Lessons in Layering

by - 3:21 PM

It's February and I stay playing myself.  "Krissy" becomes "Kristina" at the office, my over-the-knee boots are abandoned at home, and even the way I speak becomes different...

Jacket: H&M
Boots: Fabianelli
Even an outfit like this (which I felt completely comfortable putting together) might not feel appropriate for my 9 to 5.  I am isolated enough being the only woman of color in my office. Wearing a button-up under a plunging neckline isn't exactly protocol to "fit in."

Button-up: American Eagle
Dress: Forever 21
Being away at college really put me in a bubble. Since everyone around me came from similarly diverse communities, I almost forgot what it was like to be a minority.  The walls went right back up as soon as I graduated and entered the workforce. I started making jokes to combat complaints about the "funky" smell of my lunch in the microwave. I would stare blankly into space while someone explained to me how to roast pigs at a party. I became silent when a coworker angrily claimed he'd deport the man who side-swiped his car (he assumed the offender to be an illegal immigrant.) Why did I avoid voicing how I felt in these situations? I don't need to apologize for the state of my lunch. I know what lechon is. I'm sure you can make empty threats about deportation because no one has ever shouted at you to "Go back to your country!"  

I shouldn't have to worry about offending people with my authenticity. I don't have to ignore my differences and originality just to make others feel comfortable. Today, that translates to finding a new way to transition my summer dresses into the colder months.  

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