With vaccines readily available and the world opening up again, conferences are back in full force. I am literally sitting in a hotel room as I type this, waiting until the breakfast buffet opens up.
On a personal level, I'm interested to see how other conference-goers are going to dress. Will they remember how to dress up? Will they be ready to ditch their sweatpants? Will they even fit into anything but sweatpants? I'm speaking from personal experience on that last one.
Despite what changes in clothing bring us, one thing will remain the same: packing for a conference can be hard. Some of my most common image consulting clients were folks traveling to conferences. The thought of having to put everything you might need to represent yourself for a week of intense networking in a roller bag is daunting, to say the least. Luckily, I'm here to make it a little easier for you.
With workplace dress codes veering more casual, denim Fridays are suddenly turning into denim any day.
Here's everything you need to know when it comes to wearing jeans at work- and still looking professional.
Tip #1: Color Matters
Choose jeans that are solid colors. Solid color means 1 color. 1 shade. That's it. No weird bleached tiger whiskers or faded patterns.
When your jeans are one color (even the stitching if you can help it) they look more like regular pants, not denim. This makes them look more professional and less like yard work pants.
I recommend really dark indigo, white, or black when it comes to jean colors for work. Here are a few suggestions:
White jeans are a classic. I wear mine constantly and buy a new pair each year.
These are the jeans I'm completely obsessed with right now.
Sneakers. Tennis shoes. Tennies. Call them what you will, but they're the beloved rubber-soled footwear we often associate with working out.
This has changed dramatically in the years leading up to the pandemic and then climaxed in 2020.
High fashion houses like Chanel started showing sneakers on the runway. Clunky and (like a lot of fashion) impractical, these 'ugly sneakers' paved the way for acceptance of mass-market tennies in the workplace.
Tennis shoes don't work in all workplaces. If you're a corporate lawyer- you probably can't wear tennis shoes. If you are advertising director- then yes, you might be able to get away with it. If you're unsure whether sneakers are allowed in your workplace, check the dress code manual or ask HR.
If they are allowed...then keep reading for the 3 tricks to making sneakers work in the workplace (without risking your professionalism).
TIP #1: Dress up everything else
Intuitively, you know this. If you wear sloppy...
TLDR: Forget luxury name brand stuff, spend your money on cashmere sweatpants. I recommend these. No, I'm not getting paid (or compensated in any way) to endorse these.
Okay, to be fair...no one really needs a luxury item. That's what makes it a luxury...but stick with me here.
It's really easy to get swept up into luxury brands (or even the new trend: luxury off-brands like Italic). I'd like to think I'm not affected by marketing and labels, but that's simply not true. I often find myself asking, "would I still buy this even if it wasn't XXX brand?" The answer is often no.
There is one absolutely luxury item I will never hesitate to buy: cashmere sweatpants.
My first pair of cashmere sweatpants came from Everlane. My mother-in-law bought them for me off my Christmas list and I added them to the aforementioned list purely out of self-indulgence.
They were absolutely amazing and I wish I had bought multiple pairs.
For one, they are super warm...
A t-shirt is just a t-shirt, right? You might think that until you put on one that ‘just doesn’t look right’. Keep reading to see which t-shirt will look best on each body shape and my favorite picks at every price level.
Please note: I use affiliate marketing partners to help make shopping easier for you. When you click on affiliate links, I will receive a small amount of compensation at no extra charge to you.
Pear-shaped women are smaller through the chest and shoulders, have a defined waist, and are wider through the hips and booty area. (Not sure what shape you are? Take the Quiz!)
Look for t-shirts that…
It’s not always easy getting dressed for work, especially since dress codes are starting to trend more towards casual than professional. You used to wake up, put on a suit or dress (and stockings of course!), and head out the door.
Now, it’s much more complicated.
What does business casual mean? How can I wear jeans without looking sloppy?
The answers to these questions aren’t simple and can’t be contained in just one blog post. However, I hope to provide you some ideas and insight that will make your morning ‘getting ready for work’ routine a little bit better.
Ps. All outfit pictures are from Pinterest and can be found here.
Keeping your work wardrobe to just neutral colors with one or two signature colors makes dressing easy AND it looks sophisticated. I call that a win-win.
From the runway to stores like Target, the long cardigan is everywhere.
And for a good reason.
It's comfortable, stylish, and easy to wear. The perfect layering piece, a long cardigan can go with anything from a pair of jeans to a ball gown.
And...the best part is that the long cardigan can be worn by any body type and shape! Here's how:
Pssst. Not sure what body shape you are? Click here to take the quiz!
Apple shaped women are wider throughout the waist than the hips and chest (here's everything you need to know about dressing Apple body shapes).
Apples will look best with their long cardigan unbelted and open. Resist the urge to close up the cardigan as it will actually make you look taller and skinnier when you can see the rest of your outfit under the cardigan.
See more apple outfit ideas on this Pinterest board.
Why is it that we feel style and comfort are mutually exclusive?
When I put on ‘comfy clothes’ they usually consist of cashmere sweatpants and an oversized sweatshirt. Meanwhile, stylish clothes may involve heels and a dress.
That’s probably what a lot of people think…and they wouldn’t be wrong.
But what happened to all the middle ground?
Is it possible to have your cake and eat it too? Of course. Here’s how:
Stop thinking of comfy and stylish as opposite ends of the same spectrum.
Instead, think of them as two overlapping spectra. Some clothes may be a little comfortable and a lot stylish and others may be really comfortable and really stylish. It’s like diet food tasting terrible. Sure, some diet food isn’t good, but not all diet food tastes terrible. Once you grasp that, you will have an easier time with your diet. Likewise, once you understand that...
It feels like only a few months ago that I was writing a blog post on how to dress in hot weather.
I live in Northeast Georgia where the humidity combines with high temperatures in the summer to create a sort of permanent outdoor steam room. In the winter, though, we may dip down to freezing a few times and scatter some snowflakes every three years for the fun of it.
I feel incredibly lucky that I don’t live somewhere cold currently, but seen that side of the weather spectrum too.
Surviving in negative 40-degree weather in Upstate New York is one thing. Looking fashionable in said icebox is a whole other thing.
I’ve had the privilege of living everywhere from New York to Arizona and quite a few places in between (helloooo Iowa!) Most of these places were cold as an iceberg during the winter and, much against my will, this Georgia girl learned how to dress for the winter- and dress well.
Here are the top tips I learned from...