“It, uh…” You gulped in a mixture of excitement in apprehension at the set of garments hanging in front of you. “It looks… good, but… don’t you think it might be a little small?”
The assistant arched an eyebrow at you. “I assure you, I tailored it precisely to your measurements,” they replied. Though their tone was clipped and professional, you could have sworn you could hear a tinge of amusement in their voice. “You may rest assured that it will fit your body like a glove.”
Yeah, my body and nothing else, you longed to say as you looked dubiously at the stand. You couldn’t deny that it was expert work; rich, deep burgundy blazer, bowtie and trousers over a gleaming white, elegantly pleated shirt. When you stepped closer to examine the garments, you realised that the weave was so fine it was practically invisible; running your fingertips along the sleeve of the jacket felt so smooth it was like touching a pool of cool water. Every seam was perfectly sewn and placed; in fact, the uniform would have looked almost too symmetrical if not for the metronome insignia delicately monogrammed over the breast pocket. And it was a uniform – you had to remind yourself of that as your eyes widened, drinking in the quality of the craftsmanship. You almost didn’t want to put it on, for fear of wrinkling the fabric.
“No need to worry,” piped up the assistant, as if reading your mind. They were wearing a perfect duplicate of the outfit which stood before you, offering a handsome insight into what you were about to look like. “This weave is quite resilient; it will not crumple easily. Though,” they added, more sternly, “you are still expected to keep it clean and neat at all times.”
“Right, of course,” you murmured, still enamoured with the sharp fit, and still slightly concerned that you couldn’t squeeze yourself into it. As you lifted the blazer out of the way, you frowned in confusion; just barely visible behind the unbuttoned shirt, you spotted what looked like a tightly-rolled bundle of white fabric laid on the small shelf in the middle of the clothing stand. You could spot seams almost as fine as the ones on the garment, so it certainly wasn’t some kind of bandage or loose fabric. What on Earth…?
“Ah, I see you’ve found the undergarments,” the assistant spoke up helpfully, as though it were the most normal thing in the world. “Underwear, undershirt and socks, again, all fitted to your size.”
You looked back at the mousy-haired assistant, dumbfounded both at their words and at their blasé, serene smile. “Seriously?”
“I assure you, I’m quite serious,” the assistant replied, still with that airy-yet-professional tone. The only indication that anything was at all out of the ordinary was a slight twinkle in their hazel eyes. “We pride ourselves on keeping our employees perfectly presentable in all aspects. Now then,” they continued, with businesslike zeal, “would you prefer privacy as you disrobe?”
You continued staring at them as if they had come from another planet. Would you prefer privacy? You weren’t about to strip down to your underwear – no, not even your underwear! – in front of a total stranger! You hoped that a long, pregnant silence would convey your befuddlement for you, but they simply waited silently, seemingly unconcerned by your blank stare. Eventually, you realised you were the one who had to blink first. Finally, you looked away, back at the garments you were supposed to squeeze yourself into. “Yes, some privacy would be nice,” you muttered grimly.
“Very good,” they said with sing-song cheeriness. They indicated a wicker basket sitting in the corner of the room. “Please place your old clothing in here to be disposed of, and simply knock on the door once you have finished changing, or if you need my help in getting anything on.”
Without another word, they left the room, the door clicking shut behind them. The questions you had died in your throat. Old clothing? To be disposed of? You swallowed hard at the implications. You decided to remove your personal affects from your pockets before doing anything else, laying them on a small commode beside you. Inwardly, you hoped that it was a simple slip of the assistant’s tongue, but their clipped, practiced diction gave you pause.
As you laid your phone on the varnished wood, you suddenly became aware of two things at once. First, your ears perked up at the sound of what seemed like very faint music, as though it were coming from a long distance away, though you could see no speakers in the room. Simple, gentle chords, shifting every few seconds in a rolling, rhythmic cadence. You vaguely wished that the music was just a little louder; it was surprisingly soothing to listen to. The second thing you noticed was a hint of a scent; spicy, woody, rich and deep. Even the small whisper of the smell offered a pleasant massage to your sinuses, filling your nose and lungs with a hint of heady warmth. The exact aroma was unfamiliar to you, though. Some kind of perfume, perhaps?
When you bent down to remove your shoes, the smell suddenly intensified. You realised that it was coming from the uniform you were supposed to wear. When your nose was so close as to almost brush the fabric, the smell was strong, but far from unpleasant or overpowering. You had to close your eyes for a moment just to enjoy the richness of the scent, each note playing in beautiful harmony to make a small symphony for your nose. It was really nice to be able to indulge yourself, just a little. Well… you supposed if it meant smelling like this all the time, you wouldn’t mind the uniform being a little tight.
Eventually, you managed to tear yourself away from the delicious aroma long enough to pull off your clothes. Eager to get into your new uniform, you disrobed with a little less care than usual, leaving your old clothes in a rumpled heap on the floor. You hesitated for a moment, casting a glance around to make sure you really were alone, before you yanked off your underwear, flinging it off to join the rest. Being completely nude in this grand wood-panelled room felt… a little odd. Though you couldn’t quite put your finger on why. You knew nobody was watching you, yet somehow… it felt wrong to be exposed like this, even in private. You longed for… something. You weren’t quite sure what. But you pushed the thoughts aside. Remembering the assistant’s instructions, you deposited your clothes in the hamper before, as if by a magnet, your gaze was inexorably drawn back to your rich purple uniform.
First, you unrolled the underwear from the bundle of white fabric sitting on the shelf. You gulped in apprehension; it definitely looked too small, no matter what the assistant said. And the cut was… strange somehow, though without putting it on it was difficult to tell exactly how. At least the material was incredibly soft and slightly stretchy. As soon as you threaded your feet through the holes, you could feel the underwear straining against your legs, inching up your calves and thighs like some bizarre tourniquet. You did your best to be as delicate as possible, so as not to risk damaging the cloth, but there was only so delicate you could be as you were yanking it up over your hips and rear.
Finally! You slipped the crotch of the underwear into place. Experimentally, you flexed your thighs, expecting the underwear to tighten uncomfortably… but, strangely, it did not do so. Glancing down, you realised why the cut of the underwear was so odd. It seemed to have been specially shaped to you, following every curve of your hips like a second skin. It stretched and moved precisely as much as your own body did; no more, no less. It left almost nothing to the imagination, but… it felt so comfortable that you didn’t exactly mind. It was… a strangely sensual sensation, seeing each curve of your hips, your buttocks, your groin, all mirrored perfectly by the incredibly soft fabric which now hugged the top of your legs.
Excitedly, you sat on the floor, pulling the socks on and being rewarded with that same feeling of pliant, tingling compression in your feet. Each shift of foot position now came with a warm, massaging response from the socks. Ravenous for more, you unfurled the undershirt, pulling it over your head – and stopped. Your nose was pressed right up against that scent, that delicious perfume. It was all you could do not to drool at the spicy, woody musk pouring into your nose. You wanted to indulge, you needed to drink in the aroma…
…but no, you still felt… exposed. Improper. Unbefitting of a good employee. The hunger for the scent shifted to the hunger to wrap yourself further in this feeling of soft compression. You pulled the undershirt into place, marvelling how it perfectly matched every contour in your torso. It was like watching yourself become a statue of white fabric, enveloped within a sleek idol of yourself. It was so soft, so comfortable, you yearned to run your hands over yourself, over your new body… but no. You needed to be good, you craved to be good, to be prim and proper and obedient to… to…
You blinked. The music in the background had gotten louder, the chords more intense, their massage to your ears growing stronger and stronger. You realised you were moving almost by autopilot, the starched white shirt already completely buttoned up, hugging your arms and torso comfortably. When… when had you put it on? You… you strained your memory, trying to remember picking it up, but… all you could remember was a sort of… fuzzy blankness, a… a yearning for… for…
You glanced down, realising your hands were moving by themselves, without any command from your conscious brain. They had pulled up the trousers to your waist, and were tightening the simple black belt sharply. It was… strange, watching your hands moving without conscious direction, and yet… it felt so good, to be covered, to be compressed by the fabric, to look prim and proper…
“…to be controlled…”
…that you didn’t mind, really. It was so much easier to… to just… allow yourself to be enveloped by the soft, tight fabric, pressing against every part of your body like a warm, delicate hug… you caught a glimpse of yourself in a standing mirror, and gasped. You looked so… sharp… straight-backed and elegant, handsome and professional. It felt so… right. It felt like you’d been missing this feeling all your life, as though there had always been this niggling discomfort in your own skin which was now wiped away by the uniform you now wore. You saw more than felt your body moving again, tugging on and buttoning up the blazer, but you saw no reason to stop it. On the contrary, you still felt that niggling feeling of emptiness, like your look was… incomplete. Yes, you felt amazing, powerful and obedient, elegant and subservient, yet… something was… missing.
You lifted up the bowtie, threading it around your neck. Ah, that’s what was missing! The collar of the tie was thicker and sturdier than you expected, and the latch where the two ends joined seemed… odd, somehow. Several intricate pieces of metal, which no doubt were to join together somehow, but your brain felt… slow. Sluggish. Too enamoured by that feeling of… comfort in your own skin, and… something else. Some inexorable draw towards… something. A need to bow, to serve the wishes of…
Foreign hands were suddenly at your neck. The assistant had returned – they were adjusting your bowtie. You let your hands fall to your sides, awaiting their actions patiently. They fiddled with the strange mechanism, the metal parts weaving into each other, the almost collar-like bowtie tightening around your neck –
You gasped – a overpowering sense of rightness surged through your body at the sound of your bowtie locking shut around your neck. This sense of soft compression, of straight-backed composure, the scent of frankincense, the craving to submit to the wishes of those who cared for you… your mind was flooded with these sensations, and it felt so right. Finally, finally, you were where you were meant to be. You were who you needed to be. You were elegant, you were powerful. You were subservient, you were obedient. You were… you were…
“Are you ready?”
You snapped to attention on instinct. Arms by your side, heels together, back straight. The response burst deep from the back of your subconscious, inexorable, ecstatic, obedient.
“I am ready to comply.”