Last week Etiquetteer and That Mr. Dimmick Who Thinks He Knows So Much had a bit of a disagreement about ladies wearing tiaras in the workplace. That Mr. Dimmick, of course, thinks it’s outrageous and Improper to wear a tiara in the workplace and that it’s the result of the Disney Princess culture. Lorelei Lee was always looking for new places to wear diamonds, but the office wasn't one of them. Etiquetteer is ambivalent, since hair ornaments have a more varied history, but of course would rather see these ladies turn their attention to Perfectly Proper kid gloves and Mainbocher two-piece suits. Or even Hillary Clinton's "velvet arc of control" from the 1992 presidential campaign, which has the advantage of not glittering before 5:00 PM. Since neither Etiquetteer nor That Mr. Dimmick is a Powerful Woman in the Workplace, Etiquetteer turned to a genuine Powerful Woman in the Workplace, Christina Wallace, Founding Director of BridgeUp: STEM, who had this to say:
"I can see your point that an actual tiara in the workplace is entirely inappropriate and juvenile, but the photographs in the New York Times piece (ignoring Lady Gaga and the Kardashian, as I tend to do in general*) show not a crown but simply a jeweled headband, which I find polished and lovely. I actually agree with some of the women quoted that the jeweled headband (or diadem as one woman referred to it) increases the sophistication of a ponytail or bun. So while there is likely a fine line between appropriate and over-the-top (I would refrain from wearing anything that could double as a wedding-day headpiece), I think jeweled headpieces are welcome in the boardroom. Just don't call them a tiara (indeed, I might venture that labeling a headband a "tiara" is bordering on sexism)."
With this endorsement of the practice, Etiquetteer will now set down some ground rules:
- Your Daytime Diadem should not detract from you. Come evaluation time, you'll be judged on how well you met your goals, not how much Faceted Radiance you shed in the board room. As Auntie Mame famously said to Agnes Gooch about an evening dress, "You're supposed to dominate it!" And while we really shouldn't be looking to the movies for etiquette advice, Etiquetteer can't help remembering David Brian advising Joan Crawford in The Damned Don't Cry, "A beautiful woman never wears anything that detracts attention from her face."
- Your Daytime Diadem should not increase your height appreciably.
- Your Daytime Diadem should not look like you could wear it to the senior prom.
- Your every hair should be in place and not blowing about all tangled and casual. This kind of jewelry is only going to attract more attention to your head, so there will be more opportunity for co-workers to notice Tonsorial Neglect or Error.
Now, let's all get back to work!
Issue 60 of Volume 13 of Etiquetteer marks a milestone, the largest number of columns published yet in a single volume. Thank you, readers!
*Etiquetteer adds: As all Perfectly Proper People should.