“Woke Me Up Before You Go-Go”

Having somehow made it to the end of 2023, my cup runneth over – not with joy but with confusion. I’m probably not alone. This was the year when everything ramped up. As we prepare for 2024, which incidentally has a lot to live up to, pre-billed as one of the most turbulent years in the history of this country and, indeed, the world, here’s a small sampling of what got under my collar.

Casual boardroom dressing

Speaking of collars, what’s happened to “business casual?” Was it just a gateway drug for “wear whatever the hell you want to work?” It’s like WFH (Work From Home) and OOO (Out Of the Office) got together, paving the way for a sloppy workforce in all but the most corporate environments.

Men are the worst offenders. Yes, the necktie and the suit have gone the way of the Dodo. Even the once casual sports jacket has fallen out of favor, replaced by just a sad old button-down shirt with maybe a sweater on a cold day. Dress shoes? What are those? These days, it’s loafers or even sneakers.

For women, it’s often a pair of bland black washable pants from The Limited and a polyester blouse – it’s like they’ve reverted to how they dressed just starting out after college. I feel for the dry cleaning industry. Remember when the rule was to dress for the job you aspired to – your boss’s? Nowadays, everyone looks the same regardless of their position on the corporate ladder. Is that a win for the all-important Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion?

Business speak has gone the way of tech speak in becoming indecipherable. Since when did “office” become a verb, as in “You can office in our satellite headquarters.” Was “ideation” always a word? Hopefully, it is not used to denote “suicidal ideation” but more “positive ideation” or, in medical speak, “the forming of mental images.”

“We need more color on the situation” does not refer to a lack of diversity but to a lack of information. What if that info is in a “black box,” meaning an unknowable variable? Rather than total agreement, “We need to be in lockstep” means constantly communicating. In an email, the seemingly CYA addendum “Please confirm receipt” must be answered with “Received. Will review and revert,” meaning I’ll get back to you.

Other popular and overused jargon, especially in the field of real estate, include buzzwords such as “evolving,” “growing ecosystem,” and “co-locating” to denote a chain of stores or restaurants spread out in various places. Back in our fashion microcosm, there are even more questions than answers. Does “democratizing” fashion make it less aspirational? Can anyone be a cover model?

Miss Nederland 2023 Rikkie Kollé from Breda is the first trans woman to win

Remember when the industry worried that celebrities were replacing fashion models on magazine covers? Hey, at least they were actual women – now there are transgender “women” taking over, and heaven forbid you “misgender” someone. Accordingly, Canadian law requires tampon machines in men’s restrooms. At the vet with my daughter’s dog I learned that animals still have genders — at least for now.

Emily Ratajkowski

And what of the celebrity magazine cover? Is it cool to make a celeb look downright ridiculous if she’s in on the joke? Is it funny to put Emily Ratajkowski on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar in a clownishly oversized Canadian tuxedo? Does this type of anti-fashion provocation sell magazines? Hell, does anyone even buy magazines anymore? Certainly I want to wash my eyes out with bleach if I have to look at a Kardashian. This is quickly becoming the case with the constant coverage of “Travlor,” any of the Real Housewives and sorry but I’m really over Beyonce too.

Miss France Eve Gilles, photo by AFP Agence France Presse

Are pageant queens required to sport the requisite long locks? Why was such an uproar when Miss France was crowned with her pixie do? Is it “woke” for women to have short hair? How is it okay for someone born male to have long hair/compete in a beauty pageant/compete in women’s sports? I’m old enough to remember the days when there were moral clauses and a contestant had to be single. Now, they don’t even have to be female.

Rita Ora in transparent dress (Credit Karwai Tang) Featured in Glamour Magazine

Here’s a biggie related to 2024: Why are our clothes transparent while our elections are not? While chewing on that revelation, let’s get the “skinny” on the Wizard(ry) of Oz-empic. No, I’m not talking about Oprah, who apparently took what she once termed “the easy way out” to weight loss.

I want to introduce a new term called “Secondary Ozempic Syndrome,” or SOS. This happens to the spouse not on the Semaglutide jab who eats what’s left on the plate of the appetite-deficient partner and perhaps subsequently “finds” those lost pounds of the SO (Significant Other).

Goodbye 2023, you were a tough nut to crack, let alone swallow.

Latest Comments:

  1. Great article! I enjoyed every sentence–so true, unfortunate as it may be. I even learned some new jargon. Hopefully, it…

Laurel Marcus

OG journo major who thought Strunk & White's "The Elements of Style" was a fashion guide. Desktop comedienne -- the world of fashion gives me no shortage of material.

2 Comments
  1. Great article! I enjoyed every sentence–so true, unfortunate as it may be. I even learned some new jargon. Hopefully, it will not become part of the vernacular in 2024 and will disappear as quickly as it came in.

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