Mauve-ing Up

Louis Vuitton Alma Amarante

Skirt, consignment; blouse, J. Crew (via consignment); cardigan, J. Crew Factory; shoes, Calvin Klein; bag, Louis Vuitton

Is this mauve? I think it’s mauve, but then again, colour names are not my forte. In any case, I think it’s a pretty good match for my difficult plaid skirt.

Louis Vuitton Amarante Alma

Nailed the colour?

Speaking of difficult things, my hair, you guys. Oh, my hair. I tried to give myself those fashun bloggery loose waves, and failed miserably (as I tend to do at all fashun bloggery things). I documented my feelings about it on Instagram, because of course. What kind of fashun blogger would I be if I didn’t, I ask you. Anyway, if you missed my odd facial expressions, you’re in luck.

loose curls; loose waves

Did NOT nail the hairdo …

Ahem. Oh look, pretty, shiny bag.

Louis Vuitton Alma Amarante

Eh, it’s all about the bag anyway

Style Confessions, vol. 5

More style confessions this way … volume 1, 2, 3, and 4.

I’m Having a Style Crisis

Because I think I should dress like this:

photo credit: theory

photo credit: theory

But I always somehow seem to end up looking like (an infinitely less cool version of) this:

Elisa Nalin (photo via stockholm streetstyle)

Elisa Nalin (photo credit: stockholm streetstyle)

And, really, it all comes down to thoughts I’ve been having after reading this article. Go ahead and read it. I’ll wait.

OK, it’s a bit ridiculous. A lot ridiculous. I wasn’t sure at first if it was satire or not. I’m still not sure that the author isn’t trolling all of us; regardless, let me reiterate: don’t spend hundreds of thousands (or even tens of thousands) of dollars on your work wardrobe. Your career doesn’t require it and probably isn’t worth it, and that’s not an insult – neither is mine. I don’t make a million bucks a year, which is what I would have to earn in order to make a $162,000 wardrobe bill even remotely palatable (from a financial perspective at least).

[As an aside, last year I spend about 6% of my annual net income on clothes. This number is a little higher than I’d like it to be, but it’s not irresponsible given my overall financial picture and the fact that I count my clothes habit as a hobby more than a functional necessity. I don’t have a lot of other hobbies, and they tend to be inexpensive.]

Back to the clothes-as-an-investment thing. Once and for all: they’re not. An investment is something that appreciates (or has the potential to appreciate) in value, not something that depreciates. Clothes, bags, shoes: they all lose most of their value the minute that you take them out of the store. With that said, if you’re working in a client-oriented field, where personal presentation is key, clothes can be a sort of indirect investment vehicle. Looking the part of a competent, successful fill-in-the-blanks matters; maybe not as much as being a competent, successful fill-in-the-blanks, but enough. If you consider that your career is likely to be your biggest investment (i.e. money-making asset), spending money in furtherance of it can be a wise choice, provided you do it within reason and with an eye to your ROI.

But that’s not really what I want to talk about. [Holy freaking diversion.]

I’ve always been bothered by the phrase “dress for the job you want.” For a long time I thought it was silly, because I was convinced that ability would always trump presentation. The older I get, though, the more I realize that the world is (sadly) not as black and white, or fair, as I had assumed in my naïve youth. But I think what really bothers me is the implication that your job should dictate your style. As you guys know, I consider style a very personal form of self-expression. And I struggle with the idea of being defined by my career. I do what I do, but I am not what I do. It’s one thing to wear nylons, or knee-length skirts, or close-toed shoes, because of an office dress code. But style is another thing.

And yet.

After a few “wilderness years”, and then some family-building years, it’s now time for some career-making years. My career could still take any one of several different paths, but if I decide to stay on the current course, I’m probably going to have to take a hard look at my wardrobe. If I’m being honest with myself, it really should look more like that first picture. And it is a lovely outfit, don’t get me wrong. It just doesn’t feel like me. It feels like a some-day-I’ll-be-a-grownup version of me.

I’m not sure I’m ready for that, even if my career is.

I’m not sure I can afford to wait any longer to be ready.

The thing is, I’m dead serious about my career, and about what I want to accomplish. The work and personal sacrifices that will be required are also no joke. It’s probably time to stop fooling around with my style.

Office Christmas Party, 2015

Moschino floral dress; Valentino half bow peep toe pumps

Dress, Moschino; belt, Anthropologie; shoes, Valentino (via consignment); bag, Rebecca Minkoff

Roses and red lips: a perfect combo for an Alice in Wonderland themed party? I think so. Plus, I’m happy with any excuse to wear my lovely Moschino dress.

Here’s a slightly less blurry look from the afternoon “dress rehearsal”. I literally picked my outfit 3 hours before the party – I’m that disorganized, or that efficient. Potayto, potahto.

Moschino floral dress; Valentino half bow peep toe pumps

afternoon trial run …

The party was super excellent. You can always count on nice decor (because we’re talking about the Hotel Mac here, and it’d be hard to make it look chintzy), but the organizers outdid themselves this year. I mean, just take a look:

alice in wonderland party; christmas party decor

showing us the way … or not

alice in wonderland party; christmas party decor

table centrepiece

alice in wonderland party; christmas party decor

love the attention to detail

The food was good, the alcohol free-flowing, and the company excellent. I didn’t win the annual draw for a trip to New York (boo!), but I did get to take home this cute centrepiece – that is a functioning pocket watch there!

alice in wonderland party; christmas party decor

party favour!

Hope you’re enjoying a lovely Christmas (party) season!

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