It’s dress down week at my job and I know what that means–drabby, uninspired, frumpy get ups for the next five days. I don’t really talk about my blog at my job (politics and perception…), so I don’t expect any of of the people who could really use this advice to read it. However, for those of you who landed on this post via google or bing or other women who read my blog because they can identify with the journey of my evolving style, then this one is for you. Before I get into how you can make the jump from frump I guess I should tell you why my firm is going casual. It’s for a good cause to raise funds and awareness for breast cancer awareness.
Ok, so here are 7 ways to make the jump from frump to casual chic.
1) Get your hair done. It sounds like really simple advice, but I’ve seen it with my own two eyes. There are some people who don’t realize that messy hair, like black shoes (my mother’s fashion advice) can really kill an outfit.
2) Consider it a privilege if you are allowed to wear denim to work because even in the midst of this evolution of office wear, some companies still wont get with the times. If you are allowed to wear denim, go for the dark wash and black (yes, they do exist) denim in lieu of the lighter colored stone or acid wash. Darker denim looks more office appropriate and formal to me (if there is such a thing as formal denim). Also make sure the cut of the pants is modern (leave those frumpy Mommy jeans where they belong, in the past) and is appropriate for your body type.
3) Switch out the sneakers for flats or heels. Yes, I know they have those really cute wedge sneakers on the market now and maybe perhaps those would look more appropriate than the ugly gym/workout sneakers. But heels (not the granny ones) is a great way to take your frumpy getup to casual chic.
4) In lieu of the expected t-shirt, pick a dressier top. If you must wear a t-shirt go for a more fitted one that is flattering to your body type. For example, I know that a v-neck fitted t-shirt works better on my body (three letters… 36D) than a scoop neck.
5) Add a statement necklace, especially if you have long hair. It’s an unexpected piece that brings drama to any outfit.
6) Add print or texture. Most of my outfits have a tried and proven formula (print + color + neutral = fab) and I have found that this also works for casual outfits.
7) In the words of Stacy and Clinton from What Not To Wear, always add a completer piece to help pull the outfit together. This can be a blazer, vest, belt or scarf. My favorite completer piece are blazers. For my fellow budget shoppers, you all know that blazers are not on the low side of “affordable”. Most of my blazers are honestly left over from years ago when 2-piece suits was required work attire, I inherited a few (I knew someone that worked at a major retailer and inherited a lot when they closed), and I have thrifted a few (there is nothing that good dry cleaner can’t fix).
Here are five examples of how I made the jump from frump all featuring one base piece, my Old Navy indigo blue jeans. These are all outfits that were posted at various times on my blog between September 2011 and March of 2012.
Please feel free to share your own advice on how women can make the jump from frump in the comments below.