The reality of my world as far as stress dressing is concerned, and I confirmed this with my significant other, usually has two modes. The first is when I am just having a general day of being busy, frustrated, or down is usually improved by the ability to wear jeans (this can’t always happen with my job, but I have a nice pair of black dress slacks for those days. I have one pair of jeans, that no matter what kind of day I’m having fit like a glove (Thank you stretch denim). I usually always pair this with a comfortable cardigan or sweater. Sweaters to me look classy and they just feel really good on your body. The second mode is on the other end of the spectrum. When I am having a day of high stress or uncertainty and I am feeling really uncomfortable with myself, I will make sure to take the extra time to put in to my appearance. The simple task of putting on some mascara and eye shadow, a pair of earrings and a very nice dress will change my whole outlook on the day. I guess it’s that old “dress for success” concept.
Whatever your level of stress dressing, my basic advise is to simplify everything. Overthinking gets us all in trouble. To build off of last week’s entry about simplifying your wardrobe, I think it’s really about being more comfortable in your skin. I’ve said before and I will say it a million times, if you feel terrible about who you are, no amount of stuff is really going to make it better. It may temporarily relieve your feelings, but you’re looking to lighten your load over all. Stress is usually caused by this oppressive amount of stuff that has to be completed in a timely manner. It can be caused by a multitude of things you can’t control, and wouldn’t it be nice if looking your best wasn’t anywhere on those lists?
I was asked to elaborate a little about my personal go-to pieces for days when I’m not at the height of my game, so here are my best suggestions for on the go wear that makes the whole process a bit more streamlined. You may not like my choices, but that’s the glory of fashion. Find your own go to pieces that make you feel awesome! It is in the end you who has to wear it.
Evelynlouise’s top go-to pieces.
- Shoes. Own at least one pair of classic black flats, that have enough arch support and padding that you can stand in them for hours or just slip on for a day of lounging. A pair of slip on flats will dress up an outfit more than a pair of sneakers, but they should be comfortable enough that you don’t mind doing a multitude of tasks in them. Some women feel this way about kitten heels. Personally, I say black leather flats.
- A little black dress that fits like a glove. It is perfect for almost anything except for a rodeo or a formal event. You can dress it up with jewelry or sweaters. Color or go as simple as possible, just like Audrey Hepburn. If you’re not a dress person I would say a nice pair of black slacks is a good place to start and a well fitting black top. Why black? It’s slimming, it hides lumps and bumps, it creates an elongated and continuous line with your body, it matches anything including the aforementioned black flats, and it’s just classy!
- A cardigan that you just can’t stop wearing. In my not so humble opinion, the perfect cardigan sweater should feel like a hug on your bad days, a snuggle on your ‘sitting at home reading a book’ days and a professional asset on your work days. I suggest splurging on a good sweater, heathered or tweed to punch up the class, and something that has some shape (not just a sack). And you know what’s great about a cardigan? You can wear it with that Little Black dress and your flats and feel amazing.
- A pair of classy earrings. Single set diamond, pearls, something that you find beautiful. You would be amazed at how far a pair of earrings goes to class up your whole look and make you feel like you put more effort into your look than you really did.
- At least 1 blouse. I usually go with a color that compliments my eyes or black as it is slimming. I love blouses that don’t cling to my midsection, I tend to also lean toward knits, and I like a blouse to have at least one interesting detail such as a lace neckline, or princess seams. If I can wear my cardigan with it, this is a bonus for me.
- A nice fitting pair of jeans or slacks. Again right now I have a pair of dark wash skinny jeans that just feel amazing on my body. I’ve discovered as I get older, nothing makes me crabbier about wearing pants than a waistband that digs in to my stomach. Buy a pair that fit. Hem them, and you are good to go.
I think for me the elements of stress dressing come down to having those interchangeable wardrobe pieces. I hope this was helpful fashionistas!