What to wear…
I know after the “State of the Nation” where we saw first hand in what state our nation is, it is difficult to take anything with the word “parliament” in very seriously. But, I for one, need to change my attitude about this quite quickly. This coming Friday the 18th of February (the date on which my gorgeous husband declared his love to me 11 years ago) I was invited to attend the “Opening of Parliament.” And of course the first phrase to escape the confinements of my conservatively fashioned brain; and the first words to leave my lipstick-less lips were: “What am I going to wear?”
I must be honest, before this opportunity came my way I could not think less about who wears what in our parliament but suddenly my antennas came out and I thought it well to do some research. What I found was somewhat expected but still disturbing. One ENCA newspaper headline read: “Gumboots, overalls and aprons in Parliament – is it acceptable?” Apparently in South Africa, anything goes in parliament, from wearing what you want, sleeping if you are tired, and yelling out if you think your fellow comrade’s speaking time is over. But I will stick to my story. This story comes a long way. Why do children wear school uniforms? Why did we wear school uniforms? O how much will I enjoy answering this question…let me count the ways…
According to an article in “The Guardian” these are some of the reasons: “A shirt, tie and blazer may not be the ingredients for my favourite outfit, but if I were given the choice, I wouldn’t throw away the idea of school uniform. Wearing a uniform is a badge of pride, creates an identity for a school and is an important part of being a school student.
“Uniforms show that you are part of an organisation. Wearing it says we’re all in this together,” Jason Wing, head teacher at the Neale-Wade academy in Cambridgeshire, says.
“Also, if you wear your uniform with pride, it means you are half way there to being respectful, buying into what the organisation is all about.”
It is especially this last part here that confirmed my suspicions. No, I am not admitting to wanting the SA Parliament to rather wear a corporate uniform than overalls and gumboots, but there is something to say about dressing the part…Shirt, tie and blazer.
I often tell my working-from-home clients that the quality of work you will deliver on a day will much be determined by the choice of outfit worn that day. If you struggled to get out of bed and decided to stay in your pj’s or sweatpants you will probably spend your morning browsing social media sites and checking out Suzie’s Mauritius holiday photos. But if you feel like you are dressed to close a few deals, you probably will.
In that same way, if we have a parliament dressed to represent the leaders of our country, I can almost guarantee you that the whole session will be more …let me think of the right word for our country…or rather, LESS circus-like.
That same Guardian article had the following to say: “Some people believe that a school uniform can improve learning by reducing distraction, sharpening focus on schoolwork and making the classroom a more serious environment, allowing students to perform better academically.”
Now don’t you want to agree with “some people” that this might be beneficial to our particular parliament…?
This, “some people” now need to end this off to do some serious parliament (party) planning…and maybe I should rather see this as an opportunity to hand out business cards…They say there is lots of money in government 😉
Watch this space on Friday to see which wardrobe weapon wins!