A while ago I blogged about the semi-serious issue of Dressing to Look like a Lawyer, or in my case, not dressing like a lawyer. Through this post I met the absolutely fabulous Jeneba Jalloh “JJ” Ghatt who finds that people generally underestimate her legal abilities based on the fact that she is fashion forward (see her blog post Funny, You don’t Look Smart) . It would be a your first and last mistake as an opponent to underestimate this seriously sexy, sassy, smart lady.
JJ is the managing principal of two highpowered complimentary businesses in Washington DC – JJ Ghatt Public Relations LLC and The Ghatt Law Group (a boutique firm specialising in business, media and entertainment law firm). This would be quite scary enough for most people. What really impresses me about her is that she juggles being a wife and mother of three kids (2 boys and a girl) with writing two excellent blogs Mischiefmakers about her kids and Belly Itch i(lots of pregnancy fashion, exercise and sanity tips as well as a healthy dose of humour). She also appears on Twitter as @JJGhatt and I check in regularly for her shoe stalking Twitpics. All in all, if she was not such a friendly, funny and generous person I would be extremely intimidated by her. As it is, I am delighted that someone who is a true Legal Power Babe (as my pal @casus_belli would call her) is championing the Boot Cause here. Ladies, if you were not convinced by the power of the boot, read on before rushing out to buy a pair in the January sales.
|“You know I am hating you right now?” he said.
I thought to myself, “what in the heck is this guy saying to me this late hour in the evening.” It was such a weird comment to hear from the tall dark overpowering man who had sauntered in my direction away from the flock of his other uniformed police officer buddies congregating near the condiments station at the local Starbucks.
He said it again. I tried to play it off and laughed nervously, flashing an innocent smile, surely still looking bewildered. I didn’t pick it up then, but I believe he was flirting with me. This is how cops pick up chicks?
Really, I didn’t “get” his intro line at all. Certainly, he hadn’t noticed my wedding ring at that point.
Finally, I gave in and said, “um why?” (are you hating me, that is)
“Your boots! Sick!” he replied with a bizarre grin. It struck me as odd to hear a man comment about something like red calf length riding style boots. I was of the impression that only women bothered to let other women know they liked whatever fashionable thing another woman was wearing. I didn’t even know if dudes did stuff like that. At that point, I began to think maybe he wasn’t flirting with me after all. Perhaps he is/was a flaming closet shoe freak trapped in the body of a six foot three burly black man. Could my red leather Franco Sarto Brazilian made boots been that captivating to have this man burst out the closet so?
“I am so mad at you,” he continued. “You knew what you were doing when you got those boots didn’t you? You knew you’d make people jealous?”
Alas, the answer was “no.” I had to confess to him that I did not recall what my impressions were when I first purchased those pair of boots. I wasn’t even certain in what year I bought them. I know I probably was struck by the style and color. Most of my shoes and boots before them were probably muted blacks, browns and other safe colors. I come from a corporate background and have worked in strict business environments for most of my 10 plus years career in law. I am a Virgo, a type A person, an eldest and essentially have all the makings of an uber conservative dresser. So those boots were/ are an anomaly for me.
I do vividly recall, however, the last time I received such a visceral response to those boots. It was the first time I flaunted them at an entertainment industry event at the Black Entertainment Television studios in DC in 2006, I think.
All the players in the communications industry were there, including many of my old colleagues and friends, quite a few of them who still worked in corporate legal offices and in top law firms representing media powerhouses.
By that time, I had struck it out on my own and was a year into running my own boutique communications law firm. Calling the shots. Making up my own rules, so to speak.
I knew that evening walking into that reception, housed in a large shafty studio space, that I indeed looked quite FIERCE! I was rocking those Red Riding boots, a black pencil skirt and a ruffled high collared blouse. I carried a red Baby Phat satchel purse with gold accents and to top it off, my hair was Auburn colored twisted lochs. I looked so ANTI-CORPORATE it could’ve been illegal.
Colleague after colleague walked over to me and commented on my ensemble. At least one person mentioned that it must be liberating to dress in whatever I wanted. Not that I am the type of person to feed off of others’ envy, but I must admit, it felt great to be my own woman, standing tall in my own bought and paid for red accented bravado!
Fast forward back to the Starbucks last week, as I walked out the coffee shop after picking up my drink, I tipped my cup at the officer and offered him one last smile. He grinned and as I passed I think I caught him take one last peek at the boots, taking them in one last time as I sashayed out the door and disappeared into the darkness that was a snow-slushed shopping center parking lot. Who knew red stretch riding boots could catch a cop if they wanted!? ha!
I think these puppies will get upgraded to the front of the shoe closet, yes?