Thursday, August 30, 2012

Proof That I'm Not a Fashion Blogger

I've found that it can be hard to piece together outfits that work in the "professional" world when you're fresh out of school (or a few years removed...), especially if you're working on a limited budget. There is an art to the mixing of cheap and expensive pieces, and there is skill required to put together a combination of "the basics" plus some pieces that are unique and fun. I'm certainly no fashion blogger, and I don't claim to have to amazing, fantastic outfits that everyone wants copy - but I do think that I put together outfits that are office-appropriate, comfortable, affordable, and not too entirely shabby. Mostly.

Jill over at Strawberry Blonde Life recently did a series where she photographed herself every day during the week to show her outfit and then went on to describe where she got the pieces and some basic details about how she gets dressed for work. After seeing her posts for a month, I figured that was something that wasn't too difficult - even I can commit to taking a picture five times a week! And so, here you have it: Week 1 of "How to Dress Like a 'Professional'" (because I'm not entirely sure I really qualify as a professional yet).

**Disclaimer: As it says in my profile, I am NOT a professional photographer (duh). I am not a fashion blogger. I am not anything other than a girl who got a college degree, has a job she's good at but doesn't necessarily love, and doesn't particularly like getting up at 5:15 AM therefore gets dressed with her eyes half closed. What do you expect from me?? Jeeeez.

Week 1

  • Monday: Sweater - Target; Shirt - LOFT; Skirt - LOFT Outlet; Pumps - Nine West
  • Tuesday: Shirt - Express (it's actually purple... hmph); Pants - Express; Flats - Target
  • Wednesday: Shirt - Express; Pants - American Eagle (they have an indistinguishable blue, white, and black plaid pattern); Flats - Target
  • Thursday: Dress - LOFT Outlet; Sandals - BareTraps (DSW)
  • Friday: Dress - Lands' End; Belt - Express; Sandals - BareTraps (DSW)

And there you have it. The majority of these were purchased over the course of the last three or four years, so I can't tell you where to find it right now. There's your first hint from me: buy items that last. If I buy a dress, I don't want to get two wears out of it, I want to get two years out of it. Same goes for pants. Shoes should also be good quality - it's so much better to get a good, sturdy pair of pumps that fit well and feel good, and have to get the heels repaired a year later, than to buy crappy pair after crappy pair. Trust me - investing is worth it! As long as you will actually wear whatever it is you're buying.

I'll be honest - I'm currently having an issue because a lot of the things I bought right when I graduated from college don't fit me anymore. I was probably a good two sizes bigger then (let's not talk about it... or at least talk a different day) and I needed 'professional' clothes that fit, so I had to shop. Now, those things look ridiculous on me. I can't tell you how many times my mom has looked at me and said, "Lindsay, your butt looks so saggy in those pants." It's NOT because my butt is saggy - it's because my pants are too big and therefore loose and silly looking! So that's a struggle. I don't really want to replace my whole wardrobe, so I'm working with the pieces that sort of fit (belts are fantastic) and researching how much it is to get a few pieces tailored rather than discarding and rebuying. Hint #2: tailoring can be very, very worth it. It's amazing what a stitch here and there (or ten or a hundred) will do for an article of clothing that you didn't think fit. So consider that as an option, too! (Also, I've realized I need to get the pants I wore last week hemmed, or stop wearing flats - those make me look shorter than I already am. Sigh.)

I realize that this post is coming almost a full week after Week 1 finished - sorry 'bout it. I'll try to get Week 2 up quicker. I've been taking the pictures, and finding that knowing that I have to document what I'm wearing makes me think a little harder in the morning - even if it is the crack of dawn and I'm more or less still asleep.

Any suggestions of your own for dressing like an adult? I love a good sale, I love coupons, and I seriously love outlets. Where do you shop??


Anna said...

Love this idea! I've thought of some type of outfit of the day thing as well. The more I read your blog I think we're blog/life twins! I have that belt from Express (love it because you can adjust size!) and I'm in the same boat with lots of clothes that are too big.

I did a huge closet clean out last May and donated some, sold some and left a pile to be tailored...which I've yet to do. I need to learn how to sew so I can do it myself!

Caitlin said...

Loved this post! I remember a month into my first "big girl" job in this so called real world, I was standing in my closet, looking at my clothes and wondering how i ever got dressed in college.. oh wait, I didn't. Sweatshirts and leggings for the win! As I've built up my wardrobe these last 2 (huh?!) years, I definitely agree with you that you should invest in pieces so you can get multiple wears out of them. I have gone through and gotten rid of a TON of stuff that is too big and I never wear, or was bad quality to begin with and got two wears out of. Such a good lesson! Outlets are my favorite, and I shop at loft more than I'd like to admit :)

Jill said...

I love your Thursday and Friday dresses! And thanks for the shout-out! :)

Amy said...

I just found your blog randomly and am glad I did! Nice little Friday treat :)

I like all your outfits. I'll be going back to work this fall after being on maternity leave for a year and working from my home office for six months prior, so I am soooo out of the loop in terms of what to wear to work.

Lindsay said...

We ARE blog/life twins. Too funny! I have that belt in black, too, because I do love it. It's one of my favorite accessories!!

Lindsay said...

I've always maintained that I think I would be WAY more productive if I could wear leggings and sweatshirts to work... or my pajamas... or yoga pants... or ANYTHING that isn't "real" clothes. No one listens to me. Sigh.

Lindsay said...

Thanks!! And no problem :) Thanks for the idea!

Lindsay said...

Ah yay! Thanks for stopping by and reading :)

A home office would be the BEST - no one around to judge what you're wearing! haha - maybe this will help you figure out what to wear sometime.. Good luck!