What to wear?

This got me thinking about the time I lived in Samoa a few years back, and how my cousin stayed with us in Apia to attend the Le Iunivesite Aoao o Samoa / National University of Samoa (NUS). The

My younger (but bigger) brother has been wearing my black expensive work shoes out clubbing during the weekend.  He’s kinda stretched the shoes now, and the other day I walked through a puddle and felt the wetness soak through my left sock.

“Have to buy a new pair of shoes shammit!”

I love my shorts and se’evae tosotoso (jandals, flip flops, thongs).  So when I first started work it was pretty hard tryna get use to having to wear a suit a tie.  After years at varsity wearing what I felt comfortable in, I now had to conform to the stiff and proper attire of corporate wear.

Jandals

Mind you it’s not too bad.  It’s kind of like back at high school, where wearing a school uniform meant you didn’t have to worry about wearing something different from what you wore the day before.  While you definitely had to have at least three sets of school uniform, being an active teenager often meant one day’s worth of wearing the school shirt, was enough for it to go in the wash when I got home.  On a hot summers day even a few sprays of deoderant couldn’t disguise it enough to justify wearing the same shirt the next day.

But also like a school uniform, wearing a suit and tie is damn expensive too.  Especially when trying to keep a selection of suits and shirts.  Not that suits come in a range of colours.  “Hmmm?  What should I wear today?  Black, dark grey or black?”  At work, we have casual Fridays.  While at other workplaces that might mean jeans and a tee, at my work it means your usual Monday to Thursday clothing… except a tie!

What the heck is a tie for anyway?  A strip of material to fasten around the neck to make you feel that much more uncomfortable in the hot suit?  Give me jandals and an ie faitaga / formal lavalava anyday.

Suit and tie.

This got me thinking about the time I lived in Samoa a few years back, and how my cousin stayed with us in Apia to attend the Le Iunivesite Aoao o Samoa / National University of Samoa (NUS).  The first morning I saw my cousin walk out the door in a blue pea (woman’s two piece dress).  Thought it must be an induction day thing.  But the next morning she wore it again.  It wasn’t till the second week of wearing the pea I got a bit suspicious.  Is she really going to NUS?

But sure enough, my aunty who lectured at NUS told me its the Iunivesite / University’s student uniform!  Uniform at varsity???  Try pulling that one off at a Iunivesite in Niu Sila / New Zealand, and you’ll see how far that’ll get you.  My aunty said it was student driven, and even worse, they were trying to make staff wear a uniform too!

I got a good chuckle that day.  But it shouldn’t have surprised me.  Walking through Apia you’d see nearly every worker, whether it’s for the private sector or the Government, all wearing a uniform.  My aunty says it’s a status thing.  To be known as the person that works for the bank, or the kid that got into NUS, or the other person that works for the Government… it gave you an elevated status, something to be proud of.

In Aukilani / Auckland, beyond most retail and service sector jobs, you’d be hard pressed by to get a workforce wanting to wear a uniform.  And you go to Iunivesite to be an individual after years of conforming, not to boast about in your clothing.

But I guess Samoan workers have something on those of us who have to wear corporate attire here in Niu Sila… comfort!

Meanwhile, I’ve gotta go buy a new pair of (expensive) work shoes…

0 thoughts on “What to wear?

  1. I think it’s GREAT that they have to wear uniform, and actually choose to wear unform. It makes them look smarter, then what they’d look like wearing everyday clothes to be honest. It definately wouldn’t work in NZ or here in Australia, but in Samoa i think it’s awesome that they have uniforms for uni students. =)

  2. Talofa lava! manaia lava le blog!!!

    ou te manatuaian fo’i aso ia sa ou faigaluega i le company o le starkist… na iai la’u ofu mai le isi a’u uo.. o le ofu na aumai mai i hawaii… o le ofu fo’i kogiga o le au fireman i hawaii…e le gata lea ae o le mea fo’i o le federal so e ese fo’i le lanu o le design o le ofu e kau lanumeamata florescent fo’i gale… lol ua ese lo’u fia mimika i lega ofu… ou ke ofu ai soo se kaimi ua maua ai ae lae mama… lmao… leaga sa iai lo’u fika faapea o lae kikilo mai kagaka ma faapea… sole oka o le kama kogu lea o le au fireman o hawaii… ae leiloa… o le kamaiki ua le’i o’o lava i hawaii lega vaikaimi lmao…

  3. I never see it like that..being born and raised in Am.Samoa i always hear about upolu how they have these high schools thats hard to get into and all that..but i never thought of the uniforms that way..lol..as for Am.Samoa in school they have a thing called NHS (National Honors Society) only kids with a great point average of 3.5 and above can get in it but you have to take a interview to get in..every tuesday no matter what high school your in they(students who are in the NHS)wear a different uniform from everybody in school..the colors for their uniform are blue and yellow except for this one school called Polytech cause their unform is black and yellow so their NHS uniform color are purple and silver…i joined the group because i know it would look good on my college application and my mom wanted me to join.plus you’ll get a better chance of getting into a good college.but evertime we wear our uniform i don’t put it on until i get to my school..i was kind of embarrassed to wear cause kids who were known to wear it everywhere was known to be show offs..lol.both me and my cousin did the same thing..i just didn’t want everybody to see me as oohh she think she better than me..lol..i know i should not care what people think but its life…i don’t regret being in it anyways cause it helped me get into a good college..anyways i enjoyed reading it..

  4. HA! Ooh boy, did your blog take me down memory lane with the pleat uniforms [hahaha] I loved it! [hahaha] Growing up I attended Catholic school and of course, everyone knows that we wear school uniforms Monday-Friday. Yeszirr! [hahaha] So, when we get to wear whatever (or as the nuns called it, mufti [hahaha]) on a certain day, for instance – Sports Day, everyone would go all out wearing their newest shoes, shorts/pants/shirts, and shirt. LOL Okay, I can understand uniforms for grade school and high school but college? C`mon now! I think 13 years of uniform should be good enough to discipline/prepare someone for corporate world – business/appropriate work attire.

    Sole Niu Sila, another great read 🙂 [hahaha]

  5. I remember one year we had mufti at my high school, and because I was too augaka to saugi my ofu’s the night before, I was struggling to find a t-shirt to wear in the early hours in the morning, so I just grabbed what I thought was my favourite red tee. So at school that day I took my jumper off and not only was I not wearing my favourite tee, I was wearing a PINK t-shirt! Man I got mocked for ages after that. And now look, nowadays pink shirts on guys are the in thing! Man I think I’m a trend setter fosho!

    Thanks for the comments!

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