How to Dress for the Job You Made Up So Your Parents Would Leave You Alone

The key is not overselling it

“Dress not for the job you have, but the one you want” practically sounds like a bible verse at this point. But what about the verse where you fabricate a “social media specialist” job because your parents just can’t understand your fashion Instagram account is on the cusp of landing a major sponsor who will pay you in free socks and you’re tired of hearing them yammer about getting a “real” (translation: BORING) job that actually pays the bills? It’s an important verse that gets lost all too often–which is why I’m here to help you dress for the job you made up so your parents will finally leave you alone.

Don’t Oversell It

If you start dressing in fancy suits all the time, your parents are going to suspect you’re a big, fat liar. This is a fabricated social media position–not Wall Street! Pair a silk floral blouse with dark-wash jeans. Or a nice t-shirt with a pencil skirt. Something that says “I am dutifully employed, but I’m not sure if this job is leading anywhere, especially because I made it up.”

It’s All in the Details

Don’t be afraid to dribble a little coffee on your blouse to indicate you’ve had your share of harried mornings. Skip the concealer to make it look like you’ve been spending some late nights at the office. Tell your parents you grabbed those new earrings on your “business trip to San Francisco.” Before you know it, your parents will be eating their criticism and praising you for all of your fake hard work.

Don’t Brag About How Good You Look

Even if you’ve never looked more employed in your life, you want to let your parents to be the ones to tell you so. If you’re lucky, your parents will even give you some extra spending money for your pretend office wardrobe–and, eventually, you’ll discover you’ve dressed, spilled and lied your way up the ladder to earning your parents’ respect with nary an ounce of actual work. Which is all any child wants from her mom and dad, really.


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Candy Kirby is a "smug white liberal," according to a conservative blog that gets her, and comedy writer who will never stop chasing her lifelong dream: to find the Pomeranian or porn star after whom her parents must have named her. Prior to launching her own site, Candy was a humor writer for outlets such as Reductress, Redbook, HelloGiggles, Disney and Nickelodeon. She also used to be a staff writer for the soap opera, The Bold and the Beautiful, where she penned many scripts featuring prolonged heated stares and countless “Who’s the Daddy?” story lines. Candy lives in Los Angeles with her husband, two munchkins and three rescue Persian cats, Lucy, Larry and Lola, who are the real brains behind this operation. (So send all complaints to them.)