This Judith & Charles dress is one of my favourite pieces to wear when I need to look “business-y”. It looks polished without being too staid, and bright without being cartoonish. In my line of work, I have to walk a fine line — having sufficient gravitas to be taken seriously, without appearing unapproachable or intimidating to the kind of clients with whom I usually work. I think (or hope) this dress helps me to do that. Although I have paired it with bright accessories for the office in the past, on this occasion I stuck with more conservative options. [I wore the red bag to work, but brought my large black tote to the off-site client meeting.] The pinstripe in the jacket added some subtle visual interest, but overall the effect was low key.
Outfits like this one are not necessarily my favourite, but needs must and all that, and I think it’s worthwhile putting them on the blog from time to time for a dose of (unglamorous?) reality. I feel pretty fortunate to be able to wear things that are more “my style” most of the time; I would have way less fun with clothes if my work dress code did not align at all with my personal preferences.
On that note, I’m curious: does your work code allow you to wear things you like every day, or do you have to “sacrifice” your personal style to pratical considerations? If so, how does that impact your attitude to clothes generally? Also speaking of professional dress, I would love to hear your thoughts on this article.
Hey, look: it’s that painted dress again! I mentioned in my last post that I was excited to remix it, and here’s the proof. Of course, the first choice was my (current) favourite blazer. If I seem to be wearing it a lot, that’s because I am. I love it so much, I even went hunting for another colorway on eBay. No luck on that end, yet, but I did manage to find the *identical* blazer in a local thrift store — so I bought it as a back-up!
I don’t typically advocate buying doubles of things (undergarments excepted) because I find it difficult to predict what items will become true staples. For example, you might consider that a black pair of pumps would be a staple, but it’s not always immediately apparent if a particular pair will have true longevity; over time, you might come to realize that it’s not as comfortable as you originally thought, or as durable, or even as versatile (due to heel height, toe shape, etc.). Or you might realize that you don’t wear the item as often as you thought you did, making a back-up unnecessary. The only times I’ve purposefully bought back-ups, I did so long after the original purchase (after properly “test driving” the item in question). Generally, this approach means that acquiring a back-up is close to impossible, since retail cycles move incredibly fast these days; eBay is usually the only solution in such cases. Or, as here, thrifting.
One of the upsides of my thrifting adventures this year is the drastic reduction in my retail shopping. I rarely visit brick and mortar stores anymore, and browse online with similar (in)frequency. I also rarely feel tempted by items — the retail price usually sees to that — but every now and then, the struggle becomes real. A perfect example was J. Crew’s Fall 2016 blazer offerings. I lusted after them back in September, when I first glimpsed them on other bloggers’ IGs, and I continue to lust after them now. Last week’s Black Friday sales made the temptation even greater; prices were still substantially higher than thrift comparables, but the lure of “40% off” should not be underestimated.
I was resolved to stay strong, however. In reality, I have more than enough blazers already … and I am bound to find more whenever I go thrifting. So instead of hitting that “add to cart” button, I hit up my closet. I love the fit of this Liz Claiborne blazer, and it has a similar vibe to the current J. Crew line-up, although it isn’t made out of wool. I paired it with a navy “column” and neutral accessories, and called it an outfit. You can never go wrong keeping things simple.