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Monday, October 03, 2011

The Art of Casual Dressing

I find it relatively easy to dress for special events and going to Mass once a week. I find I get stuck in a rut when I have to dress to run errands, take Zeke to the dog park, go bowling, or shopping etc. Quite often I just want to pull on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. This is dull thinking indeed. I have a few suggestions that will hopefully help you to be more creative in choosing what you wear to these everyday occasions.

For running errands, create a comfortable outfit with lightweight layers, a couple of accessories, and one structured piece. Why not try a loose-fitting slip dress, shrunken blazer, across-body bag, sunglasses, and lace-up shoes?

Or cuffed khakis (roll them up yourself), t-shirt, over-sized striped cardigan, over-sized tote, and wedges.

This is not to say you can’t wear jeans, but if you do so try wearing skinny jeans with a long t-shirt and oversized cardigan with gold jewelry and ballet flats. Or try cropped jeans with a nautical striped long-sleeve t-shirt and some moccasins.

If you have a furry friend to take to the dog park or if you’re just going for a walk on your own, aim for an outfit that takes into consideration the weather and is easy to maintain (leave your white clothes at home). Try a plaid button-down shirt, long-sleeve army button-down shirt, puffy vest, and jogging pants purposefully styled by tucking them into rubber boots.


Or a long sweater and form-fitting jeans, a wide brimmed hat, flat ankle boots, and boho bag.

For warmer weather some denim cutoffs, canvas tennis shoes, and graphic tank top would work just fine. You could also wear a dress if you wish, but make sure it’s casual and long and you’re not worried about it getting dirty.

For bowling an other activities, you need comfort and something that you can easily move in. Easy-fit jeans (cuffed at the ankle), tennis shoes, a plaid button-up shirt, and a cross body bag to ensure your hands are free would would well.

Other suggestions include a knee-length retro dress, flats, and a cropped leather jacket or denim Bermuda shorts, a cuffed plaid button-up shirt, and oxfords.

For shopping, I like to wear an outfit that is easy to remove allowing me to change efficiently. If I’m shopping for something in particular, I like to wear something that will aid in that plan. The following are the rules I go by to chose a good shopping outfit:

1. No extreme shoes. The shoes I choose are comfortable (you are going to be walking a lot) and easy to take on and off in case I want to try on other shoes! If I’m shopping for a pair of pants and I want to check the length, I bring with me a pair of shoes with the same heel height I am planning on wearing with them.

2. Let your shopping goals guide your outfit. For example, if I am looking for the perfect top for a skirt, I wear the skirt in question. Or if I am buying separates (t-shirts and pants) wearing a dress isn’t a good idea because unless I drag a bunch of other things into the dressing room with me, I will be pantless or bottom less when I wish to step out of the fitting room to view my potential purchase in a different mirror.

3. Wear one of your wardrobe essentials. For example,instead of guessing if the t-shirt I’m trying on will look good with my favourite pair of jeans, I wear my jeans shopping to try the new shirts on.

Some outfit suggestions for shopping are slouchy cuffed jeans, a slim tank top, cropped trench, and loafers or a dark maxi skirt, slip on sandals, draped t-shirt, and across-body bag. I also like dark flared jeans, oversized graphic t-shirt, cropped blazer, ankle boots, and oversized satchel.

Hopefully this helps everyone to be a little more creative in choosing their “everyday” outfits.

Have fun!

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