September 11, 2019
Back at the beginning of the summer, our heroine managed to finish the report to which she had dedicated 3 months of her life. Far from being chastised for her work’s inadequacies, she was warmly praised, and given 2 weeks of vacation and a well-deserved bonus…
She loves this painting, and tries to use it as her guide and inspiration for her wardrobe:
The Luncheon Speaker
Now, her proposals have gone corporate-wide! And she’s heading to the launch luncheon at the home office to speak about her work…
The overall dress code of her company is VERY casual, but she’s been advised by some of her supervisors that the home office can be dressier. Not that anybody can be specific about what that means… sigh…
So she’s giving herself a few options, even though she won’t be there for long!
She can wear her sweater and skirt together, or her luscious pink dress, or her brown sweater OVER her pink dress… or she could even wear her corduroy pants another day…
She will drop by the office the afternoon before the luncheon; she might be able to figure things out from that visit. Or she might just wear her favorite dress, and be the most dressed-up person in the room! What’s the worst thing that could happen?
Would you rather be over-dressed or under-dressed? Is it different for social activities with friends than it would be for work? I would always opt for over-dressed, but that’s just me….
p.s. 2 years ago I was using Mondrian to inspire a travel capsule wardrobe of VERY unusual colors….
Dee Nowak says
Love this! I agree that it’s always better to be over-dressed.
Dee ~ Vanilla Papers
I’m with you, Dee. And by overdressed, I’m sure you don’t mean wearing sequins to a luncheon! What has dismayed me is the tendency of people to wear dirty and torn jeans to concerts or ratty hoodies with sweatpants to nice events. I’ve been to my local thrift shop (which benefits the women’s shelter) and I know that really nice affordable clothes are available for very little! I think Janice has shown any reader how to take a pair of decent pants and make it go a bit more casual or dressed up. In fact, I’ve been steering friends and strangers to this website because it’s so good at helping us stretch the wardrobe.
Janice Collins Coyle says
Most of my career life I was over-dressed. Sometimes I was self-conscious about it but felt that looking professional and elegant was the way to go. But now I’m retired from the corporate world and do some presentations and teaching in more casual settings and want to make myself look accessible and “one of you”. I’ve also noticed that younger people dress more casually these days. Since I want to be relatable, my wardrobe is far more casual and I love it. I’ve found that more casual is also more comfortable. I can look well put together and casual at the same time and I don’t want to be the dressiest person in the room. I’d rather people see ME – not my clothes.
If you mean being over-dressed compared to other people, in my day-to-day life as a home school mom, I’m nearly always in that category. My usual clothes are in the business casual range, near the lower end (a top that isn’t a T-shirt, denim capris or linen skirt, earrings or bracelet, nice sandals) but most of people I’m around are wearing T-shirts and jeans, shorts, or yoga pants, plus tennis shoes or flip-flops.
But being over-dressed for the occasion (wearing a cocktail dress to a daytime business casual event, or an evening gown to a semi-formal dinner) is tacky.
I want everything in this capsule. It’s my absolute favorite shade of pink. The scarves are beautiful. And I used to always be overdressed in my last job, but since I’ve recently changed locations and paths a bit, I seem to be chronically underdressed in my new office. It’s a bit disconcerting, as I’d abandoned business formal and suits when I stopped practicing law.
Since the Standard Uniform for people today is jeans and a T-shirt, I can confidently say I’m always overdressed! I was in a Pilates class once and I was listening to a woman who said she only wanted to wear yoga pants and a sweatshirt. I thought to myself, that’s fine with me. I will be noticed on the street because I look fashionable. Was it May West who said, “I’d rather be looked over, then overlooked” ?
becky johns says
I agree with Kelly. So many people take little thought about what they wear, and are unfortunately a bit sloppy in their appearance.
I prefer an understated, but put together look, that is lots of fun to put together each morning. Taking a little thought and time is a small thing to do when dressing for the day, if your wardrobe was chosen carefully and most things look nice together.
You have empowered me to choose and organize my clothing so it is easy to look nice and add the earrings, scarf, or colored shoes that make the outfit memorable. Thank you for your help in making life both easier and more beautiful.
jenny m says
Just love how this color scheme has migrated towards softer, dusty tones for autumn. These colors are hard to find, but so flattering when your hair turns the pearly color of ‘a lady of a certain age’.
Please continue with this heroine’s wardrobe as you are giving me a great outline to follow — especially the gorgeous scarves and accessories!
I love dressing well, which to me means putting a little extra thought and effort into my outfit before I walk out the door. It’s not so much about me, as about giving others something attractive and pleasant to look at. People often forget others have to look at them and what they are wearing. Looking like you were pulled through a hedge backwards is never easy on the eye!
As usual, the ideas are terrific! I’ve been doing a complete closet inventory since I lost 25 lbs since March and have to take out a lot of pieces that are kind of baggy on me now. Janice’s posts are so very helpful in rebuilding my wardrobe in a smart way. She’s also made me more aware of color and I’ve returned to using my color packet from the days of color consultants. I liked Color One because it didn’t merely group you into a seasonal category, but gave me an individual way to combine color values. The great thing is, if I stick with my palette, nearly everything I buy comes home to create 3-6 new outfits. Every time! So THIS post with its brown/pink combo is interesting because when I pulled out a lot of too-large items, I’m left with a LOT of brown/tan/taupe pants and I’ve been thinking hard about getting pink back into my wardrobe. I don’t wear this softer/greyed pink, but do wear clearer pinks so all I have to do is substitute MY pinks, which will also look lovely with my navy and grey basics. As a former newscaster, I learned how to really stretch the looks using a drawer full of scarves and I’m still wearing most of them 30 years later! Janice, you’re so much fun to follow.
Love this color combination! I agree – even though I have been working in a semi-casual small business for 3.5 years, I still make the effort (work or not) to put outfits together that reflect a bit of thought. Although, truth be told, knowing I can go to work in jeans, nicer sweater, and lovely scarf is a lifesaver some days ;)
It is interesting to go out with friends from college 25+ years later, and they are still trying to dress as we did back then. To each their own …..
I have recommended this wonderful site in numerous professional groups, and even to a dear friend’s 21 yo daughter as a good basis for putting together her professional wardrobe after graduating college.
Love this color palette so much!!! All of these colors are in my winter palette :-). I would be thrilled if I could open my closet to all of these things.