We don't have only one look or one type of style. There are so many occasions that require us to adjust how we dress. One day we may be wearing heels and pearls, the next we might be accessorizing our t-shirt and jeans with a scarf. One of the reasons that women can be intimidated by fashion is that it seems like an all or nothing proposition. It can seem that if you are stylish, then you always have to be dressed to the nines and if you are not stylish, then you are allowed to wear comfy shoes. However, it is not, and should not, be that black and white.
Now that it is warm outside, it is much easier to people watch and see what everyday people wear in their everyday lives. Recently I have noticed two pairs of women who help to demonstrate the importance of practical style, as opposed to giving up on style completely. Both pairs of women were mothers with very young children; I spotted one set at a local playground and one set chatting on the street. All of the mothers were dressed casually, but in both cases one mother looked presentable and one looked like she had given up on style. The presentable ones weren't wearing anything especially note-worthy, just a pair of colorful cropped pants and a fitted t-shirt, but when they stood next to their counterparts who were wearing over-sized men's athletic shorts and baggy t-shirts it created quite a contrast.
Photo credit: Rubbermaid Products via Flickr
Perhaps the women in the over-sized clothes felt that it would cover up what they dislike about their bodies or perhaps I just happened to see them on laundry day. Whatever the case may be, their clothes were not working for them. It may be easy to throw on something comfortable, even if it is unattractive, but you always end up paying for that decision later on. Catching a glimpse of yourself looking less than polished in the reflection of a store window or a mirrored elevator can take the wind out of your sails in an instant.
Luckily it is not a huge project to improve your style, even for casual wear. It's all about making lots of small choices, kind of like eating healthy. Instead of choosing to eat an apple instead of a cookie, you are choosing to wear a fitted tee instead of an over-sized one or choosing a cardigan instead of a sweatshirt from your alma mater. Leave the sweatshirt and baggy tee for limited occasions, like a hike in a state park or going to the gym.
What is appropriate is not static; jeans are great for lots of casual events, but you wouldn't wear them to a cocktail party. That is why style needs to be flexible. Instead of curating a closet that only works for one aspect of your life, choose a variety of pieces. You might have five fabulous cocktail dresses just waiting to be worn for a party, but you also need to have a flattering pair of jeans to wear to the grocery store, The most important thing is not that you look like a fashionista every time you walk out your front door, but rather that the pieces you wear make you look and feel good.
Originally posted at practicallystylish.weebly.com
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