Stepping out of your comfort zone with your wardrobe

How many of us can describe our personal style of dress in less than five minutes? While it might be a mix of fit, colors, length, and possibly a few designers; we all can pretty much define our personal style in a quick conversation. However, have you taken a closer look at your wardrobe to realize that the majority of your closet is a) predominantly of one shade of color, or b) there is not much variety in the styles or patterns? We tend to be creatures of habit and while there is nothing wrong with that, sometimes it’s good to step out just a tad out of your comfort zone and experiment a bit with different styles. Fashion is ever changing but your style is unique and you should be able to learn how to incorporate various pieces into your wardrobe and make it fit. No matter your style, here are three tips on how to step out of your comfort zone:

  1. Add color: let’s face it, our closet is mostly full of clothes in our favorite color and various shades of said color! Next time you’re shopping, conscientiously pick a color that is opposite to those that you tend to gravitate towards. If you tend to wear dark colors, start by picking a white article of clothing or a pastel one and slowly move towards something brighter over time. Rome was not built in a day, and neither will your acceptance of bright colors. At first, it will be best to try to simply pair a dark color with a lighter one until you feel comfortable with lighter tones.
  2. Experiment with fabrics: curious about the leather look but unsure that you want to wear a pair of leather pants? Try a pair of pants with leather trim! Find an article of clothing that incorporates an edgier fabric without being too out of your comfort zone. Whether it is lace, leather, or crinoline, just be sure to keep the rest of your outfit simple so that the statement piece stands out best.
  3. Accessorize: the best part of accessories is that most of the time they are less expensive (unless your statement is diamonds), and are even easier to incorporate in your outfit. Accessories are also an economical way to keep up with the trends. Remember when neon colors and leopard prints were the rave? Imagine if you had flooded your closet with tons of pieces from that trend? However, if you purchased a neon pink belt, you’re still able to pair it with a cute outfit without looking “fashionably outdated”.

Overall, the goal should be for you to continually find ways to keep your wardrobe looking stylish and trendy all the while taking risks and stepping out of your comfort zone. It’s nice to occasionally take part of a trend without compromising your personal style. In the end, you want to be comfortable in whatever outfit you pick, and knowing how to properly include a few of the latest fashion trends into your wardrobe is key to establishing your own style.

Have fun!



Dressing Appropriately for the Office

Do you stress about planning your outfit for the office? Are you tempted like me to simply create your own uniform so that selecting your work clothes is no longer a daily task of remembering what you wore the past few days and also making sure that whatever it is you choose is appropriate? Here are a few key items that I have found very important over the years that have helped me ensure that my work attire never becomes a human resources issue:
Fit of your clothes – make sure that your clothes fit comfortably. Comfortably means that you did not have to squeeze yourself into them and that the closure (zipper or buttons) can easily complete its function of CLOSING the outfit and it does not stop half way! Your buttoned down shirts should not have any gaps showing after you’ve buttoned your shirt. If your bra and/or skin is visible through the gaps, or you are required to wear a tank top under the shirt, it’s time to go a size up! And if the shirt properly fits but there is too much space in between the buttons, you should invest in some double sided tape strips to use when wearing this shirt if you are truly attached to it.
Length of your clothes – this does not only apply to ladies and it’s not only for the obvious pieces of clothing! Gentlemen, your tie (if you wear one) should always meet with your belt without passing it. The tie should not stop at your navel and it should not reach your zipper either. Pants, for men should cover your socks and those are to be seen only when you sit or cross your legs and a glimpse should appear. Ladies, long pants should reach the top to the middle of the heel of your shoes so that they do not create a hazard as you walk but your shoes are adequately covered. Dresses and skirts are to fall right above your knees at best. If they are up to 4 fingers above your knee, I strongly recommend that you wear a pair of tights (if weather permits) to avoid being a distraction in the office or opt out of the option altogether. While it is ok to opt for a sleeveless top or dress for work, straps are never ok to wear in a professional setting and a sleeveless outfit should have a band that is at least three inches wide and allows you to wear proper undergarments. If the width of the band over your shoulder is less than three inches, I strongly suggest that you wear a cardigan or a jacket over the dress or top and keep it on while roaming around the office and for meetings.
Style of clothing – sometimes, just because all of the previous conditions are met, does not mean that the outfit is work appropriate. The following should NEVER be worn to in an office setting: beach dresses, maxi dresses, tops or bottoms with logos, workout outfits including track suits, yoga pants, and sneakers.
Accessories – while accessories help elevate one’s outfit, they should never be so present that they become the focus of your outfit in a work setting (unless it is simply a nice accessory that is out of the ordinary). You should keep your accessories to a minimum and please leave the matching of your purse, shoes, and accessories for your Saturday night outings.
Hairstyles – some of us consider our hair to be an extension of our outfit and it is understandable to want your hairstyle to match your outfit however, please keep in mind that your hairdo for the wedding you attended on Saturday is most likely not appropriate for the office on Monday if it added a few inches to your height. Be sure to keep your hair groomed and clean and be mindful of your colleagues when using treatments in your hair.
Overall, I’ve come to live to this rule that I was told by a member of HR close to ten years ago “If you would not feel comfortable wearing it to your grandmother’s house, you should not wear it to the office”.
I hope these guidelines will help you the next time you are looking for your next outfit for the office. For some tips on great ideas of outfits for the office, follow me on Pinterest by clicking on the widget on my site or simply going on this link:
Have fun!