Wardrobe Consulting Logo

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Lifestyle Dressing - What Does it Mean Exactly?

Many interesting conversations come from talking to people about what they wear and why they wear it. One such conversation is about dressing well for your lifestyle. I know people who used to dress immaculately, by their account, in high school and college, and are now stay-at-home moms, work from home, or don't want to look out of place in a business casual environment and don't put the same effort into it. Again, their admission and not my observation. My questions are always why not, and what changed about your commitment to looking the best you possibly can? It's not that I think they don't look just fine as is, but when I tell people what I do, fashion becomes a topic of discussion most of the time. I talk a lot about lifestyle dressing, and I know it doesn't mean we have to end up as one of the 10 worst dressed cities on a GQ list, or the 10 best dressed in Glamour - do you know that?

We're blessed with temperate weather and a laid-back lifestyle, but that doesn't mean you get to use that as a reason to wear the same clothes all the time. Atlanta, Charlotte, Miami, Charleston, and Savannah are warmer than Raleigh, and yet, mixed in with the khakis and polos, shorts and camis, you meet people who wear regularly things like linen, ties, belts, work appropriate shirt- and sundresses, anything other than flip flops or sandals, and lots and lots of color. It fits their personal esthetic, the weather they experience, and the life they lead - lifestyle dressing to a T!

Now I know there are some of you out there shaking your head no. You love your khakis, your cargo shorts, your camis, and your flip flops. I'm all for a relaxed look - believe me! I, too, wear flip flops, a cami, and khaki shorts. What I hear most from clients is that it takes too long - the shopping, the morning routine, the traffic, and the stress of finding the right thing to wear when leaving your comfort zone. I have solutions for stuff like that. Not the traffic, of course, but the shopping, the morning routine, and the stress.  

First, you don't have to look like a model or be at your goal weight and perfect size to dress well. By dress well, I also don't mean fashion plate, but if that's what you aspire to - go for it! Mostly you simply have to find a good tailor and buy clothes that fit. Reminds me of Goldilocks - buy clothes that aren't too big or too small, but juuuust right.

Second, look at what people are wearing in the magazines you read. The pictures that have captions that read 'coming from the gym/yoga' or 'heading to/at the beach', are probably not things you should wear every day. I know, I know, those clothes are comfortable. There's a reason for that, and unless you're a trainer or yogi, personal pride and professional appearance have little to do with looking like you should be at the gym or the beach. Some magazines have a dedicated section for fashion finds or how to wear, like Real Simple or Garden & Gun. If you think you see something you like, or you see something new that is supposed to fit your body shape, go find it and try it on. 

Third, and last, take a day and pick a store. Remember when it was fun to go shopping and get lunch? Get together with a friend or two, and have fun. See what else is out there, what the designers are doing, and what might be truly out there in left field, as in who would wear this left field. Try on colors you like. If you find a pair of capris or a sundress to try on, try finding a scarf in a bold color or pattern to use as a belt. Mix and match patterns and colors in ways you've seen on tv shows, in magazines, or online. Put together a whole outfit for yourself or a friend (be sure to keep their body shape in mind - no friend wants you to feature their flaws, real or imagined). And have fun! 

So that's lifestyle dressing, just as simple as when you were a fashion conscious teenager. If you weren't a fashion conscious teenager, you've definitely had to learn to dress for your personal and professional life, both to present the image you'd like to project and to fit your circle of friends and activities, which is exactly what dressing for your lifestyle is all about.

Last tip, ironically about t-shirts. The CFDA, who hosted the awards I wrote about last week, is working with Coca-Cola to pick their new t-shirt that will be available for purchase at Target. To take a look at the new designs from young designers, and vote, visit their site.

No comments :

Post a Comment

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • LinkedIn