Wrapping in a Corporate Professional Office Environment: Part 2

Meet Susan from New York City, who finds herself happily wrapping in “Corporate America!” Wrapunzel is honored to have her reveal her wrapping journey in a three-part Blogpost – Part One: Beginner’s Luck!, Part Two:  Storage and Structure, and Part Three: Corporate Me!

It’s Susan’s greatest pleasure to bring you her incredible tips and tricks – read on to see what might work for YOU!

Stay tuned for Part Three coming soon…

Part Two: Storage and Structure

In storing a large wardrobe of scarves, for easy access and for protecting the scarves from my kitten (who is sure that he can fly!), I store the majority of my “wear to the office” scarves in “gown” size multi-garment bags (54”, clear/see-through and heavy duty). I hang the scarves within the bag on hangers using cascading hooks so each hanger can hang from the hanger above, etc. Each garment bag is approximately 5 to 6 hangers deep, and with the garment bag being at gown size proportions, the scarves are kept where they are protected and easily accessible for choosing during your daily scarf search. For convenience and easy access, I also coordinate of my scarf color collections separately by garment bag. Because most of my scarves are stored by color range, they are stored in similar color tonalities, one each for:

  • Blacks, grays and muted silvers
  • Whites, off-whites, creams and beiges
  • Reds and burgundies 
  • Browns and earthy colors
  • Sunset Colors:  Gold, yellow, mustards, warm orangey, rust and sienna tones
  • Corals, pinks and purples
  • Blues:  All shades, including navy
  • Teals and turquoises
  • Greens:  All shades, and
  • Multi-colored (where the base color to match has more than one possibility to choose from)

When rushing to get out of the house early in the morning, I first select an ensemble color (suitable for the current season). Then, I grab the garment bag(s) containing the desired color ranges and then simply choose my scarf/scarves to wrap with from the selected garment bag. If winter, I will choose a heavier, winter-appropriate scarf. If spring/summer, then I choose from the lighter weight scarves in that same garment bag.  

I recently switched to one-piece stainless steel hangers (from Amazon) to hang my scarves because the “hook” portion of the hanger (constructed as one piece with a tip protector) does not pull out from the base when the hangers begin to feel the weight of many scarves. The clear zippered garment bags (multiple gown size) also serve to protect the scarves from my cat AND my kitten, not to mention other potential disastrous mishaps.

As mentioned above, I keep a separate garment bag of “multi-colored” scarves that have multiple  base colors, matchable to more than one ensemble, like

The exception to my garment bag storage method is my “special/delicate” scarves requiring special handling, such as metallic, glittery or patterned “accent” scarves. These “special” scarves are those that I find very delicate or easy to damage. These I store per style of scarf and not by color:

The end of the work day and evening are often tiring, and sometimes I just can’t find the strength to put all things back where they belong. I keep a clear container with a lid to simply fold my scarves and leave them protected until I can make the concentrated effort to restore them to their rightful storage places, whenever that may be!

Note:  I wish to thank my friend and co-worker, Eleanor Healey, who was dedicated in helping me to capture visual images to submit to Wrapunzel in support of this article. As a grandmother of 2, she’s developed a good eye!

Hijab in Healthcare

Meet Chaya! Working every day in the Healthcare field, Chaya was tasked by her current employer to research and provide documentation that her head coverings met the guidelines necessary for healthcare employees in sterile environments.  Here are her findings – they’re fascinating!  We hope you find them just as intriguing as we did, and helpful if you’re already in, or are considering, a profession in healthcare!

There are really two aspects to head wrapping in a healthcare environment- being the provider versus being the patient. The premise is, however, the same. The interesting part for me is that I work in an IVF (In-Vitro Fertilization) laboratory these days, and similar to in an operating room, everyone covers their hair! But they wear those paper tissue caps and take them on and off, repeatedly, every time they go in and out of the lab – because they look ridiculous. And then they complain all day that their hair is messy. I don’t have that problem. 🙂 

I was wearing regular tichels and covering them with the paper caps, but I was concerned that this may not have been the best practice, and started researching where the concept of “scrubs” and head coverings in clean/sterile environments originated. There are two schools of thought behind it. First of all, you do not want to bring any unwanted “stuff” into the area – “stuff” being lint, pollen, bacteria, etcetera. Surgical clothing is designed specifically of low lint, low absorbency fabric for this reason. So a tichel with fringes was not the best choice.

And secondly, healthcare providers see many patients per day, and don’t want to carry pathogens from one room to the next. Again, the low absorption factor is important. This is also why in high-risk areas like an operating room, the facility provides the scrubs, and the facility washes the scrubs- so pathogens don’t leave the space to travel to peoples’ homes. 

My research led me to a position statement by the Association for peri-Operative Registered Nurses, who explored the needs of operating room staff members that wear head coverings. They acknowledged that ideally, head coverings in the operating room should be disposable or laundered by the facility, and loosely wrapped around the neck. They also understood that the typical caps used may be too transparent, or not cover enough (ears, neck) to satisfy the needs of some who cover. They state that it should be the responsibility of the facility to provide a head covering that meets standards both for the healthcare provider and the facility, whether that means letting someone layer two or three paper caps, purchasing a different style disposable, or ordering from their uniform supplier. 

These factors are what has led me to decide to have “work head coverings” and “home head coverings.” A bandana-like fabric would work just as well, but I went for scrub caps. Experience eventually led me to add back my Wrapunzel No-Slip Headbands underneath. (Yes, Wrapunzel No-Slip Headbands still meet standards! There was actually a study done exploring whether surgeons wearing socks and underwear contributed to increased infection rates. The consensus was that it did not.) 

My experiences in school with clinical uniforms and work with clinical standards taught me to know the guidelines and know my rights, as well as to inform employers of proper accommodations for my head covering needs. If there’s a facility policy, it usually isn’t hard to find. For example, the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing has a policy stating “For cultural or religious purposes, a solid navy blue, black, or white head-covering may be worn with the uniform scrubs.” And it’s right there alongside the rest of the uniform policies. In most encounters I had, I was either told something specific that was arbitrarily made up by the person I spoke to, or was told that there isn’t a policy, and to do my own research. 

When I was in school, I asked my instructor about my scarf and was told I needed to provide a letter from a religious authority (good thing my grandfather was a Rabbi with personal stationery!), and that my head covering had to be a solid color. I begged and borrowed for a burgundy scarf from everyone I knew. A year in, I met a student wearing what I’m pretty sure was the Wrapunzel Imagine That Scarf! When I asked her about it, she shrugged and said it didn’t occur to her to ask anyone, and nobody had ever approached her and told her a policy. When I worked in a hospital, I asked a coworker wearing a scarf. She said she had been working there when the hospital instituted their system of assigning a specific color uniform for each department. At the time, her supervisor had told her not to bring up scarves – she said “if they don’t talk with you about it, don’t ask! You’ll be the only pop of color left in the hospital!” At my current workplace, the Director of Nursing asked me to do the research and provide documentation showing that whatever I was wearing met guidelines, so that if ever there was a state inspection they could prove I was “clean enough.”

The result? Well, you’ve already seen a picture of me at work above, as well as other pictures of head coverings used by healthcare professionals. In addition, I’ve attached a very informative continuing education report that discusses my findings and more!

Wrapping in a Corporate Professional Office Environment

Meet Susan from New York City, who finds herself happily wrapping in “Corporate America!”  Wrapunzel is honored to have her reveal her wrapping journey in a three-part Blogpost – Part One:  Beginner’s Luck!, Part Two:  Storage and Structure, and Part Three:  Corporate Me!

It’s Susan’s greatest pleasure to bring you her incredible tips and tricks – read on to see what might work for YOU!

Stay tuned for Part Two coming soon...

Part One:  Beginner’s Luck!

Good day and thanks for stopping by.  I have been wrapping my head full-time since May of 2017.  I wrap daily in conservative, Corporate America.

Once I decided to wrap, I began my efforts with various YouTube searches for ways to cover one’s head if bald (my hair was falling out from what was eventually diagnosed as Alopecia). I was fairly ignorant as to why or how many women of various cultures were inclined to wrap.  During my initial searches on YouTube, I thought about getting a wig, but my physician advised me to avoid any potential irritation to my scalp which could potentially make things more challenging, at least at that time. 

To do my due diligence, I did try some of the many varied suggestions shared on YouTube, and learned that I could cover my head using old t-shirts and leggings, as well as by many other curious methods. After trying some of those, I found Wrapunzel (on YouTube) and have been a faithful Wrapunzelista ever since.  Wrapunzel stocks many gorgeous scarfs (for cold & warm weather), and also various accessory products to enhance one’s wrap.  They post an abundance of wrap tutorial videos on the Wrapunzel web site and also on YouTube, which is where I found this amazing company.  In these tutorial videos, Wrapunzel shows many ways how to begin wrapping, as well as how to improve and expand one’s wrapping technique.  

They also have conversations which help to support the emotional impacts of wrapping, such as how it makes all women feel beautiful, how it makes each woman’s uniqueness shine, how to handle questions you may get when you start wrapping, and many other interesting topics. These topics, plus others, were helpful to me as I started my wrapping journey.

After beginning my wrapping relationship with Wrapunzel, I felt really encouraged in decision I’d made to headwrap. It felt “natural” to me for the way I live my life.  From my perspective, the most important factor was to maintain an executive-level presentation in my company, as we interact with clients and other professionals outside of our company on a daily basis.  At the time, I was not aware of anyone else within my company who was wrapping.

Since I began wrapping, many have expressed interest in possibly starting to wrap themselves! I was often stopped at Grand Central Station with inquiries.  I began keeping Wrapunzel business cards with my monthly commuter ticket, so I had them at the ready when an inquiry was made. My personal corporate “uniform” consists of suit ensemble pieces and generally include a combination of either a suit, skirt, pants or dress with a jacket and sweater or cardigan.  Of course, I pair these with the classic ‘corporate’ pump, or with pants, often an ankle boot.  I match my headwrap to either the color of the skirt/pant/dress/suit, or to the blouse or tank I pair with them.

My goal in sharing my personal experience here is that it might prove useful to other women who also wish to wrap in a conservative, corporate, professional environment. Initially, I took what I learned from Wrapunzel and just figured it all out as I went along. 

In the beginning of wrapping, especially if you’re the only one doing it, it can feel unsettling.  Soon, however, you will realize that you are still you, and you can still execute all the aspects of your job while wearing a wrap.  I found that, as you become more at ease with being wrapped, those around you also become more at ease with it. Your wrapping will then stand out less and everyone will acclimate accordingly.  

At the start, some people in my office environment felt uneasy to express their curiosity and concern that health issues might be the reason for my wrapping.  I attempted to be at ease and make them comfortable to ask me anything, which then made their fearfulness turn into curiosity.  They became less concerned and this opened the conversations as to what or how I’d wrapped that day, with comments similar to “I really like your outfit today!” and “Wow, it matches!” 

If a particular day in the office is deemed especially conservative or stressful, then I am inclined to wrap conservatively with that in mind.  I might choose a turban style or simple wrap with classic tail(s).  If a more relaxed day, I might be a tad bit more creative in my wrapping.  My bottom line for my office ‘look’ is that I must always feel free to walk confidently into a conference room and engage accordingly.

Over time, wrapping my head has simply become a part of my “presentation” to my daily work experience.  Wrapping did not change my work ethic, my anticipated intelligence or my ability to conquer any project.  Many would compliment me on a scarf color or pattern, a particular “match” or style making me feel like the “Queen of Sheba” in their kind observations.  People would happily comment the likes of, “Blue is a good color for you!,” “ Well done!,” “Did you do THAT wrap yourself?,” “How do you always match your head wrap to your clothes?, ”I like what you have on top!” and such  (I then graciously shared that it was called a “wrap/headwrap”. The gentleman then responded that he didn’t know what it was called, but he liked it.)

Initially, I started simple in my approach to wrapping in choosing only one scarf and using simple wraps matching one color of my ensemble.  Later, I tried various kinds of scarves and combinations as I became more experienced and then more confident (thanks to Wrapunzel tutorial videos).  My ‘look(s)’ each day then became a topic of conversations, observations and expressions of curiosity. As long as I was comfortable with my wrapping, people had interest and would interact accordingly, also feeling comfortable with the topic.  Mostly, people would ask me, “Did you do that yourself?” and “How do you consistently match the scarf to your outfit?”

I respond with the answer “Wrapunzel.” Yes, I did wrap it myself. Wrapunzel taught me how to wrap and encouraged me to find my own style in wrapping. I purchased 99% of my scarves and wrapping accessories at Wrapunzel, and the rest were recycled from scarves that I used to wear around the lapel of my suit. Wrapunzel varies their stock seasonally, according to climate. They have numerous sales through the year. 

In starting my headscarf collection, I chose scarves that I considered would specifically match my work attire. The remaining items I might catch at a street fair in NYC and, occasionally, something will catch my eye at a store. Once I began wrapping full time, there were some items in my closet that I simply did not wear, until Wrapunzel stocked a scarf which I felt would match THAT particular color ensemble for work.  My office wardrobe ensemble was confined to that which also had a matching headscarf.  And so, I just waited.  Eventually, I did build a wrapping wardrobe that pretty much covers all of my office ensembles (across the seasons).  For myself, my wardrobe is sorted via color tonality, as are my scarves. 

Note:  I wish to thank my friend and co-worker, Eleanor Healey, who was dedicated in helping me to capture visual images to submit to Wrapunzel in support of this article.  As a grandmother of 2, she’s developed a good eye!