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Reworking workwear

March 26, 2010

It’s great how differently you see an article of clothing when you stop confining it to one area of your life.

I tend to compartmentalize my clothes, sometimes limiting their capabilities. Part of this is because I buy clothes for work that may be my work style, but they’re not my favorite style, so I’m not going to wear them elsewhere. Also, when I wear something to work all the time, I begin to mentally associate that piece of clothing with work. When I’m out with friends on a weekend, in a bar, or trying to relax, I don’t want to look in a mirror and remember when I looked in the work bathroom mirror last Tuesday and saw my lunch dripped on the same clothes staring back at me right now.

However, I realize this limits my wardrobe, and it limits the functionality of my clothes. My clothes are powerful and versatile and nice, and here I am confining them to singular activities! Yes, I wear them different ways, but sometimes not in different settings.

Tonight all I did was go to Jonathan’s to watch DVRed television, but I wore the shirt pictured at right in a teal color (though I own it in this white as well), which I normally wear to work tucked in a skirt or with a cardigan and a belt and pants. It’s got this big bunchy/girly collar and is from Ann Taylor Loft (probably why it’s been confined to my work wardrobe in the past). Tonight, I wore it with skinny jeans and let it be the complementary flawy top to my snug and sleek bottoms, plus black flats and a black sweater. (When it warms up a little more I can wear it without a sweater and really show off the collar, though it’s polyester so once the real sweat season starts it may get ugly.) I didn’t take a photo of myself because I change into pajamas within 90 seconds of entering my apartment every time I enter. By the time I thought to take a photo, I was wearing flannel. Just trust that I looked good.

Thinking about how to rework your clothes, whether dressing up the casual or dressing down the fancy, makes your closet and wardrobe feel more cohesive, and gives you so many more options. I’m going to try to be more open-minded when facing the closet, and stop boxing in my clothes. It’s Friday, and hopefully you’re casual and already enjoying weekend wear!

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 26, 2010 10:30 am

    Since my office is so casual, I don’t have a huge distinction between my work clothes and non-work clothes. There are a few tops and dresses that are definitely “nicer” than others but I’m usually a little over-dressed at work anyway (compared to everyone else). I wear a lot of the same dresses to work and on the weekends, and just style them with different belts, jewelry or shoes.

    By the way, I love that top, and would definitely rock it with skinny jeans and heels (or flats) on the weekend! Ann Taylor has really stepped it up, but I never seem to go in there. I should at least make an effort to check out its sales (after April 29, that is).

  2. March 26, 2010 11:51 am

    I’m kind of in the same category with Shannon on this one. Not a lot of distinction.

    Though I sometimes do get lazy for work and just throw on khakis and a comfy top. I’m trying to be better about this and put more effort into both aspects of my life.

  3. March 26, 2010 1:29 pm

    I’m obsessed with that top, it’s so great. Last time I was in Ann Taylor Loft, it was like I stepped into a cheaper JCREW. So clutch. I’m with Shannon in that my work is SO casual and I often feel like I’m dressier outside of work than I am at work, but I love when I find new ways to wear old stuff.

    I remember from working with you at UW though, your clothes were always the bomb. Tell everyone hey for me 🙂

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