Posts Tagged: casual

Warm Weather Business Casual

AP Warm Weather

If it were just warm out that would be one thing, but so often we spend our days in offices where the air conditioning is set anywhere from “approaching pleasant” to “meat locker” so layering is a must. I find a lightweight silk shirt picks up where a jacket leaves off. I picked up these olive chinos recently, and don’t know how I’ve lived so long without them. For those who work in a business casual-BUT-NO-JEANS!! environment, they are a wonderful alternative.

Shirt: Equipment // Tank: Eileen Fisher (also available in Plus) // Pants: J.Crew // Earrings: Argento Vivo, similar // Watch: Michael Kors // Bag: Balenciaga // Shoes: Sam Edelman

 

AP Warm Weather 3

I can’t believe how heavy handbags have become over the last few years. One thing about the classic Balenciagas…they are very lightweight.

AP Warm Weather 2

If your workplace doesn’t allow sandals or open-toed shoes, d’orsay styles or open back ankle strap styles like these keep feet cooler than a closed pump, but usually won’t raise an eyebrow from the Dress Code Police.

How do you deal with dressing for the office during warm seasons?

**Disclosure: Actions you take from the hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for http://unefemme.net. See Already Pretty’s disclosure statement for more details.
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Already Pretty contributor Une Femme is fifty-seven, married to the same wonderful monsieur since 1995, the mother of a special-needs teenager and two hooligan dogs, a full-time administrative professional, a coffee-holic, Paris-obsessed, native Californian, and a petite and curvy femme d’un certain age. She believes that personal style is an essential form of self-expression, and started her blog, une femme d’un certain âge, in 2007 hoping to start a conversation about style for women over 50.

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Reader Request: Rut vs. Signature

 

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Reader Brenda sent me this fantastic question:

I’ve been considering the difference between a style rut vs. developing a signature look. I’ve read, for example, that Anna Wintor routinely wears a variation on a sheath dress. She’s found what works and sticks with it. Is that a signature or a rut?

I sew a lot of my clothes and have a standard fit & flare dress pattern that I use. I vary the fabric, color, sleeve length and details, and neckline shape, and I get compliments from people. Now there’s a niggling in the back of my head that I’m in a rut, but the competing thought is that this is working for me. I’d love your thoughts on this!

Seriously, isn’t that a good one? As a person who loves being eclectic, I hadn’t given it a ton of thought before Brenda posted the question, but here are my initial thoughts:

How do you feel about it?

This is the main point of differentiation, if you ask me. A rut feels bad, boring, frustrating, and difficult to get out of. You’re in a rut if you’re wearing the same things over and over again and cannot think of anything else you’d rather wear. A signature feels natural, aligned with your inner vision of yourself, freeing, serene. You’ve developed a signature if you’re wearing the same things over and over again and feel pulled-together and perfectly like yourself.

Does it suit you?

Many of us get stuck in ruts wearing garments or outfits that are more easy than appealing: Jeans and a tee, trousers and a cardigan, the same style of dress. They’re on-hand, they fit, they’re comfortable, they’re washable. We may wear them constantly even though they don’t make us feel good about ourselves. Part of the rut is identifying that your routines aren’t necessarily working for your figure or style, and feeling helpless to change. A signature, on the other hand, is a style or garment that you gravitate toward or even collect specifically because you love how it works for you. You’ve actively chosen it because it suits you and made it central to your personal style.

Do you employ variations on your theme?

Our girl A.W. is definitely a fan of the sheath, but she mixes up her choices. We see cap sleeves, half sleeves, no sleeves. Colors and neutrals. She definitely gravitates toward prints, but there are a few solids in her closet, too. And she varies her accessories: Sometimes there’s a belt or necklace, she switches out her watch occasionally, and gorgeous and varied shoes. If she were in a rut, she would probably stick to a single sleeve style and palette, and style her sheaths the same way every time.

Do you mix in other options?

Naturally, if you wear the exact same thing every day, you’re in uniform territory. And nothing wrong with that, especially if you FEEL great in your uniform. If you wear extremely slight variations on the same combinations every day and never introduce other outfits or styles – and especially if doing this makes you feel trapped, bored, or stuck, as mentioned above – that is more of a rut situation. But if you have a style of pant, shoe, dress, or necklace that is your sartorial touchstone but still occasionally wear and enjoy wearing other styles of pant, shoe, dress, or necklace, you’ve likely developed a signature.

That’s my take, anyway. What are your thoughts? What do YOU see as differentiating a style rut from a style signature?

Images courtesy E Online, Style Bistro, Upscale Hype

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Alt Key

AP-Alt Key

One of my Style Muses is Emmanuelle Alt, Editor-In-Chief of Vogue Paris. She has a look (slim pants or jeans and jacket, feminine shoes or boots, and one or two pieces of standout jewelry) and mostly sticks to it. She keeps to a palette of black/white/denim or chambray and has mastered that Parisian-just-threw-it-on-but-totally-together thing. Despite the fact that she has a very different body type than I do (she’s tall and willowy while I’m petite and curvy) I’ve been able to adapt some of her signature looks to my own body and wardrobe. She really works the white jeans year-round, and has inspired me to do the same.

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Jacket: Eileen Fisher, several years old, similar style // Tee: Eileen Fisher // Jeans: NYDJ from last year, similar // Necklaces: French Kande (pendant) and several years old (beads), similar // Sandals: Arche and similar from Munro

Do you have a “Style Muse”?  If so, what has your Muse inspired you to try?

**Disclosure: Actions you take from the hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for http://unefemme.net. See Already Pretty’s disclosure statement for more details.

 

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