6.12.2012

A Change of Uniform

I've written about my style before on the blog, discussing everything from the wearing of "uniforms" to box-shaking wardrobe changes. And while I almost put the word style in that last sentence in quotation marks, one of the things that I have learned over the last year is that my style might be different than yours, but that doesn't make it illegitimate. I might wear my Mary-Jane Crocs because they're comfortable, while you might read the word "Crocs" and think this...



But that's really what style is, isn't it? Finding something that works for you, which allows you to perform your daily activities in comfort, and let's you express yourself in a (hopefully) tasteful and modest way.

Late last summer, I discovered the beauty of wearing skirts and loved the instant de-frump-i-fa-cation (fun made-up word, eh?) that I experienced. It's a normal occurrence these days to find me puttering around the house one or two days a week in something like this or this...

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After purging most of my Capri collection (they didn't do much for my 5'2" frame), I view these knee-length skirts as the perfect compromise between shorts and pants. Apparently I'm not the only one who thinks that way, because as I was browsing around What Not To Wear to add a link to this post, I came upon item #6 from the "10 Must-Have Wardrobe Basics" list: Skirts. While Stacy and Clinton's rules aren't law, it is nice to feel backed up in my new casual wear decisions.

One aspect of turning 30 that has taken me by surprise is the feeling of being completely comfortable in my own skin. To be honest, I've always been comfortable with being different from the crowd, following my own path, and not caring what others thought. However, it's like my 20's were the practice run, and my 30's are going to be fun. I finally found a hairstyle that I adore, which makes it so much easier to get ready each day. Because of my new-found desire to live simply, I've purged my closet to the point that it only holds items that I wear and love. I've chosen to focus on a few key pieces and have learned how to shop in such a way that I've filled in the gaps to complete a wardrobe that is uniquely me.

What I've Learned...

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Lesson #1: Throwing on a skirt gives me an instant feeling of confidence. I walk a little taller, stand a little straighter, and feel a bit surer of myself in a skirt. Perhaps it's tapping my inner Audrey Hepburn, or maybe I like the distinctly feminine feeling that wearing a skirt gives me - either way, I like it

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Lesson #2: Don't save your "good" jewelry for those "special occasions" - use and enjoy! There's just something about wearing a string of pearls while running everyday errands or loading the dishwasher that makes me happy. I finger them as I work at the computer and am reminded of the man who gave them to me. I feel them hanging from my neck as I lean over to throw wet laundry into the dryer and it makes me smile.

I remember my grandma wearing the most beautiful 3-diamond ring that my grandfather bought for her while he was away on a business trip. I've been told that he had no intention of buying a ring, but when he saw it in the store window, he knew it belonged to my grandmother. She wore it every day. After Grandma died, my mom had the diamonds made into three necklaces, which she gave to my sisters and me. Sure, it could get lost or stolen, but isn't that all the more reason to enjoy it now

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Lesson #3: Getting dressed all the way makes me more productive. I've found that when I like the way I look, I get more accomplished and I'm more prone to view my work-from-home job with Weaving Influence as a real job. In other words, there might be something to the idea of being "Dressed for Success". When I'm schlepping around the house in a pair of shorts, an old t-shirt, and my Wicked Good house-shoes, I don't get as much done as I do on the days when I'm fully dressed (hair done, teeth brushed) before Peter leaves for work at 6.  

Added Bonus: Every time I select a skirt over shorts, Peter makes a comment like, "Well, don't you look cute!" I've yet to figure out why they solicit such remarks and my simple khaki shorts do not (maybe I should ask), but I'll take them! I think most women would like more genuine compliments, right? 

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How has YOUR uniform changed over the years? 
Do you prefer shorts, skirts, pants, or Capris? 

14 comments:

  1. I love to wear skirts - and for most of the reasons you listed above! I also have the hardest time finding anything with legs that fits right since I am 5'4" with a short torso and long legs. Skirts are just so much easier! :)

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    1. I'm 5' 2.5", so I'm at that horrible height where regular pants are a smidgen too long and petite pants are slightly high-water - same with shirts (sleeves are either ALMOST too short or SLIGHTLY too long). Plus, I have shorter legs and a longer torso, so that complicates things a bit more. {sigh} Skirts and 3/4 length sleeves? Almost perfect. :-)

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  2. I love wearing skirts for the same exact reasons as you. I also like wearing casual summer dresses as well. The only drawback is that they can make chasing after a toddler quite difficult. I hope to incorporate them more into my wardrobe as my little guy grows. I love you 18-year-old shoes!

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    1. I love my 18-year-old shoes too, Karen! :-) It was crazy when I was wearing them the other day and realized how old they were. Hooray for quality that hasn't gone out of style! I agree that wearing a skirt/dress would be a lot harder when you're chasing a toddler (which I'm not doing), but I also think there are other ways to look a little more "put together" than those big, holey t-shirts and ratty shorts (like I'm wearing right now - but only because I'm going walking in a bit with a friend!).

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  3. I love wearing skorts. A cross between a skirt and shorts is practical and I can sit down or play on the floor with the boys and not worry about exposing myself! But you still have the cuteness of a skirt. My husband likes skirts and says a woman had to have invented the skort! He! He!

    Love the pics and you look cute! I agree with wearing what looks nice now and not saving for later. I am trying to do that with nicer pieces like pearls and Grandma's necklace too!

    Love,
    Me

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    1. Skorts remind me of TMI - there was this super-smart girl (with a head-covering) who was at Boot Camp with me. She clearly couldn't wear pants (religious reasons), but TMI had a strange skirt policy. Anyway, she came with skorts (looked like a skirt, but split like pants, and below the knees), and we were all envying her because she looked so much COOLER (as in, temperature) than the rest of us. I just wished I had thought of that! ;-)

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  4. I have noticed two things about wearing skirts/dresses instead of pants/jeans/shorts: 1) Put my tomboy daughters in dresses and they suddenly ACT like young ladies instead of tree-climbing hooligans! 2) When I wear a skirt or dress to run errands, the gentlemen come out of the woodwork...doors get held open, heavy items lift themselves into my cart/car, and the pant-wearing women nearby who are doing the exact same thing as I (minus the assistance of a gentleman) look at me as if I have grown two heads. It is indeed a curious phenomenon! (But oh-so-much fun!) :)

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    1. Agreed, Jamie! I've also noticed a difference in how I'm treated.

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  5. Hmm, I don't agree with Jamie's comment. My youngest wears skirts and dresses ALL the time. She is very much a girly-girl but also a tomboy at the same time. I will find her out playing in the dirt in her skirt... so her clothes don't really have much of an effect on her behavior. But then again she is only 4 :-)

    I do like your outfits and your style! I have found myself wearing more skirts lately, too. I am very much a t-shirt and jeans kind of girl. Lately I have been accumulating the scarves, too. I love putting one on as an "accent." I am not very much of an in style kind of person. Never was able to wear the skinny jeans, etc. Have always been jeans and t-shirt person. But now I am turning more into a t-shirt and skirt person :-)

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    1. I'm not sure how old Jamie's daughters are, but I know that as a kid I spent hours outside playing...in dresses. However, I do agree with her statement that she gets treated differently when she wears a skirt. I've experienced similar things.

      As for skinny jeans - ready for a blunt opinion? No one looks good in them. They may think they do, but they don't. The only way that I can get past them is if they are tucked into tall boots and then worn with a long(er) top/sweater. Reminds me of my stretch-pant wearing days. Haha! Thanks for the comment, Sarah - always fun to hear from you! BTW - are you still blogging and I'm missing the posts?

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  6. I totally agree with you! Skirts are great alternatives to summer shorts. (and my capris are doing me no favors either!)

    I just may take your advice and start getting "dressed" each day. Perhaps it will help! Thanks for the tip.

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    1. I think capris took off because women were uncomfortable with how they looked in shorts, and I certainly filled my closet with them for a while. But in the end, I realized that they just didn't do anything to flatter, and I'm much happier with the skirts I've thrown in the mix. I still have a pair of black capris that I wear from time to time, but the rest of the time it's my knee-length shorts, my two skirts, and pants.

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  7. And they suit you!!! I've found the same thing! Dressing up when you're just going to be at home all day makes you feel just that little bit more peppy and good about yourself. Absolutely agree, wear the precious jewelry while it's still there! Live in the present baby!! And I found that a lick of make up when I had children made me feel just that little bit less frumpy mama.

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There are more than 400,000 words in the English language. My only request of you is this: Use them wisely.

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