We’re now two full weeks into the 21 Day Skirt and Dress challenge and I’m really enjoying it. While I am very much a fashionista, I – like a lot of you – don’t have an unlimited clothing budget, so I find myself repeating certain pieces of my chosen wardrobe for the challenge in different ways. A great wardrobe can do just that for you – be versatile, adaptable, and comfortable to wear, while giving you options. Options are what’s important! Great basic pieces give you the freedom to mix, match and add your own personal flair!
The last few days have challenged me, for sure – we went through a bit of a “cold snap” here in Connecticut, and our balmy spring-into-summer weather deserted us. It was chilly and cloudy, and that definitely presented a different kind of atmosphere for my challenge. I was looking for my toasty warm sweats and pants, and almost broke my challenge, but in the end, my commitment won!
I paired my new favorite grey cardigan and knit skirt from T.J. Maxx with a black and white turtleneck – my nod to the cooler temperatures. Though I was working from home and could have dressed somewhat more casually, I chose this outfit with intention. Lots of meetings this day, though working from home, and I needed to feel more businesslike and polished.
The cardigan from my outfit has a scarf-type accent at the neck which adds a little interest. The skirt and cardigan were in the store together, but did not come from the same manufacturer. They are nearly a perfect match for each other though, and getting this intentional match makes them more likely to be percieved as an unmatched suit – though a casual one – and give me an additional level of polish. I paired silver earrings with the outfit to repeat the grey in the cardigan and skirt.
By repeating a color, you add emphasis and importance. I love to wear “the least amount of the most interesting color” on occasion for extra oomph. In this case, black jewelry would have really set off the ensemble, but I was working from home, so I went a little more low-key.
Isn’t it amazing how different you can feel when wearing certain garments? I know that when I was job-hunting, I had a special “interview suit” that I would pull out for those occasions, because it made me feel very professional, polished and dare I say – Powerful? I knew when I put on that outfit – everything from the suit to the shoes and accessories were hanging near each other in my closet – I felt really GOOD. What outfits in YOUR closet make you feel that way?
Here’s a ‘Conquer Your Closet’ tip – do a brief analysis of the garments currently in your closet – if when you pull them out of the closet, they don’t start to raise your energy level, make you smile, or raise your anticipation for wearing them because you feel good in them, or recieve compliments when wearing them, then move them to a different part of the closet (the back?) or get them out entirely.
Don’t toss them yet, but definitely move them to the side. The clothes you leave in ‘active rotation’ should be clothes that make you feel really GOOD when wearing them. I believe EVERYONE should have a closet filled with garments that make them feel GOOD.
My final outfit is a wonderful dark grey pencil skirt and tee plus a bright blue jacket that I bought some years ago on EBay. If you know what you are looking for, and have a good idea of your personal style and what will mix and match with your existing wardrobe, EBay can be a great place to find bargains.
You must be careful to read every word of the description and posting, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. There are some really great deals to be had, and there are also mistakes that can be made. Start slowly, take your time, and set your budget and your personal conditions up front so that YOU are clear about what you’re doing there.
The pencil skirt and the matching tee came from Old Navy. It’s a great place to find basics – you will not find too many fad items here, or if you do, they are reasonably priced and you can feel free to experiment with them. Sometimes being in the store is the best way to go – I am an avid online shopper, but I would not have found the charcoal grey tee anywhere but the store – it happened to be a returned item, and it was a “Tall” size.
Because I am nearly 6 feet tall, I have a longer body from shoulder to hip than most average women. You may also face this situation if you are long-waisted (your upper half of your body is longer from shoulder to the top of your thigh than from the top of your thigh to the bottom of your foot). Taking honest measurements of not only your bust, waist and hips but your height and proportions (top to bottom) is important for ensuring you get a proper fit in your clothing.
Notice the bright colors in my jewelry – it’s a great way to add color and make an outfit totally different! This outfit would have been just as appropriate with gold or silver jewelry, but the multicolored beads in my necklace and earrings gives it a bit of personality without being overwhelming, and fits in perfectly with a business or business casual environment.
We’re coming down the home stretch of the 21 Day Skirt and Dress challenge – how have YOU changed in the past two weeks? Do you find that wearing skirts and dresses more affects your self-esteem and self-confidence? Comment below, or send me an email – I’d love to hear from you!