What are the Most Comfortable Fashion Styles

q1Comfortable fashion styles? You’re maybe wondering if those kinds exist. Well, they do and cannot be denied. It’s a win-win. Fashionable and yet, comfortable.

When it comes to comfort, there are a variety of choices – and they don’t have to just be sweatpants. If you’d like to be comfortable and remain fashionable, there are a few key things to keep in mind.

Loose is in. Tight is out.

First, it’s advisable to always keep it loose. Wearing loose clothing doesn’t mean it can’t be sexy or fashionable. To have comfortable fashion styles, if you’re a lady, a loose peasant style blouse with an open back, or a nice flowing summer dress, are both stylish and supremely comfortable. For you guys out there: Don’t be afraid to rock a t-shirt. The trick to wearing a t-shirt fashionably is to pair it with a nice (cotton!) blazer. Stay away from stiff fabrics like corduroy or polyester. You want to appear casual, but not sloppy.

A good rule of thumb for any fashion concerned citizen wanting to stay cozy is to keep your clothing fitting well. It’s not fun having your waistband digging into your skin, but it’s also not comfortable to always have to be pulling up loose pants. If need be, don’t be afraid to buy your pants a size up if you’ve gained a little weight. This is only temporary until you get back to the gym and back on the wagon with your eating habits. In the meantime, keep yourself happy and comfortable. Additionally, if you’ve lost weight, or your clothing has just lost its shape in the washer and is fitting too loosely, toss it out. You don’t need to always have a hand hiking up your belt loops. Is this something you want to be thinking about if you need to run across the street, or do some other physical activity that requires a large amount of movement? No one wants to see your skivvies!

Another way to stay comfortable is to always dress for the weather. This is actually exciting as you can still flaunt your styles even if it’s zero degrees outside. If it’s cold outside and your old winter jacket is looking shabby, don’t be afraid to venture out and purchase a nice new one. Not only will it keep you warm and cozy, but it will bring you up to date for the new cooler season. You also want to be sure and stock up on clothing that can be layered together to help you retain your body heat. Try wearing a pair of cotton leggings or long johns under your pants to create an extra layer of protection from the elements. Long johns are a great way to stay comfortable no matter the temperature. They may not look fashionable, but no one will see them, and you will definitely remain comfortable. Likewise if it’s summer, do not try and wear your long sleeve flannel around. Get out and buy yourself some cool linen pants, or another loose breathable fabric that will keep you feeling refreshed and at a reasonable temperature. A variety of other clothing items are made of linen, including linen shirts, linen tank tops, and linen skirts.

Styles for your feet

Shoes are another great way to stay comfortable day in and day out. Always opt for shoes with a cushioned sole, or buy some insoles on your own to create the effect of walking on air. If you walk a lot during the day and are a fairly active person, don’t be afraid to invest in some tennis shoes. Tennis shoes provide stability when you walk and will keep your ankles, legs, and back from getting sore. Look for sneakers with comfortable soles and a snug, but not overly tight, fit around the main portion of your foot. Unfortunately, your flip flops will not provide the support your feet need to function properly and carry you through your day. However, they can be a great slide-on option for when you need to run a quick errand. The great thing about flip flops is you don’t have to mess with tying your shoes, or (heaven forbid) putting on socks. That is why flip flops remain some of the most comfortable fashion styles for your feet. Make sure to toss on your tennis shoes for those longer treks and for your time at the gym!

All in all, there are countless comfortable fashion styles for the fashion minded person who wants to be at ease. Choosing breathable fabrics like linen and cotton can keep you cool in the summer. Sticking to layering items like leggings or long johns in the winter will keep you feeling cozy. Additionally, a new winter jacket can ensure your style and comfort all winter long. Make sure all your clothing choices are in the right size, and get around town comfortably in some fashionable tennis shoes with insoles or cushioned soles. Keeping in mind the fabric type, the weather, clothing size, without compromising the style ‘sense’ of it all, you will be parading with the most comfortable fashion styles ever thought of.

What is the Relationship Between Clothes and Personality

eHave you ever wondered why and how clothes and personality are linked? What’s the connection between the two? Tune in.

As anyone who has taken a course in basic human behavior can attest, the field of psychology is replete with theories – many of them conflicting – about how and why people think, act, feel and relate to each other and their environment in the ways that they do. From Freud and Jung’s psychoanalytic theories to the behavioral interpretations of Skinner and Rodgers, the different schools of psychological thought strive to explain the perplexing and all too often contradictory motives behind human behavior – unfortunately, often with negligible concrete results. Despite the amazing preponderance of readily available, rigorously collected, tantalizingly detailed data on the subject, even the most respected ‘experts’ cannot explain with any degree of certainty how or why each of us develops the specific set of intellectual, emotional, and spiritual characteristics that – taken in their entirety – define who we are and how we express our ‘self-hood’ to the rest of the world.

How to explain this relationship

Yet while modern psychology does not yet and may never have a complete and detailed explanation to our behavior, it is an accepted tenet in virtually every school of psychological thought that the physical aspect of how we present ourselves to the world is a clear and often remarkably forthright reflection of who we are (or who we want to be.)  While our cave dwelling ancestors began wearing clothing for purely utilitarian reasons, one need only take a short journey through history to uncover how quickly the human race began to view clothing and other accoutrements of style as a means of creating a unique identity, aligning oneself with a group or class, projecting social status, attracting the opposite sex or myriad other reflections of personal values, choices and status. In fact, in the world of psychology, where so much of what goes on inside each individual’s psyche is carefully hidden behind ego defenses, habitual behaviors, and socially dictated norms, how we dress – from the clothes we wear to the way we style our hair and decorate our bodies – is one of only a very few clear indicators of an individual’s personality, self-image and at times, even his or her world view. In every sense of the word, we ‘dress to impress’, to make a statement to the world about who we are and how we want the world to see us.

But what are we saying with what we wear? How does power dressing work, for instance? Not everyone is an expert on style, certainly. We all know what we like, and our personalities will permeate our individual choices, but how can we predict with any degree of certainty how our style of dress will affect others, or, conversely, how other’s appearance may impact our opinions without our knowledge or conscious participation in the process?

Surprisingly, the answers to these questions are not all that difficult to come by. The same research that provides us with so much information (albeit with very few conclusions) about personality development also helps us to recognize how our clothes and personality are reflected to others. Here are just a few examples of some styles of dress that are popular today and the kinds of information they can convey about those who wear them.

Clothes and personality interpretation

The Conventional Dresser: The conventional dresser dresses for her or his environment rather than from a sense of personal style. In the business world, the conventional dresser is the man or woman wearing a simple, traditionally styled suit in blue, gray or black with a white or pale pastel shirt, conservative tie and sensible shoes. On college campuses, he or she is usually in a pair of chinos and a button down shirt, topped off by perhaps a V neck sweater and a pair of loafers.  Conventional dressers tend to be ‘conventional’ people – drab and sometimes boring, risk averse and lacking in confidence, they tend to be introverts who like to blend in with the crowd.

The Sloppy Dresser (AKA The Grunge Look): Sloppy dressers generally look as if they slept in the clothes they are wearing.  Their wrinkled, soiled, mismatched outfits, often including torn, frayed blue jeans and deliberately ripped T- shirts are usually topped off by unwashed, uncombed hair, unshaven faces and – on women – heavy, sloppily applied makeup. The ‘Grunge’ look is the uniform of the ‘Anti-establishment’, and while those who sport this style tend to view themselves as free-thinkers who reject conventional norms, the look also screams of a poor self-image, immaturity, lack of motivation, and an ‘I don’t give a damn’ attitude that others will assume – often correctly – carries over into every aspect of a person’s life-from job performance, to work ethic and personal relationships.

The Casual Chic Dresser: At first easily confused for a ‘conventional’ sort, the ‘Casual chic’ personality is someone who tends to dress appropriately for every occasion and always looks stylish and well-put together. The difference between this person and the conventional dresser, however, is that a ‘chic’ dresser adds small but important personal touches to his or her wardrobe – an elegant piece of jewelry, a silk scarf or designer tie – that speak volumes about his desire to fit in without disappearing into the crowd. The Casual Chic person is confident, successful, and perceived as attractive by others.

The Designer Dresser: We all know at least one person who will wear nothing but ‘designer’ clothing – everything from his undergarments to his overcoat must sport an easily recognized label from a well-known clothing designer. His or her hair is done only by the most expensive, high-end salon in town and she shops for everything from makeup to mouthwash in only the most exclusive stores. While this style usually gives one an air of affluence and success, it is all too often also a sign of a person who is insecure, uncertain about his personal identity, shallow and overly materialistic.

The ‘Goth Dresser’: Not unlike ‘Grunge’, the ‘Goth’ (short for ‘gothic’) look is generally worn by those who reject conventional society. Sported mostly by teens and ‘twenty-something’s’, the look is characterized by black clothing, black (usually dyed hair, heavy, dark makeup and jewelry that looks more threatening than fun or inviting. Those who are drawn to this look often have a number of body piercings and tattoos which they display by wearing as little clothing as possible. (Think Jesse James former fiancé Kat VonD) While some people who dress in ‘Goth’ clothing see themselves as artistic and sensitive, for the most part, their underlying personalities tend to be angry, immature, thrill-seeking, hostile towards authority and depressed.

The Athletic Dresser: Strange as it seems, most people who dress in ‘athletic attire’ like running suits, sweats and so-called ‘work-out wear’ in public are not athletes, but simply people who want to be perceived as such. Those who wear athletic attire while engaged in athletic pursuits rarely want to be seen (or smelled) in public wearing the same clothes they wore while working out, for obvious reasons. Those who do wear these kinds of outfits in public are generally wearing them in order to identify themselves with a sub-culture that they find appealing but which they cannot join due to physical constraints or a simple lack of time or motivation. These people tend to be sedentary, insecure and envious of those with the ambition and drive to achieve athleticism in the real world

Of course, these descriptions of clothes and personality are stereotypical representations of many different types of dressers; most of us wear a mixture of one or more of these style types on a regular basis and our personalities are a mix of those described as well. Every conventional dresser is not boring, nor is everyone who wears sweat pants to the grocery store a frustrated athlete. Nevertheless, it is a good idea to occasionally step back and look at our clothes and personality and how others see us through those; hopefully, we can learn something about ourselves in the process of as well.

A Solution to Your Fashion Woes Minimalism

wI find myself endlessly shopping for clothes. Even when I’ve just bought something new, I find myself staring into a closet filled to the brim, muttering “I have nothing to wear.” Sound familiar?

We’ve all been there. And for most of us, it’s not that we don’t have anything to wear, but that we just can’t seem to find the common thread (no pun intended) between the pieces in our wardrobes. This leaves our newly shopped pieces collecting dust in the back of our wardrobes as we re-wear the same outfit for the 100th time.

Having too many options can be overwhelming. That “dream” closet filled with clothes to the ceiling may actually be a nightmare. In fact, a closet with fewer, complementing pieces may work better. Yes, I propose that minimalism is the solution to this common fashion woe.

How to Create a Minimalist Wardrobe

When building a minimalist wardrobe, first find the neutrals within your existing wardrobe. It’s not only about the monochromatic palette of black and white. Think of your own classic pieces in neutral shades like beige, white, gray, black and navy. Avoid using this as an excuse to shop for more clothes.

Once you have found some pieces in your wardrobe, start by building an outfit around these neutral pieces. Focus on the shape and form of your pieces to see what works together. Then consider adding accessories, some prints and maybe a bright lip color later on. If you’re going to shop, I recommend investing in classic pieces and working from there.

Minimalist Outfit Ideas

Need some inspiration? Check out the ensembles below:

Ensemble #1

Add some flair to your minimal look by experimenting with pieces in different textures such as a cotton rib-knit sweater and a faux leather skirt. Textures add interest to a simple look.

Ensemble #2

Play with cool accents like these beige metallic shoes to add a twist to your clean and simple look.

Ensemble #3

You can avoid the black and white monochromatic look by sticking to a neutral palette. The khaki green of the dress and almond brown of the boots can complement almost any other piece in your wardrobe.

How I Found My Personal Fashion Style

asI dress for the image. Not for myself, not for the public, not for fashion, not for men.” These are the words of Marlene Dietrich. Who knows better than her on how to become an icon of style? Fashion and style. These two words are always together, like an inseparable couple. To me, they are like sun and moon, black and white, fire and water. They cannot be together and they cannot be without each other either.

The simplest definition of fashion is ‘a popular trend’ and style, ‘a manner of doing something’. I always went with these specific definitions of these two words. In my personal opinion, to be popular and wear what is popular would not give me a sense of satisfaction. I always wanted to be affiliated with a style that is specific to me and up to date. It does not always mean to wear exactly what is fashionable during that time.

I started my journey as a child by watching. I watched everything and everyone. I was curious how specific outfits fit different types of figure. Sometimes it was good, sometimes – a disaster. It made me very interested in fabric. I was thinking that depending on a fabric used, some disasters could have been prevented. What a smart child I was… I especially liked watching what my mom was wearing. I loved going through her clothes and picking what would suit me the most. I would always finish the ensemble with the appropriate hair, make-up and shoes. Just like my mom did. And still does.

Soon after that, as my body was changing, my understanding of what I wanted to wear and how I wanted to look changed too. Maybe, it was not a change itself. It was more likely a transformation. I started understanding what made me look better and what looks were not mine at all. I started developing that feeling or sense, which made me happy or not at all by the way I looked. And later on- the way I lived. Very quickly, I understood that to dress nicely and act poorly was not my style at all. I did not like inappropriate behavior and it was clear to me that it has to be part of that satisfaction that I received from my appearance. It doesn’t mean that I didn’t have fun. I did. I just did it with my own understanding of how it should be done. I guess that’s when I started working on my own style. That part of my journey brought me to the 18th century, understanding of tea parties in England, research of my mother’s relatives who were Russian nobility. And again, I was amazed by my mother. I started believing that whatever she knows was in her blood.  Nobody had to teach her how to be stylish and always look fabulous. It also gave me hope that I might have inherited at least some of that wisdom.

I continued experimenting, and it brought me to different TV shows and fashion books. I was amazed by how many resources are out there. And the more my knowledge grew, the more I was thinking that not many either had access to these resources or thought they needed any guidance.  I could not afford spending thousands of dollars on something I would wear once or twice. And I didn’t expect it from others.  But I knew that there were affordable great options and I could not understand why not everybody would want to take advantage of those. There were only a few I would look at and appreciate their style sense. It made me think of Albert Einstein’s famous quote all the time : ‘A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy?’.

Finally, I was smart enough and had this conversation with my mom. I was afraid at first that she would not be able to understand my concerns. But as always, she made me feel so comfortable and content. I asked her many questions, and I remember all her answers so well. The most important was the advice she gave me: Not to run after fashion, but adopt fashion to my own needs and style. At first, I was confused. I could not understand the difference in those terms. And even more – how they applied to me. That is when it hit me. I finally understood that whatever ‘sense’ I developed was my own, personal style. I knew how to be fashionable and I did it in my own way. I didn’t have to like what I saw and now I knew what I didn’t like. I didn’t like that everyone was wearing the same things, the same way. And it didn’t matter if it was not complementing their complexion, skin or hair. It was a very inspiring realization. I understood that I could make a difference by encouraging them to personalize their style and their lives. And all I had to do is be myself and keep developing my own style.

Understanding of your own style comes with a lot of work and experience. This challenge is everlasting. But that is the beauty of it. It is a personal achievement that can be shared with others. Style is something that can be shared and passed on. But at the same time, it is something very personal and individualized. It includes all the human characteristics. You might not like someone personally, but you might respect them for their sense of style. In case of doubt, search for inspiration. Do your research. Ask questions. Educate yourself. And the most important, do not be afraid to experiment. Fashion style will always be part of our lives and as the amazing Yves Saint Laurent once said: ‘Fashion fades, style is eternal.’

Autumn Afternoons What to Wear This Weekend

assThe days are getting shorter, the nights are getting chillier (and spookier!), the leaves are a-changing, the layers are out in full force, and the Pumpkin Spice Lattes are lighting up your tastebuds. (I’ve actually switched my allegiances to the new Toasted Graham Latte…yum!)

Even when I lived in California, autumn was always my favorite season, thanks to the triple whammy of Halloween, my birthday, and Thanksgiving.  After relocating to the East Coast, I love autumn even more, since it actually gets colder here and the New England fall foliage is incredibly breathtaking.

Beautiful as it is, fall is fleeting. (Anyone remember when it snowed on Halloween a few years ago?) Take advantage of the cool, crisp weather and the many awesome autumn-associated activities this weekend!

What to Wear to:

Apple Picking or a Pumpkin Patch

Apple picking is the quintessential New England autumn activity.  The childlike glee at finding the biggest, juiciest apples and stuffing them into your bag, the fresh apple cider donuts glistening with sugar, the steaming cups of spiced cider: what’s not to love? (If there aren’t apple orchards in your area, try visiting a pumpkin patch!)

While it can get chilly in October, it’s hard not to get sweaty lugging a heavy bag of apples around an orchard. Layer up with a cozy flannel and a soft tee to ensure that you don’t get cold and/or overheat.  You’ll be doing a lot of bending and reaching, so make sure you’re wearing clothes are that easy to move in. Sturdy boots or sneakers are ideal for navigating the muddy and frequently uneven grounds. Lastly, avoid wearing delicate sweaters that can easily get snagged on branches.

Baking Delicious Treats

So you just picked 50 apples, which are now spilling out of the bag and onto your living room floor.  What now? The correct answer is: start baking! What better way to spend a golden autumn afternoon than by filling your kitchen with the tempting aroma of spices and caramelizing fruit? (So far, I’ve made an apple cake and a tarte tatin, given away apples to my neighbors, and I still have a bunch left over!)

I consider myself a pretty good baker, but I’m awful at keeping my workspace tidy; I rarely emerge from a baking session without flour smeared in my hair or batter clinging to my elbow. To combat my messy technique, I’ve started wearing a cute embroidered apron while I bake. While I don’t have aspirations to achieve domestic goddess-hood, wearing an apron does make me feel like I’ve stepped out of an Anthropologie catalog! Here are some cute apron options for your next baking sesh

A Haunted House

My idea of the ideal haunted house is one that is far, far away from me. While I’m an adrenaline junkie for roller coasters and other thrill rides, I’m the biggest baby when it comes to creepy corridors and things jumping out at me. Seriously, the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland still scares the living daylights out of me.

I have also included throat lozenges in this outfit because if you are anything like me, you will become very hoarse from screaming at every little thing that you encounter. Including a very confused squirrel.

On the few occasions that I have been tricked/forced/guilted into entering such venues, my body’s instant response has been to 1) run for my life, 2) shriek like a toddler being denied cookies, and 3) try my best not to pee myself. While you may be brave and not have quite such a visceral reaction, I still recommend a sturdy and reliable pair of shoes that will not fall off while you make a break for it.

While I have never been on a haunted hayride, my understanding is that you stay on the vehicle while things jump out at you. As such, I advise my fellow scaredy cats to bring along a cozy infinity scarf. Not only is it unlikely to fall off/get snagged on anything, it will make a handy face shield to hide behind when things get too scary. (This is the only way I can make it through any horror movie.)

How To Be Fashionable In Your Own Way

saFashion is one of those things in life with endless ways to express yourself. Whether it be in cut, color, with accessories or without, the options are limitless! In this article I’ll explain some easy ways to show your personality through your sense of fashion, while remaining presentable.

When it comes to clothes, there are a lot of appropriate things for the workplace that most people don’t even consider as part of an outfit! Take hair accessories for instance. A statement headband or elastic can make a huge impact on your overall appearance and with all the options out there, you can say a lot! Fabric flowers can be both feminine and timeless, or bright, funky, and charming. Through different colors and textures, you can achieve some great results.

Customizing your wardrobe to fit your personality doesn’t always need to be expensive, either. What better way to express yourself than to make your own accessories or add to clothes you already have? Talk about saving your wallet! With a few simple everyday household items, you can turn that boring white-collar blouse into a work of art, while maintaining that professional look! You can embellish with a brooch made from buttons, fabric flowers, recycled beads, or even applique.

There are endless resources to help you find that crafty niche to customize your clothes, so don’t hesitate to browse the web or head to the craft book section of your local library and start getting creative.

There are also less daunting ways to express yourself through your sense of style for those who aren’t so craft savvy. Browsing through catalogs and magazines and finding things you really like might give you some inspiration for your everyday wear. I personally really like finding quirky things that represent my morals or beliefs, without being offensive. You can shop online for shirts, pins, or bags from various charitable organizations, where most of the proceeds are put to good use. If you’re one who is concerned for your environment and want to show that through your clothes, wear only up-cycled or recycled items, organic materials, or handmade goods. You don’t need to wear a t-shirt with a tree on it to the office to show you care about the earth.

Jewelry can also be a great element of expression throughout your wardrobe. Statement necklaces and rings can be inexpensive to buy or make yourself, and can say a lot about who you are. If you are really supportive of helping the autistic, a way to show that in your jewelry would be with puzzle pieces. Simply drill, poke, or cut a hole in a few and string them on a chain or ribbon. Rings are even easier, you can just glue something to a ring base (which are super inexpensive and sold at most craft outlets) and slide it on your finger. How easy is that?

When I was a young girl one of my favorite things to do that showed my sense of individuality was wear mismatching or crazy socks. No one could see them unless I showed them, so they were easy to conceal if in a formal setting. Most people would probably call that silly, but it was easy for me as a kid. I often did peculiar things with my clothes to show my personality, such as using fabric paints to stencil symbols or words, or cutting shapes in the sleeves or shoulders of shirts.

Wearing certain colors can also help to bring out your sense of individuality. Many people believe that colors represent certain powers or energies, emotions, or wants/goals. Yellow represents joy, sunshine, wisdom, and intellectual attitude. Have you ever felt really positive or happy speaking with someone wearing a nice, bright yellow blouse? How about red? Red can represent courage, or confidence. There’s a reason why a lot of salesmen wear red ties! Take some time to pick the color of your outfit. The colors you wear can influence your mood or the emotions of others around you. It’s a simple yet effective way to express your individuality, just by wearing your favorite color.

Your shoes can easily show a bit of “you” in them, as well. There are many options for shoe laces these days, whether they are a different color from the norm, or full of patterns or memorable characters. There are also many different ways people lace their shoes. You could try a checkerboard lacing or using two laces at once. Some people choose not to wear shoes with laces, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be customized to fit your own personal style. A simple way to do this is with hot glue and scraps of fabric made into flowers or bows. It’s also easy and inexpensive to put studs, beads, or rhinestones on your shoes as well. It doesn’t take much skill to use a hot glue gun, superglue, or a needle and thread. Buttons, bows, ribbons, lace, even just plain fabric are great materials to start with. Modge Podge is a great adhesive and sealant for applying paper or fabric to your shoes. You can also now find sets of permanent markers made specifically for fabric and shoe leather. Those are really great if you like to draw.

The possibilities really are endless. The world is full of places to buy handmade or customized items. You can save yourself some money just by doing it yourself, and it doesn’t take too much effort. There are also many places to have things custom made, just for you. The online Etsy marketplace is a great place to start looking for handmade items, and there are thousands of artists who are willing to showcase their skills every day.

Whether or not you work in an office or a grocery store, there are so many different ways to show who you are and what you stand for with your clothes or accessories. It’s important to keep your identity in this busy world, so if you are having trouble expressing your individuality, give these things a try! It’s easy as pie.

Business Casual for the On the Go Girl

1The agonizing throes of final exams are almost over and the school year is coming to an end! (Unless you’re on the quarter system, that is.) Some of you might be about to graduate and head into the workforce. Or maybe you’ve got your dream summer internship lined up. Whatever your plans, don’t forget about fashion! Depending on your field and your particular workplace or internship, your dress code might be casual or super-corporate and formal.

These days, it seems that the majority of workplaces, especially for college students or recent graduates, are “business casual.” This is an admittedly vague term that can leave a bit too much room for interpretation. For more info, check out this CF article that breaks down the different dress codes you might encounter.

The most foolproof way to make sure you’re dressed appropriately is to ask ahead of time and to look at what coworkers or other interns are wearing. Although looking extra-stylish is always fun, you should consider dressing comfortably as well. I’ll outline why below:

Why It’s Important to Dress for Comfort

I just got a clinical research job at a hospital that requires me to split my time between interviewing patients and inputting data at a computer. When I asked my supervisor about the dress code, all she said was, “Closed-toed shoes. No jeans.” After my first day of training, it became pretty clear that business casual would be the way to go. And since I wound up spending most of the day standing while I spoke to patients, boy was I glad that I wore flats!

If your job requires a lot of movement or standing, what you wear will make a big difference in how well you perform. It’s hard to focus on doing your work if all you can think about is how much your toes hurt or how itchy your skirt’s waistband is.

Even if you have a desk job where you’ll mostly be sitting, it’s worth it to factor comfort into your wardrobe choices. You’d be surprised how many times you get up and sit down to run errands, go to the bathroom, deliver a message, etc., and it can wind up being pretty hard on your feet. And when you’re not on the go, sitting can also wreak havoc on even the most polished of outfits, resulting in wrinkly shirts and creased skirts.

Pretty in Pink

This outfit is on the more formal side of the business casual spectrum, but a pair of slim-fit trousers in an eye-catching hue keep the look fun and fresh. Personally, I think a tucked-in shirt is one of the most uncomfortable and squirm-inducing articles of clothing ever (the winner: turtlenecks!) so I like to wear a flowy blouse that will look polished whether it’s tucked in or not. Plus, it won’t wrinkle!

The ankle cut of these trousers draws attention to your feet, so make sure you’re wearing nice shoes! I like a pair of sleek loafers: the higher vamp means a higher comfort level. Finally, a coat of sheer pink polish is pretty and appropriate for any workplace (unless, of course, you’re not supposed to wear any at all!).

Spring Classics

For a fun springtime outfit that leans more towards “casual” than “business,” try out a cute shirtdress in an always-classic gingham pattern. I like shirtdresses because they’re almost always an appropriate length (a couple inches above the knee to just below); plus, the button-down feature makes them seem a little more dressed up than they already are.

Like loafers, oxfords are a great choice if you’re going to be on your feet a lot, since the extra coverage provides extra support. Add a few pops of color with a textured scarf and fun nail polish (check to make sure it’s okay), then accessorize with classic pieces, like gold studs and a timeless watch with a feline twist.

Bold & Bright

If you love bright colors, pencil skirts are another stylish option to try out. The trick to pulling off bright colors in the office is to maintain a classic silhouette, and this jersey skirt fits the bill. In addition, the stretchy fabric means that it won’t pull uncomfortably while you’re sitting or wrinkle the way a woven skirt might.

A lightweight cardigan in a complementary color and a boldly patterned blouse keep up the bright palette without clashing, while a pair of trendy ankle-strap flats and a classic tote complete the look.

 Business Casual Blues

While denim is usually a no-no when it comes to office attire (although dark wash denim can sometimes fly under the radar), a chambray shirt is a great way to get your denim fix without breaking dress code. In a classic cut, a well-fitting chambray shirt can pretty much pass for a light blue dress shirt. Pair with printed trousers and sleek accessories for a modern prepster look!

Musings About Pants

imagesI still remember the intense disdain I had for straight-legged pants as a kid. Why was my problem with them exactly? I’m still not sure, but apparently my obnoxious younger version had self-appointment herself as the fashion police, and straight-legs were unacceptable.

It’s not like the pants in question were anything abrasive or offensive. In fact, I own many pairs now that closely resemble the straight legs I once turned my nose up at. So what was my issue?

Let’s remember that this was a different time. This was the age of flared jeans and waists so low they were barely decent. High waisted and skinny? To me, that was the greatest fashion faux pas of all time.

Obviously, not everyone back then had such a narrow idea of what constitutes a good pair of pants. However, there’s a tendency that we seem to have as a culture to get tunnel-vision on one style. When I was in junior high, it was low-rise flares. When I hit high school, it was high-waisted and skinny. Sure, the movers and shakers of the fashion world dressed with more diversity, and styles like boyfriend jeans came in to mix things up, but certain pant silhouettes tended to reign supreme for years at a time, eclipsing all others.

It’s a strange idea, and not one I can necessarily explain. Why are pants only allowed to be widely accepted in one shape at any given time? Everything goes through trends in the fashion world, but the drastic back-and-forth of pant styles takes it to the extreme. With all the variety in fashion sense out there, why do we let the pant industry get so flat and one-note?

Enough is enough. It’s time to stop playing the exclusion game with your outfit bottoms! After years of skinny and straight-legs dominating, flared styles are well on their way back into mainstream popularity. It’s a welcome change for those missing the wider style, but an ominous one for fans of the skinny. Will tapered legs once again go the way of the dinosaur? How do we choose where to align ourselves?

I have a proposition, ladies. Let’s not choose.

This fall, fashionistas everywhere have the opportunity to find affordable pants in both skinny and flared, with both styles available at popular retailers. It’s an early holiday miracle, and I hope it’s here to stay. Many of you might be passionate about your style of choice, but I promise, everyone can and should pull off a medley of different pant shapes and cuts! Let this fall season be about freedom, and allow yourself to embrace the whole spectrum of styles, even the ones that you might have written off as dated or ugly.

Sweet Skinny Jeans

I’m sure you all have your fair share of skinny jeans, so this should be an easy look. As we head into chillier weather, grab a sweater and a beanie to wear to class. Foliage colors are always a slam dunk in the month of October, so don’t be afraid to mix your red and orange tones!

Fun with Flare

Okay, no one’s saying you need to immediately fill your wardrobe with ’70s bellbottoms. However, there are plenty of very cheap ways to try out a gentle flare right now, like with this dark wash pair from Forever 21. Maybe this is just my association, but the more flared jeans get, the more I tend to write them off as only boho or laid-back.

In reality, flared jeans can work for any number of different aesthetics. For example, if you wear these jeans with some fun stripes, classy flats, and a blazer, they take on a polished, preppy vibe.

Comfy Boyfriend Jeans

Boyfriend jeans are a wonderfully airy alternative to the painted-on jeans and jeggings you often find in stores. A tighter shirt, like this green crop, helps keep the silhouette balanced. A long necklace and loose coat complete the laid-back vibe.

Going Back to Fashion Basics Dress to Impress

indexWhether it’s an interview, first day at work or first date, there are times when you want to look your very best. You need to be classy, smart and polished. However, it can be difficult to choose an outfit that looks and feels great. Sometimes, it’s best to go back to the fashion basics.

The Items Every Girl’s Wardrobe Needs

Great Underwear – it doesn’t have to be expensive, but make sure your lingerie fits! A well-fitting bra can completely change the appearance of your outfit whilst your choice of underwear or shapewear will create the perfect figure under your clothes.

The Accessories – accessories can make or break the perfect outfit and are often the first thing that people will notice about the way you dress. Handbags and leather purses are more than just somewhere to stash your must-have items; they are also one of the biggest fashion statements there is.

Shoes – whichever height you prefer to wear, they should be clean and polished. It doesn’t matter too much if they’re not the height of fashion as long as they are comfortable. Don’t waste money on fake ‘designer’ goods, as people will notice. It’s worth splashing out on quality handbags and leather purses as they look great, will make a good impression and will last much longer than cheaper, faux leather or PVC copies. It’s the same with jewellery; wearing no jewellery at all is better than being laden with cheap jewels or fake gold.

A White Top – whether it’s long-sleeved, short-sleeved, a tee or a shirt, a white top is versatile and will never go out of fashion. Choose one that skims over your figure, rather than clings, for a flattering, wear with anything style.

A Beautiful Blouse – it can be silk or cotton with stretch. Choose a gorgeous blouse that you can pair with trousers or a skirt. Neutral colours such as cream or stone offer the most versatility.

The Perfect Cardigan – knitwear is important for style as well as warmth. Longer-length cardigans in a neutral shade look great and are adaptable.

Great Jeans – every girl’s best friend, jeans can be dressed up or down for almost any event (even the office for dress down Fridays!) Splash out on a decent pair that fits you properly as you’ll want to wear them again and again.

An A-Line Skirt – the A-line cut suits most women and looks good with flat pumps, heeled shoes or even boots.

Smart Trousers – for work or formal do’s, smart trousers are an essential. Black, navy or grey are flattering and easy to pair with a selection of tops.

The Little Black Dress – no wardrobe is complete without a Little Black Dress (LBD). Perfect for nights out, cocktail parties, dates and even for the office, your LBD is timeless and can be worn with a cardigan or jacket to suit every occasion.

A Statement Dress – a gorgeous, printed dress or tunic will add a splash of colour to your wardrobe and can be dressed up for an evening out or paired with leggings for casual daywear. Big, bold prints are flattering and florals are ever present in every fashionista’s wardrobe.

A Well-Cut Jacket – wear to the office or with jeans at the weekend. Splurging the cash here will add a polished look to any outfit you choose.

So, there you have it – the fashion basics that will help you to create the perfect capsule wardrobe and an outfit that’s just right for every occasion!

What Do I Wear to my On Campus Job

qWelcome to the latest edition of Ask CF! Every two weeks, we select a reader fashion question and answer it here on the site. Do you have a specific fashion question for us? Scroll to the bottom of this post to learn how to send it our way!

Ask CF Question

I recently was hired to be an office assistant in one of the campus dorms (at Eastern Michigan University, no less!!). I’m super excited, but super stumped about what to wear that’s both comfortable and on trend for class, and appropriate for my dorm office job. I’m allowed to wear jeans and dresses, but I have to be “grandma appropriate” since I’ll be helping new students and their parents during move in. Any suggestions?

Thanks so much!

Pam of the College “Office”

Our Response

Dear “Pam”,

First of all, congratulations on your new Office Assistant Position! My best friend was an OA when she lived in the dorms at Eastern, and she loved it! However, I do understand the confusion of what you should wear to an on-campus job.

It’s tricky. You want to look somewhat professional, yet still like a student. Luckily OAs aren’t bound to business casual, so you have some leeway.

My first tip would be to get some nice, button down shirts or chiffon tops in basic colors or prints. You can never go wrong wearing button-downs, because they are always worn in the workplace. And, always make sure your cleavage is covered, and button them appropriately.

Also, investing in some cute flats and comfy boots should be mandatory. You’ll be sitting at this desk for a period of time, and you’ll be getting up and walking around your office, so the right shoes can make or break you.

I’ve created 3 outfit ideas that you can easily wear to class, around campus, and your new on-campus job.

Good luck, fellow Eagle!

Em

Note: An OA job is typically much more casual than the average office job, so these outfits reflect the dressed-down environment and may not be appropriate for other office settings. For more formal office outfit ideas, see our business casual section.