I am a lawyer. It is an occupational hazard that I must wearing boring button-up shirts. I have them in all shades of boring, including blue and black and boring stripes (but no white because – have you met me? I cannot wear white. It will, before not too long, be that Pantone shade of coffee with a dash of oil, grass, bike chain grease and tomato seeds. I expect that shade will be Pantone’s colour of the year in 2032. I’m just well ahead of the trend). I have a few less boring ones, too, including teal paisley (yeah!), yellow flowers and red polka-dots. These are all purchased shirts and none of them fit me properly. They are invariably too tight across the back, sometimes too loose through the waist and hips, and always gape at either the apex of my boobs or just underneath or, perplexingly and aggravatingly, both. Always, Also, I find it difficult to raise my arms fully while wearing them. And yes, of course I need to raise my arms high above my head ALL THE TIME at work. Don’t you?
A long, long time ago, when I was a brand new lawyer and working in a courtroom, I wore an awesomely boring beige with red and black stripes shirt and probably some kinda black trouser and maybe some kinda black jacket but maybe not – I don’t really remember that part. One morning, I sat opposite a number of male lawyers in dark, dark suits and pale coloured shirts and stripey ties. I don’t really remember what they wore, but I do remember that there were no other women, except for the most important person in the room (not me, except for in this story). There was a young-ish lawyer, maybe he was a brand new lawyer too, I did not know. He sat there and kept looking at my chest. His eyes held mine, and then he would slowly drag his eyes down to my chest and make his eyes round and big and raise his eyebrows. You can imagine how impressed I was by this behaviour. In the break, he came up to me, and I thought, ‘Here we go -‘ and he said, “Miss. Sorry, Ms?” and then he blushed. He said, “Um, your shirt. Um.” So I looked down at my shirt and both the button at the apex and the one directly below it had come undone. I said, “Ugh. Sorry,” and quickly did them up. He took his blushing self away and I never wore that shirt ever again.