|Somerset Bay's collection - my favourite|
Several years ago, I had this particular addiction called Somerset Bay.
Perhaps that was because I loved vintage clothes very much; I just could not resist the skirt with patchwork, embroidered roses and hydrangeas, and laces which were very feminine and lovely. Somerset Bay, a clothing line from Metrojaya had its outlet in Alamanda, Putrajaya. My office was nearby, my rented home was just few kilometres away.
On the 25th of every month which obviously was the pay day, I made the effort of visiting the outlets. It took me several hours - sometimes I was in Alamanda, sometimes I went to Midvalley and there were times when the girls and I journeyed all the way to One Utama.
I just could not resist the colours, the design and the material used by Somerset Bay. The brand, in my opinion, was just perfect for me. As a matter of fact, my closet was full with Somerset Bay's jackets, tops and...long or three quarter skirts. Since my preference in shoes were generally boots, long boots, knee boots and ankle boots, I ensured that my footwear matched the theme of Somerset Bay - all girly and nice and comfy.
Due to casual dress codes allowed by the company that I worked for at that particular time, I managed to wear my skirts to work even though those were also the same skirts I wore when I went for a date or when I went to the park.
However, I also realised that Somerset Bay was not exactly the outfit that I would wear when I went for football matches or when I was accompanying my boyfriend to his rugby matches. Even though I loved Somerset Bay very much, I just had to accept the fact that some things that you loved was not necessarily suitable when you were at the occassion where it was not needed.
Regardless, I was voted as "The Most Colourful Person of the Division" by more than 100 colleagues based on my apperance to work. From head to toe, I made sure that everything was colour perfect. Well, pashmina was not a trend yet at that moment, but I wore it anyway since it corresponded with my Somerset Bay profile :)
After 3 years of working, I finally shifted my career path.
I realised that most of the clothes that I wore were no longer applicable towards the corporate environment. Instead of wearing colourful clothes, frilly Somerset Bay patchy skirts, I was then required to wear suits and blouses with earth or dim colours. Red was worn in a smart way - it was more like maroon then the Gong Xi Fa Cai red and purple was not as pastel as the hydrangea petals.
One day I went to a conference at KL Hilton. As I was seated among the professionals, I was served with caviar and smoked salmon in fancy ways. Well, the colour of the salmon on my plate looked exactly like the Somerset Bay skirt I bought with last month's salary.
I kept it to myself until I was asked, "Do you like shopping, Sha?"
I answered yes. And they asked me where.
Well, should I be honest? Those people did not know me.
"Somerset Bay. I like Somerset Bay. But sometimes, I just don't care. I shopped at Pasar Malam too," I answered sincerely. My intention was just to be honest.
Guess what was the answer that I received?
"My dear, the next time people ask you, you should just answer Somerset Bay. Mind your standards," the lady hissed beside me.
I was confused. Standard? I was a big...big...girl...in a big...big...big....world. Only that.
"Well, your business card must match your personality," she explained with a stern smile.
I just raised my eye brows and smiled forcefully.
"You must be such a romantic person, I presume?"
"That explains the frilly Somerset Bay and the romance novel I saw in your package just now," she smiled sarcastically.
"I am romantic, yes, I do."
"You can't afford to be romantic in this profession, my dear. Get a grip. This is a tough job."
Aye, I did not agree with the statement but then...why bother answering when she has made her statement?
"Well, some people look like a Christmas tree without even considering that they have to climb the stairs to meet some people. Some wear wedges as high as a coconut tree and made a big fuss of doing social activities. We must be practical," she said as a matter of fact.
"I know Somerset Bay looks nice on you but wear it outside working hours. You wouldn't want to stumble in front of the staff. Luckily, you're not the silk type. Wear cotton, not organza. This is a factory we're talking about," she chuckled at the end of the sentence.
I was a bit irritated with the statement yet could not resist the temptation of agreeing to the facts.
"How frequent do you read romance novel?" she asked.
I answered my usual standard of "everyday".
"My love, your emotion must be a bit detach in this profession. Nobody should read your expression from the books that you were reading. Especially romance. It could cause a scandal in your position," she gave me the facts again.
I was quite annoyed; knowing that the books that I read was not reflecting me. Susan Johnson was not just a romance writer, she was also a historian!!!
Few years later, I was hired by a different organization. The dress code was still professional. A comment were flying everywhere about a girl who wore black bra with white shirt was normal. Until...
"Sha. Scandalous la kau ni!" a colleague commented.
"Dress up dada tutup bagai, konon takut orang nampak tetek. Tapi baca Fifty Shades of Grey. Kinky ke sis?"
Sometimes I thought that only the skirt matters. The way I dress would make some difference.
But...the book I read?
You see...when your job was all about people, the smallest matter matters:)
Happy working everybody. Don't let anyone knows which blog are you visiting today.
Check out the CCTV. Check out the IT. Check out the people around you. Check out your followers :)
I am smiling when ibu wears one of my Somerset Bay skirts to school today. She does not have a Twitter account to tell the whole world that she was wearing her daughter's skirt or whether anyone called her weirdo ;)