Thursday, April 12, 2012

Happy Medium

In This Outfit:
Sweater: J.Crew ($30-ish?)
Top: Thrifted ($3)
Skirt: Thrifted ($5)
Shoes: Thrifted ($4)
Necklace: Swapped
Gold Cuff: Thrifted ($2)
Tights: AA
B&W Bangle c/o Poshlocket

Do you ever put on an outfit, only to realize that it's not quite "you", even if it's one that you've worn before? That's how I felt yesterday when I attempted to recreate this outfit from 2011. See, after working from home in jeans and a tee shirt all day yesterday, I had to find some sort of "professional-ish" outfit for an evening networking event. Or rather, I felt like I had to dress somewhat professionally (in the long run, I don't think it mattered). The downside of an incredibly lax dress-code at work is that all that knowledge I used to have- which wasn't that much, really- of professional wear from college admissions has completely flown out the window and I'm left flapping my hands in front of a closet filled with flow-y summer things (I may have packed away all my more structured winter stuff a bit too soon)...

When I put on the first version of this outfit, I felt so uncomfortable. Like I wanted to jump out of my skin. I'm sure it looked fine, I mean it was exactly the same as before, but it's kind of amazing how your emotions can affect the way you feel. After throwing on this denim top and some jewelry, I felt somewhat better, but still not exactly myself.

How do you feel about "professional wear"? Are you an expert? Or are you like me, completely stumped?

31 comments:

Natasha Fatah said...

I used to wear a lot of "professional wear" and suits, etc, when I was working in PR and retail. But now as a journalist, I have a lot more freedom to wear what I want.

The outfit you're wearing today is perfect!

xoxo
~Natasha Fatah~
~Natasha Fatah~

kim said...

ooh this is so cute! that skirt really flatters you.

Laurel Ann Walker said...

I posted something about this earlier on Already Pretty. I work in a business casual but still very, very, very conservative government legal office. This does NOT jive with my taste as a 21-year-old professional whose personal style could be best described as Kate Spade meets Disney Princesses meets glitter. I am almost always at a loss at what to wear because, for me, I could wear a tutu and t-shirt every day if they'd let me.

http://one-girl-vs-world.blogspot.com

Michal said...

Thankfully I work in an office with a pretty casual dress-code, so I generally can get by wearing my normal stuff. It's so tough for me though when I have a business meeting or event that I have to dress more professionally for. I always have to try on a million things before I find something that is both apropos to the event and something that I feel like myself in.

Megan said...

I'm lucky enought to wear whatever I want to work. So I don't really have a problem :) but I love this outfit. those shoes really do POP! Love it!

http://nauticalowl.blogspot.com/

Bekah said...

I can't stand professional wear. I live for our Casual Friday's. I just hate spending the money on clothes I'll likely only wear to work. Recently I've been trying to bridge the gap a bit by purchasing things I can dress up or down. There is really nothing I hate more than dress pants and a short sleeved button up shirt. Yuck!

Tulle and Trinkets said...

I'm lucky enough to work somewhere with a really relaxed dress code too. I really don't like wearing professional garb. Dress pants? SO uncomfortable and not flattering. I'm with you -- I have no clue how to combine my personal style with professional clothes.

Alix said...

Professional wear is super tough -- I actually lose sleep over outfit planning when I'm preparing for a conference trip or big presentation. But you look great and that skirt is super cute!

Looks and Books said...

I think this outfit is so cute and fun! It's just the right balance of polished and bright and jazzy.

Marlena said...

I'm an assistant at a financial firm and they all wear navy suits and beige heels. I'm currently wearing a loud orange shirt with magenta peonies exploding all over it haha I definitely don't respect the dress code.

I like how you can take a fairly simple outfit and make it really cute. I feel like if I put this on and tried to take pictures of it, it would fall flat. Skills girl, skills.

modern Suburbanites said...

you look adorable! i love this look.

www.modernsuburbanites.blogspot.com

C Marcia (Sequins) said...

I did almost exactly this the other day--I wore one of my favorite shirts, a well-loved skirt, my favorite sweater, and some exciting accessories. Sounds like a perfect combination, but the outfit was not me. At all. It was unfortunate.

I feel your pain! But your outfit is still super cute.

I'm pretty okay with professional wear. I've always tended more towards formal, just because I'm not a fan of pants, but I don't like being boxed in with limits. My workplace is pretty relaxed with standards, though, so it's all good.

Better luck next time!
-C Marcia (Sequins)

Steffys Pros and Cons said...

i think the chambray tops makes it totally you! but i know what you mean... when i worked a 9-5 and had to wear black slacks to work i felt SO weird and it put me in a weird mood at work haha


Xo,
steffy
Steffys Pros and Cons

Alexis said...

I have yet to hold a job that requires professional dress, so I have no idea what I would do. You seem to have pulled it off so well! And your hair... it is simply incredible :).

Julia A said...

I know exactly what you mean about wanting to crawl out of your skin when wearing a certain outfit, even if you've worn if before! I think people change way too often to recreate the same outfit after so much time as passed. Styles evolve without us even realizing it.

I actually kind of love professional wear, because it makes it harder to be creative, and allows you to really practice your creativity. If the dress code is lax, I kind of freak out-- way too many possibilities to think about!! it's nice to have your wardrobe structured in some way. But I never wear blazers or pencil skirts with any ease... it's something I have to get used to, I guess. I also think women have it a lot harder than men when it comes to professional dress-- do we really have to dress like men to be professional? And isn't so much of women's workwear strangely sexualized (pencil skirts, stiletto heels, dark tights, silk blouses) with the secretary fetish? Wearing any of those things makes me weirdly uncomfortable for that reason...

2-or-3-things.blogspot.com

Kimi Holmes said...

Professional Wear is SO hard for me, especially just starting out. I want to build my wardrobe with some unique pieces, and also try to find that line between boring and too edgy. I never know what to wear to "professional" events!

Jasie VanGesen said...

I'd be SO screwed if I had to dress "professional" pretty much ever. I attend some networking mixers here in town, but since my work is creative and funky, I really don't bother. I tend to hate structured clothes in general, so I wear what I'd normally wear, but maybe with a little more sparkle or jewelry.

Colleen Beaty said...

I've been working in an office with a casual dress code for almost 6 years. Like you, I definitely feel like I've lost a good deal of my knowledge of professional dress. And most of my staple pieces for professional dress, like my dress shirts and such, are rather outdated. If I ever get an interview for a new job, I'm going to have to go shopping for an interview outfit or I'll be so screwed!

Chelle Lynn said...

I am completely dumb when it comes to structured professional fashion. I've had three interviews in the past week, and I've worn the same black 3/4 sleeve wrap dress and black ankle boots to all of them. It's so hard to feel like me while still fulfilling other people's expectations of what I should dress like (especially since "me" is all about cotton and flowy shapes.)

Destrehan's Daughter said...

I feel like most of the time I look professional in a fun and artistic way. Sometimes I just need to be professional and on those days I tone it down a bit. When I first got my current job though I had to switch from jeans and flip flops to something more business casual and that was hard. It took me awhile to figure out how to be comfortable. I like your look, especially the pink shoes.

Monse Fuentes said...

love the skirt!



El blog de Monse
El blog de Monse
El blog de Monse

blue roses said...

i work in pharmaceutical strategy consulting..... quite a ways away from studying fiction writing at university (to be fair, along with neurobiology), going to underground noise rock shows, and flash fashion shows.

so, in short, dressing professionally was not really something i was well acquainted with.

now, i write about my professional outfits all the time on my blog; i still exude my same personal style, i have found that, to put it overly simply, my pieces are more structured and a bit more sophisticated. in a lot of cases, understanding draping, and relying on natural fibers, as opposed to synthetic polyester pieces, can be all you need to pull together a "professional" look.

i love the polka dot skirt; i know it is not your style, per se, but paired with a crisp white button down blouse, it would be incredible.

http://dallianceswithsuitsandskirts.blogspot.com/

hello DODO said...

I really love this outfit! The skirt is an amazing find. I've never had any experience of "professional wear". I currently work in a shop and have to wear their stuff, even though most of it isn't my style at all. It's tough! I'd love to have a job where I can wear what I want everyday.. :o)

Emily Devine said...

I love this outfit! It looks professional, but still has personality.

It seems to take a lot more creativity to make a professional outfit look stylish and fun!

Caitie said...

pretty obsessed with this! love the shoes with it :)

xxx
www.ladyalamode.com

Paula T said...

I work from home now too and find that as I no longer have the need for office attire I end up in jeans and tees! This depressed me a little and so every few days I've made a pact with myself I will try a new combination or dress up as if people would see me.

I also know what you mean about putting a tried and tested outfit on and for some reason feeling it's no longer you, very strange as a few days/weeks ago you loved it. Keeps you on your toes though and make you reinvent your wardrobe so I quite like the challenge!
http://paulatasker.squarespace.com

charity victoria said...

Oh my gosh, I love every detail of this outfit! It's so lovely. Pinning it to recreate it later. :) thanks for the inspiration!

nicola lynde. said...

Oh this is so spot on! I can wear something once and parade around, feeling like the cats pajamas, then put it on for round two and want to crawl into a hole and hide. I also struggle with 'work wear'. Trying to balance a unique sense of style with professional dress is difficult. Your posts are so, so relatable!

Claudeen said...

I experience that all the time so I can relate to your read. Nice ensemble!

Melody said...

Completely stumped. Every time I try to dress "professionally" I end up looking like a teacher. It's disgusting.

Christina said...

Lovely outfit! I like that skirt of yours, it's really cute and chic.

Christina @ Mens Slim Dress Shirts

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