When I graduated College and entered the workforce, one rule I always lived by was ‘dress for the job you want, not the job you have’. At times I’ve felt a bit overdressed compared with my colleagues however, I can’t tell you how many times new co-workers have mistaken me for upper management. A big part of that was how I chose to present myself in terms of what I wore coupled with an upbeat but responsible down-to-business demeanor.
I think the same holds true for our personal lives, we should dress appropriately for the occasion but do so in a way that exudes confidence and allows us to showcase the very best of our wardrobe vs. saving it for a special occasion and opting to live in cozy favorites instead. We never know who we may meet and what opportunities might arise if we first dress the part. We may meet our future employer, business partner or even husband, so it’s always wise to put our best foot forward. Doing so may lead to dating a different kind of man or you may find yourself in different social circles as a result which could in turn lead to a variety of wonderful prospects.
Make no mistake, clothing most certainly does not ‘make’ the woman, it is just one aspect of a lady. However, making the effort shows a different level of respect for others and one’s self, dressing up also provides a certain sense of allure and mystery, some may wonder where you’re headed later and presume you live a highly exciting life. When you dress up more often, other areas of your life will improve too-the way you keep your home, how clean you keep your car, the way you eat. A basic, ‘that’ll do, good enough’ approach to certain aspects of life will no longer suffice, it will be replaced with, not perfection, but the desire for excellence and a more lovely presentation of one’s self and life. These are the ways of a classy woman.
A few of the ways I elevate my own look for a more dressy ensemble even if I’ll be enjoying a casual day out, are by adding a jacket or blazer to jeans, bermuda shorts, a dress or paired with a feminine a-line midi skirt (or another structured jacket such as leather or even a pretty cardigan) in addition to considering footwear that accompanies the overall look. To give you some inspiration, here are the 10 Jackets Every Classy Woman should own. The great thing about shoes is that even if you’re headed somewhere where heels are impractical, you can opt for a gorgeous pair of flats and keep your heels in the car (or your bag) for later when you may in fact need them for a sit down venue such as a dinner out. Likewise, if you’re headed out the door and want to look your best, wear a pair of pumps and keep those ultra-comfy ballet flats (or another pair of more comfortable shoes with you) so your feet won’t have to suffer. Personally, I always keep a pair of black flats in my car to change into while driving for both safety and comfort.
Accessories can also really transform the look of an outfit-a gorgeous pair of chandelier earrings, a beautiful clutch, a statement necklace or a belt that pulls a look together and defines the waist are all necessary to create a polished look. In my opinion though, if one intends to look more dressed up and ladylike, the easiest way to achieve this is by wearing skirts and dresses. I know it’s not the 1950’s and don’t get me wrong, I love wearing denim and dress pants just as much, however, there is something so romantic and feminine about a beautiful dress and to keep it from becoming overly dressy, a gorgeous jewel embellished sandal or lace pointy toe flat would be the perfect accompaniment, especially on weekends for brunch, shopping, or meeting up with friends. For the office, some standout choices will always be a sheath and shift dresses that hit at the knee which are great options for allowing you to remain professional but remind others that you are in fact, a woman, even if you happen to be working in a man’s world.
Below I’m sharing some of my favorite dresses + skirts, I hope it inspires you to add a few more dressier pieces to continue to build your own timeless and classy wardrobe. Ann Taylor is currently running a 40% OFF sale right now with code: MYSTERY40.
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