Friday, March 30, 2012

That reminds me of a funny story.

A few days ago, I blogged about one of my favorite skirts (here):

Anthropologie Lengthening Rays Skirt (4)

I neglected to mention a story I've been meaning to share with you for a few months, which I think will appeal to both Anthro lovers and haters alike.

I don't tell a lot of work stories on the blog, but I think this one is appropriate to share.

Our firm does a lot of pro bono legal work, which means we take on a number of cases for free in order to give back to the community. These cases often involve underserved populations who have difficulty getting legal services, like battered women, persons seeking political asylum, and transgendered people trying to change their names or other legal documentation to match their gender identity. It's wonderful that the firm does this work, and even better that we get equal credit for billing pro bono hours as client-billable (I.e., making money for the firm) matters. Some firms limit the number of hours you can spend on pro bono cases, but not ours. That's one of the reasons I like working here so much!

Anyway, like many firms, our firm does a bit of pro bono work with detainees in Guantanamo. Of course, we can disagree on the politics behind the detentions, but the fact of the matter is that many many people being held in Guantanamo have been there indefinitely without any charges ever being brought. This means that, theoretically, someone could be sitting in detention for years with no idea why they are there and no opportunity to even respond to the allegations against them. In short, it's certainly not an ideal situation.

In the course of representing prisoners at Guantanamo, our lawyers sometimes have to travel down to the facility. (Now, the travel part is a whole 'NOTHER story, but I will restrain myself from telling that one.) Dress code at the facility is conservative, because: a) it's a prison full of men; b) many of the prisoners are religiously conservative and are offended at the sight of female flesh. I don't believe pants are allowed for women, and all skirts must come down to your ankles. Also, your wrists and chest must be covered.

When one of my coworkers was dispatched to Guantanamo a few months ago, she came into my office and lamented the fact that she had nothing in her wardrobe to meet these requirements. I immediately thought of my Lengthening Rays Maxi Skirt and recommended she haul over to the Georgetown Anthro, where I had seen many still on the racks.

(Outfit from this post)


She ended up buying both the skirt and a Guantanamo-appropriate shirt at Anthro. Of course she gave the skirt two thumbs up for comfort, appropriateness, and breathability in the Cuban heat. (Is that three thumbs up?)

On top of her own approval, the Guantanamo guards commented that she was the most well-dressed attorney they'd ever seen at the detention center!

So, here's my question: is that a good thing for Anthro's image or a bad thing? "Anthropologie: styling you for exposure to religious conservatives since 1992."

What's the most bizarre compliment you've ever received? Someone recently told me that I dressed so cutely that it was annoying!

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