The fool-proof item, the trusty standby where you have no idea how to dress and no idea what everyone else is wearing, guaranteed to make you look professional yet feminine, clever and yet caring.
The reason I always wanted a simple well-cut white blouse was because it goes so well with the blue-and-white IDs we had to wear in my old office whenever we had guests…There are no such blouses in Tehran, where ladies have a fondness for leopard prints, as mentioned before, and lots and lots of sparkle. One lady-colleague nabbed a plain white blouse from Zara in Kish, and preened around the office like a snow-peacock. I had my chance in Istanbul, where I swooped upon a beautiful white number which was apparently tailored for me, with sharp collars, a nipped-in waist and sleeves well-above the wrist, the better for showing off bracelets and rings.
However, when presenting a paper at another university this weekend, I fought the urge to leap into my white blouse, and Canadian-ize it with a black, grey or dark blue tight top layered over it and tight jeans tucked into long boots. (voila! your standard student outfit for slightly smarter occasions!)
And I am so glad I did- because every other girl was wearing a version of the white blouse under a darkish top. The blouses were in all sorts of forms: short sleeves with frills, long sleeves and severe, but all white, and all blouses.
The newcomer, however, with her obssession for difference, chose to wear a short dark-red velvet jacket over a grey dress with silvery trimmings. Not exactly standard wear, but at least guaranteed to have no replicas in sight.