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How does a woman wear a pager and still look stylish?
December 1, 2007 10:36 PM   Subscribe

How does a woman wear a pager and still look stylish?

I have recently started an IT job for which I will need to carry a pager. I have a few fashion challenges, however.

1) How do I wear a pager and still look stylish?

2) How do I wear it on days I wear a dress?

Other information: I am female, petite, in my early 30s, and a couple of the stores I shop at for work clothing are Ann Taylor and Banana Republic. I also have to figure out the best way to wear an ID/proximity badge on me somewhere as well.

Thanks in advance.
posted by origami to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (19 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I don't think you'll be able to wear the thing and still look stylish. I used to grudgingly carry a pager: if I wore jeans/trousers, I clipped it on the back of my waistband; if I wore a skirt/dress, I carried it. Actually, in retrospect, I generally clipped it on my notebook (paper, not computer) because I could still hear it and it didn't look so stupid.

As for ID badge, my current office is rather lax so I just have it in my purse to get inside the door. If I had to wear it, I'd keep it in my back pocket or, again, clipped to my notebook.
posted by sfkiddo at 10:51 PM on December 1, 2007

I would set it to vibrate and keep it in your purse, in a pocket that you keep next to your body at all times (I have this pocket in my purse for my cell phone). When seated, you can drape the purse strap over your knee and still feel the vibration. Basically, if you want to carry a pager and look stylish, the only way to do it is to conceal the pager. Aggressively.
posted by crinklebat at 10:55 PM on December 1, 2007

I saw a movie once where a female character kept her pager tucked into a high-top stocking. Hot, but probably not practical enough.
posted by blindcarboncopy at 10:57 PM on December 1, 2007

I'm a guy - but when I wore a pager I just put it inside my pocket and clipped the "belt clip" to the outside of my pocket, so that the only thing visible was the clip.

What kind of company are you working for that uses pagers rather than text messages via cell phone? Does your employer prohibit cell phones in the workplace (e.g., government, etc).

I preferred a pager, myself, but all of the major mobile providers stopped supporting their IXO/TAP paging gateways years ago and just said "use text messaging instead".

As for the proximity badge, just clip it to your belt/waistband/etc - if everyone is wearing one, nobody is going to think it's unfashionable. I just wear mine on a lanyard around my neck.
posted by mrbill at 10:57 PM on December 1, 2007

IANAW, but have been dealing with prox badges for years, all of the women (and men) I've worked with pretty much just give in and find a lanyard they like and wear their badge around their neck. It's slightly dorky, but when everyone else is doing it too, you can get away with it.

As for a pager, put it where you would your cell (assuming you carry one). As long as it's close by, you should be good.
posted by pupdog at 11:03 PM on December 1, 2007

What kind of company are you working for that uses pagers rather than text messages via cell phone? Does your employer prohibit cell phones in the workplace (e.g., government, etc).

SMS messages aren't reliable. I've had SMS messages delivered to my ATT cell phone over 12 hours after they were sent.

Blackberry is a viable alternative to pagers, but only if you have your exchange installation under control and are willing to run BES as well.
posted by b1tr0t at 11:03 PM on December 1, 2007

If you have to have the badge around your neck, Brighton makes a nice badge clip.
posted by clh at 11:04 PM on December 1, 2007

i tend to think these things are ignore-able. it's just equipment. i would clip the badge to your waistband or pocket, and get a neck lanyard for days when you wear a dress. pager can also go on the waistband, or if you carry a binder, on that.
posted by thinkingwoman at 11:09 PM on December 1, 2007

Err, this may be very weird but I have no point of reference because I've usually been the only woman in any office where I've needed a pager. I also can't keep track of a handbag, or anything else not attached to my body. I wore them around my neck, with the pager clipped to a long military length dog tag chain - 27". (It isn't jewellery so it has to hang low.)

Just clip the pager to the chain. If the clip isn't tight enough to not slide back over the chain, wrap a black rubber band around it to tighten the grasp. You can string an ID badge on there as well.
posted by DarlingBri at 1:06 AM on December 2, 2007

I used to "wear" my pager on a notebook I carried ewith me everywhere. It meant that I almost always had pen & paper for some impromptu or critical conversation, too. My job wasn't sooooo special that I had to have it on me at all times, so if I ran down to the cafeteria, I'd just leave it at my desk for 10 minutes. If I were going anywhere longer than that (out to lunch, for instance) it went into a bag. I favor the retractable ID badge over the lanyard. It's slim enough to hide at your waist under a sweater or jacket and on days you wear a tucked-in blouse, it sits below the table or desk and doesn't interrupt the fashion statement of your upper body like a lanyard. Sometimes I wore that on the notebook, too, though, clipped through the spiral binding so it doesn't come flying off when you pull at it. I was more sensitive to leaving that at my desk since it was a security issue, so I wore it more often than carried it.
posted by cocoagirl at 2:53 AM on December 2, 2007

Origami: are you asking how to wear the pager at work, or do you have to carry it around in your non-work life?
posted by Ian A.T. at 9:56 AM on December 2, 2007

Prettier than a lanyard, this necklace is designed to hold charms, but could accommodate an id badge.
posted by Sara Anne at 10:39 AM on December 2, 2007

I wonder about getting some kind of small, stylish wallet-on-a-string bag, kind of like this, and wearing it cross-body (as in one of the photos). That would leave your hands free, wouldn't require a belt or pocket (i.e., would work with a dress), and from my own experience with such bags really isn't very obtrusive; it becomes quite unnoticeable after a while.
posted by Kat Allison at 10:41 AM on December 2, 2007

can you wear the pager in your boot, or on your instep (clipped into shoelaces)?
or.... IT geeks, gird yourselves.... on a garter?
posted by twistofrhyme at 11:29 AM on December 2, 2007

Are there any pager watches that are still available?
posted by krisjohn at 2:28 PM on December 2, 2007

I have to wear a pager, pretty much 24-7, and I'm afraid there's no good solution. If I'm wearing jeans, my default, then I put the pager *inside* my pocket, and hang my badge on a retractable clippy on the outside of the opposite pocket (so I don't get scratched when fishing for my pager). I am firmly opposed to wearing a lanyard for badges, and there is not the faintest chance I would put something heavy (the pager) onto a lanyard that would flop around when I move.

If I'm wearing nice pants, or fancier, at work, and can't use my pocket, I generally clip it to something that I will be carrying around - say a notebook. (In other parts of my work, in which i have to wear a certain dorky and pocketless goretex jumpsuit, I clip the pager to the straps of my booties, or to the collar at the back of my neck. )

When out, and dressed in other-than-jeans, I mostly just put it in my jacket pocket (if I'll feel it) or in my purse (and check it often).

Finally, at home, it lives on a hard surface -- the amplified vibration makes a horrible chattering-teeth sound that will wake me from a deep sleep in seconds. I pretty much never have it set to anything except vibrate.

Finally, some of my coworkers just cave and wear it clipped to their belts knowing that it is un-cute. The trick to making your pager less prominently obnoxious is to keep *all* other gadgets out of sight, lest you look like Batman.
posted by janell at 3:05 PM on December 2, 2007

Back in the day, Banana Republic made spiffy utility vests with many many pockets. Like so many banana republics, though, they seem to have devolved.
posted by oats at 3:13 PM on December 2, 2007

2) How do I wear it on days I wear a dress?

I had the same issue. Buy a box of giant safety pins. Attach the safety pin on your hip where you want the pager and hook the pager on the pin. You can't see the safety pin once the pager is hooked onto it. You may worry that this method will rip your dress, but so far this has not happened to me. I know it sounds tacky, but it works.
posted by Violet Hour at 2:49 AM on December 3, 2007

Going to have to 2nd the Timex Pager watch. Excellent design, great interface, great performance, but it's honking big for a wristwatch and entirely Not Female. The one I bought way-back-when came with a snap-on case which allowed you to take it off the band and pocket it, which would be ideal.

They used FLEX protocol on SkyTel, though (check coverage here), and getting them re-frequencied was a nightmare because almost nobody had the test bed to program/tune them. If you can get service, get used to buying 675 batteries in bulk, though - You're going to be using one a month, or more in areas with bad signal...
posted by Orb2069 at 7:42 AM on December 3, 2007

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