and looked through my work. I am glad that he did since he gave me some great pointers.
I was pleased when he praised me over the photographs of the men I had picked, but when it came to the women he frowned a little. Mr. Wilson told me that he could see where I was coming from when I made my decisions, but that I had to remember that the customer was a modern company and needed a brochure which showed that.
Only then did I realize I had been stupid and picked women all wearing power suits, all wearing trousers! What a dolt I had been. After praising myself for understanding the post-feminist era I had gone right back and picked photographs which demonstrated that I had not really understood that lesson at all. I could have kicked myself.
I want to do my absolute best for Mr. Wilson on this project, to make sure that he does not regret giving me the promotion. I certainly do not want to return to the accounts department work. So I worked through the rest of the day going back through all the women’s photographs, re-sorting them.
Thinking back now about my new assignment I realize that I really enjoyed it. It was much more exciting than the accountancy work I had been doing. Sorting out the pictures for the brochure really gave me a sense of achievement, knowing that my work would directly contribute to the company was a wonderful feeling.
Friday 12th June
I completed the assignment today and I am relieved that Mr. Wilson was pleased with the results. It did take a couple of rounds though, but each time Mr. Wilson gave me tips and suggestions. He knows so much and I just know that I am going to learn a lot from him.
First I picked the photos that I thought represented the best women for the brochure. All wore nice blouses and suit jackets and fashionable short skirts – just like a proper professional woman should.
But Mr. Wilson was right to suggest that jackets did not really project the best image. It was true, the women wearing their jackets seemed uptight and uncomfortable, and not at all the professional young female executives that would represent an up-and-coming company.
So I sorted through the photos yet again and made sure that the pictures were all professional-looking young women, without jackets. All of them wore sheer blouses and short skirts similar to the style that Mr. Wilson had bought for me. I do not know why I had not realized it initially, but of course that would be what the customer wanted.
After all, since I now dressed like a proper female executive, then of course the customer would want pictures of women who dressed like me. They would not want ones dressed like an old-fashioned businesswoman—what sort of image would that present in their new brochure?
Mr. Wilson was much happier with that selection and praised me. He was so excited by the way that things were turning out that he could not help giving me a little hug. I tensed up a bit – feeling that surely it was not appropriate for him to touch me that way but when he realized my apprehension he set me straight.
Of course I would not have thought twice if another woman had given me a hug, so why should I care if he expressed his pleasure in my work by doing the same – unless of course I did not really believe that women were equal with men.
Thinking back on it now, it is clear that I still have got some of those backwards ideas about equality and I must make sure to keep that in mind. I should not worry if Mr. Wilson treats me like an equal. And I do not want to disappoint him and make him think that he made a bad choice when he hired me.
Anyway, we looked through the short list together and quickly got rid of half the photos; poor lighting, wrinkled clothes, too much slouch, that sort of thing. None of these flaws were particularly obvious—but we were looking for perfection.
When we considered the final set I could not choose between them, but Mr. Wilson as always has an excellent eye – I just hope that I can learn from him to hone my own judgement.
When we had our final couple photographs, I had to admit that they were the best of the lot. The women were poised and elegant.
Once he had left me to finalize the assignment, I spent some time re-reviewing the top two photographs to see if I could identify the properties of the best which made them stand out from the rest.
There was not any common factor separating the two best from the others as far as I could tell at first. Still I kept studying them, hoping to unlock the clue. After a while it clicked and I noticed one important difference. The two women who had ‘won’ were not wearing bras. It was quite a revelation. The look of their lovely blouses were not marred by their underwear showing through.
I looked back over the other pictures and it was obvious: showing through all their tops were bra straps and patterned lace. It caught the eye and distracted the viewer’s attention and I realized that fact had been nagging at me unconsciously as I had reviewed them earlier.
Now that I looked again with a critical eye, bras detracted significantly from the smooth professional look of the women, and worse drew attention away from their faces to their breasts – that was certainly not the reaction that we would want, these were professional brochures.
Surely Mr. Wilson had not even realized what he had been doing when he picked the final pictures, but he clearly subconsciously knew that the others would not portray the right image.
I looked once more at the winning pictures. It was clear that these two were very competent professional women. They exuded confidence in their abilities. I knew that I wanted to be like them and portray the same confidence and competence.
Sunday 14th June
I spent time over the past couple days thinking about those photographs. It really struck me that those women looked incredibly great without bras.
So this afternoon I tried on a couple of my blouses both with and without a bra. I felt rather self conscious without a bra, but I have to admit that I looked good. I could certainly see that my blouse looked so much better without the straps or fabric of my bra showing through it.
I tried walking back and forth a bit, worried that since I have rather large breasts that without support they would wobble too much. But it turns out, since I am young and my breasts are quite firm, that I do not need to worry about that much. It was strange to feel my breasts unfettered within my blouse, not unpleasant though.
Of course now I understand why Alison had not worn a bra. It all makes sense. She knew how important it is to make the right impression and was willing to sacrifice her bra to achieve that. It is a shame she has left since this is precisely the sort of thing I would have liked to talk with her about. I certainly would not feel comfortable talking with Mr. Wilson about it.
I have decided now that I am going to try going without a bra at work tomorrow. I want to be like those two women that will be in the brochure, I want to be like Alison, I want to dress like them. I do wonder though whether anyone will notice, especially Mr. Wilson. I would be just too embarrassed if he mentioned it.