Posts Categorized: reader requests

Reader Request: Balancing Style and Appropriateness

personal style dress code

Reader Maddie sent me this request:

Something I think a lot about is how to balance “dressing for situations that require ‘appropriateness'” vs “dressing in a way that makes me feel awesome and cool.” Like you I’ve been trending much more edgy – cool recently, and it’s a balancing act to figure out how far to let that go when I’m on site with a customer at a big health system. For example, I’m not taking out my eight ear piercings, no sir, but should I balance that out by not wearing my pointy edgy heeled booties? Is a leather pencil skirt too much now that my hair is dyed dark and I’m not pairing it with a cheerful floral, but a dark blouse?

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Reader Request: Styling Shawls and Scarves

styling shawls

Images courtesy Un-Fancy

Reader Isabel had this question:

I love to knit and am always trying new techniques/patterns and am slowly building a collection of knitted garments. Styling toques (I’m Canadian after all) and sweaters is pretty straight forward: it’s cold, so wear a toque or sweater. My challenge is primarily with shawls and scarves: how do I incorporate these into my wardrobe of jeans and t-shirts that works for a mother of a young kid and someone who is kind of lazy in the fashion department? (I’d rather knit a few extra minutes, or spend the time outside or with my family than fuss over clothing that same amount of time). In other words, how can I make my hand knits er, hip, instead of dowdy? (more…)

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Reader Request: Body-con Clothing for Older Women

tight clothes over 40

Reader Amy had this question:

I’d like to know more about how to find body-con clothing that is flattering and also doesn’t make it seem like I’m trying to look super young.

I’ve been getting lots of age-related questions lately! I love this one because, like another recent question about dark wash jeans and older women, it illustrates just how arbitrary our age-based style rules really are.

So let’s say you’re 26 and really happy with your body. If you wear body-skimming dresses and shorts no one will bat an eye. Or relatively few eyes will be batted anyway. If you’re 56 and really happy with your body, wearing body-skimming dresses and shorts will cause an alarming number of eyes to be batted. And why is that? What’s so appalling about seeing the thighs of a 56-year-old, or the outline of her figure under a slinky dress? Even if she conforms to the current beauty standard and is slim, toned, and hourglass-y some would still argue that she should wear looser dresses with more coverage and Bermudas or capris. And if she doesn’t, well, people love to police bodies and the policing of older bodies is practically a national past-time.

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