W.I.W. Pushing the Boundaries at work.....

So I work in I.T. and I am always wondering "Am I pushing the boundaries?".  More and more African Print is being worn in the work place. (Our dress code is pretty relaxed.  Hawian shirts, dockers and jeans. boots or gym shoes.  denim tops or button ups.) 

This top is called a Dashiki

Dashiki:  The dashiki is a colourful garment for men & women that covers the top half of the body. It has formal and
informal versions and varies from simple draped clothing to fully
tailored suits. Some also have beautiful embroidery around the neck

It is becoming more of a staple in the work place as a person of color I want to express who I am without it being thought of as to militant or to something else. I see all clothing a way of self expression.  I also wonder if we have to teach others how to accept our style.  I wear what I wear until someones says something about it hindering what I do.  Then I try to make the necessary adjustments. (Although I've never been told that what I was wearing was bothering anyone.)  It is challenging because socks and sandals can be seen sometimes at work.  Also we live in the land of the dockers pants. 

I also keep a mini wardrobe at work because I never know what the day will bring for me.  So I keep a small variety of shoes sweaters jackets and tops at work for just in case and emergencies.  I do want to be appropriate for all situations.  I can just throw on a jacket or change a into a different pr of shoes or work boots when necessary. 

Besides purple is such a royal pretty color.  Also I wear gym shoes Nike for walking around my Ed Hardy are for before and after work.  The older I get the more comfort I need. Plus my wide leg jeans cover the gym shoes for the most part. I love my beauty supply store wood earnings they look like afro ladies and also cost only $1 winning.  My future goal is to paint them bright vivid colors.  My Bag is a leather bag that holds my life.  Literally I carry everything in it then I have smaller bags inside.  That is how I am able to change bags so much.  I tried one of those purse organizer thingy but it does not work for me. 

Last but not least my wonderful sister Desiree,who is a teacher and has the summer off has agreed to take my photos.  I'm trying to coerce her into taking a selfie with me. Maybe one day she will but I think it is to early in the morning for her. 

As always thanks for reading looking at the pictures or just lurking Although I would love it if you left a comment.  Have a great day. 

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Aquamarine replied 1 year ago

    What a fun outfit Ledonna! LOL on keeping a stash of outfits/accessories at work for clothing emergencies :-)

    FWIW, the top doesn't skew traditional garb to me, but rather a fun print, so as an uneducated observer, I would not bat an eye. I would just think you look good :-) of course, I don't know your work culture or accepted dress code.

  • cjh replied 1 year ago

    Love this. And the purple tennies. Fab.

  • Ledonna N. replied 1 year ago

    Aquamariene work is pretty laid back and chill environment.  I've never been questioned but it is challenging to self edit.  I just keep a small stash at work because sometimes I forget when leaving the house. 

    CJH thank you so much I like the color play.

  • rachylou replied 1 year ago

    An interesting question. Dashiki is a common sight where I live - but I'm in Northern California. But I would think if a Hawaiian shirt passed muster, so would Dashiki...altho shape may matter. You know, as long as it won't get caught in machinery or anything. It looks great on you and it doesn't look dangerous ;)

  • Ivy replied 1 year ago

    Love that purple! So pretty, especially with the cuff bracelet.

  • replied 1 year ago

    I really like the purple too. And the shoes.

  • kimlee replied 1 year ago

    Ledonna, I have to echo  Aquamarine that your top appears to my untrained eye as a fun print. The purple is a gorgeous color on you. When I think of I.T. - fun and quirky are two words that come to mind - and I think this look is a super stylish embodiment of those words.

  • Joy replied 1 year ago

    I also echo Aquamarine's thoughts. The top looks great on you.

  • shedev replied 1 year ago

    The dashiki looks really good on you. I do agree with others that most will just see it as a top. That really just means that it is not over the top in a stereotyped way. Wear it with pride.

  • rachylou replied 1 year ago

    Speaking of dashiki over the top, I like this jacket/shirt... Too much, lol?

  • Ledonna N. replied 1 year ago

    Joy, Delurked, Ivy,
    Kimlee, thank you all so much  I never really thought I would like purple but whoop there it is!

    RachyLou, Hawiian shirts are more common in the Chi than the

    although I did get a compliment today.  As I was walking down the street a lady said she liked it.  ah haha  Also I work on the somewhat safer side of I.T. my top wont get caught in anything.

  • JAileen replied 1 year ago

    I like the top. It's a good color on you. At the thrift store where I volunteer, one day we had at least two dozen dashikis available to sell. It was the first time we'd ever had one, and suddenly we had a whole rack of them. They flew out the door!

  • Xtabay replied 1 year ago

    That color is wonderful on you, and I love the way this top looks on you.  I think your coworkers will thank you for making the workplace more beautiful!  You're so smart to keep extra wardrobe items on hand at the office -- you just never know what the day might bring!  Especially if you're Ledonna...  :)

  • replied 1 year ago

    Ledonna always so wonderful I love your outfits you continuing extraordinary taste I look forward every day to read you and even your photos

  • Suz replied 1 year ago

    That colour is regal on you!! 

    Also, I think of the dashiki as an inherently crisp and professional-looking shape and style. It may be vivid and happy toned (and yay for that!) but it is also structured and it does not reveal too much. 

    Love this one with those sneakers! I think your co-workers are lucky to have someone with so much style in their midst. 

  • Ledonna N. replied 1 year ago

    Rachylou that is phenomenal  I would get that.  No, No that jacket is the business.

    Shedev sometimes I have to look at thinks like as not being stereotyped.  I will wear this with pride.

    Jaileen  I volunteer at a thrift/op shop also All the African pint stuff goes quickly.  That must have been fun to see.  probably because it is perfect for the summer and festivals. 

    Xtabay you are so right.  It is so many beautiful things to do and places to volunteer at.  Today I'll be volunteering at the op shop my friend owns. 

    Bernard thank you so much I am having much fun posting.

    Suz they could not care less but, that is okay. lol They let me talk about fashion and style it's fun.  Sometimes they will even take my picture for me.  That is where the fun begins. lol

  • replied 1 year ago

    I happen to like dashikis.  I have a Afro-Carribean male friend who works in publishing sales - like I did/do - and he started wearing them to sales calls and meetings last year. Now , not in that type of print, but still that same garment. He looked great, and got many comments about it . Why not?  It's authentic/organic  to who you are, and there is nothing inappropriate about it. Wear it!

  • Ledonna N. replied 1 year ago

    Lisap to the self empowerment rescue.  Thank you sister. 

  • Firecracker replied 1 year ago

    Super cute outfit! I love the matching sneakers with it, and the long flares. I second Lisa's encouragement and others' thoughts as well. It seems a perfectly appropriate outfit for work, and even moreso for you, because of its meaning or origin.

  • shevia replied 1 year ago

    I don't think the top is at all over the top :) ! As mentioned above, it only resonates with those that will probably appreciate it and otherwise, just looks like a beautiful purple top!

  • Ledonna N. replied 1 year ago

    Firecracker and Shevia thank you for your feedback. The top is a winner.

    I was volunteering at the op shop that my fried Meosha runs and decided to,let it go,to,someone who would love it more.

    That is what we do trade clothing all the time. My friend and designer Tem took the took home. He will reimagine it and when he does I'll post pictures.

  • lyn67 replied 1 year ago

    Love your dashiki shirt  Ledonna, and wow the shoes are a match in heaven:-)

  • Chris987 replied 1 year ago

    Gorgeous outfit!  Love Dashikis, haven't heard that word in a long time. It just looks like a nice print top to me, nothing too unusual.

    I don't know what type of company you work for LeDonna, but in my days in Hi Tech the only thing we cared about as far as IT people was  that they fixed our problems (like your laptop crashing on Monday morning)  and made all the systems work seamlessly so we didn't have to call them.  What those IT people wore was pretty irrelevant as long as they were presentable. In fact some individuality and creativity seemed like a good thing for that type of role.

    Maybe in that sea of docker pants are some people who'd like to be a a bit more creative with their wardrobe and you will inspire them to do so.

  • torontogirl replied 1 year ago

    This top is beautiful on you ... the color is phenomenal and the style is flattering. That it expresses something about who you are makes it all the more beautiful. My fave Ledonna look thus far!

  • Angie replied 1 year ago

    YAY. You did Matchy-Matchy with your footwear and top too, Ledonna. LOVE. Killer work look for you. 

  • Isabel replied 1 year ago

    I like that you're so mindful of the potentially divisive effects of ethnic clothing and because you've thought about it sincerely, I think you've addressed it.
    Your strong and shining energy is what I see first, the way beautiful color, a flowing and practical silhouette, and print that enhances the pretty factor.
    To me, this outfit is self expression merged with social sensitivity and it's pretty perfect. It's so well done you'd look great in any setting.

  • Ledonna N. replied 1 year ago

    IT is about what you can fix and how we can make communication flow smoothly. Fashion is last besides stress and being overworked and longer hours and late nights. Lol fashion is an oasis. I still want to be mindful. I work at a well known college and I am very skilled at what I Do.

  • rachylou replied 1 year ago

    Random thought...American (US) style is really quite plain. We all have our ethnic side, and I wonder if this flat field of American style is part of the great American melting pot thing. I mean, even plaid is 'ethnic' - associated with being Catholic (which is unamerican) or Scottish or something... I mean, a lady at a deli counter once asked me what right I had to be wearing a Brigit's cross...she gave me 'the pass' when I told her one of my grandmas was Scottish...Lol. Fraught.

  • Ledonna N. replied 1 year ago

    Hey Rachylou it is interesting. I've found that melting pot means to become less than who you are and to melt into everyone else. So much so that you become "Americannized" it's like when I left the Army and people wonder aloud why I could not assimilate. Hmmmm

  • Aida replied 1 year ago

    Purple is fab on you! The top's print is a bit subtler than what I think of for most dashiki. Outfit looks perfectly fine for IT especially paired with denim and Cons. Had a good giggle at keeping spare wardrobe bits at work for those days when you need it; I've have several days, crawling under tables and fixing various computers/wires/etc. where I thought "hmm today was not the best day for my white jeans!" ;)

  • Ledonna N. replied 1 year ago

    So true Ada that is exactly what I thought when I first started out.  lolol I knew that I could not work with straight leg pants.  I did not want plumbers crack showing.  I need the freedom to move and crawl if necessary.  Oh lord I needed air to circulate. Wowlol  Than you for commenting.

  • RobinF replied 1 year ago

    I love it, I think it could pass as boho as well as dashiki so you're ok! Love the purple and the cuff is fab with it.

  • dakotacheryl replied 1 year ago

    I thought the same as Robin did above...I saw "Boho", but either way, the print and purple color is fabulous on you.

    Hope to see your dear sister in the photos soon!!

  • Sally replied 1 year ago

    Great top...i love the colours.  I have never heard of Dashiki before.  It has a great print.  I live in an area of many different cultures and my school is multicultural too....people wear their cultural dress all the time.  It expresses who they are and I think its great. 

    I keep extra shoes at work because i find if I get sore feet I can swap my shoes.  I'm going to bike to work soon and i'm thinking of keeping my jackets and accessories at work...hope no-one minds me installing my wardrobe at the back of the classroom.

  • Ledonna N. replied 1 year ago

    I think it is a great idea to keep a small amount of items at work. We have lockers and desk that help. Sometimes myY days are so long or we are on call and have to come in at all hours.

    Thanks for the love on the top.

  • torontogirl replied 1 year ago

    Now I'm pondering rachylou's sidebar ... very interesting.

  • Ledonna N. replied 1 year ago

    Torontogirl what are you pondering?

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