03 September 2012

Dressed Appropriately

I've touched on this topic before but was reminded of it again this week when I was blog-surfing and stumbled upon where a gal showcased some of her outfits for the work week - that involved flippy leather minis, tight lace minis and pretty much everything else with the word "mini" involved. She mentioned that she had an office job and some people would deem her style inappropriate, but - "I do me."

yellow & pink

I don't know whether or not it is the Cancer in me that always wants to have the approval of others, but part of me was kind of irked initially at that comment - What do you mean "you do you?" Don't you care? And then after some more thought, another part of me was kind of envious at her confident attitude.

I've always erred on the side of conservative when it comes to dressing for work, events, whatever. Interviews mean suits. Corporate events where I may be meeting with top brass or representing the company means suit separates. Everyday office wear is easy for me - business casual means skirts and dresses and heels (I think my office mates would describe my style as "quirky" considering my love for color and pattern), though I won't ever wear anything too revealing or sloppy. Weekends are ...well it depends on the activity. But I am almost always appropriately dressed, whether it be going hiking or shopping or hanging around.
 
yellow & pink yellow & pink

So I guess part of that for me stems from the whole "approval" thing again and wanting to always look appropriate. And pretty. ("Appropriate" in my book has nothing to do with getting dressed up. I may be putting something on just for a casual picnic in the park, but my idea of picnic dressing doesn't involve flip flips, if you know what I mean).

That's just how I am. I like to fit in (but still kind of standout, you know). That's how I was raised, that's what works for my work environment and my life. But I admire the confidence of someone who can completely dress for themselves regardless of what others think.

How do you do you when it comes to dressing for certain situations? Do you play it safe or dress how you feel regardless?
 
yellow & pink

yellow & pink

Dress: F21 linen fronds (worn here - sim, sim, simpricey)
Necklace: ON ethnic statement (worn here - sim, simsim)
Bracelets: F21, Target, J.Crew (sim, sim, sim, sim)
Wallet: Kate Spade (sim, simpricey)
Shoes: Jack Rogers via Anthropologie whipstiched akebia (sim, sim, strappypricey)

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58 comments:

  1. yay for outdoor pictures! That dress look amazing on you!
    ~ www.Tinacious .Me~

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    1. Haha, not yay yet - notice the awkward smiling at having someone actually take my pics? ;o)

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  2. In my mind, wearing a leather or lace mini skirt in a workplace that you acknowledge is not receptive to that sort of outfit is not so much a matter of being "confident" or "edgy" as it is simply foolish. Tight-fitting lace and leather mini skirts usually communicate "I'm all about fun and sex," and that is not a message that will get you taken seriously in the workplace. This woman's work ethic could hardly be strong enough to counteract the sartorial message that she is ready to hop out to a bar. I'm guessing that this person is quite young and is perceived as just that by her colleagues. And it goes beyond her not caring about their approval; she risks conveying that she disrespects them.

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    1. Good point, I think in any environment (but especially a work one), we need to remember that it is not just all about us, that we need to think of how others react and how we perceive them.

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    2. That is exactly what I was going to say. There's a way to "do you" while still being respectful of your office environment. Wearing that to the office just smacks of disrespect and thoughtlessness, in my opinion. Wear that wherever else you want (except church or a funeral) and look awesome, but not to the office!

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    3. It is about self-respect, garnering the respect of co-workers and clients for your ideas and knowledge, and about respecting the company that pays your salary, none of which are best accomplished in clothes that suggest a nightclub.
      There are so many ways to express yourself in a work environment, but too much emphasis on this--outside of a creative field--suggests an immature attitude towards the concept of work.

      Delete
  3. I like the pink accessories with the yellow dress. Did you check out the Kate Spade sale two weeks ago?

    I wear what I feel like which coincidentally usually falls within the HR dress code, because I always feel like staying employed:)
    Happy Labor Day.

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    1. Hahah, oh the dreaded HR dress code. But then again, one does not ever want to be the reason why the code has to be enforced!

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  4. I tend to dress for the occasion. I have definitely taken off some jewelery, or dressed down from my original ideas due to who I was going to be with. I have some friends who tell me they watch everything I wear and want to see what I am wearing next. Sometimes, I just want to NOT get comments (both good and bad). I also know that they feel self-conscious about their own apparel (fashion is NOT important to them)when they are with me. SO, taking off a statement necklace, or adding flats instead of heels when I go out somewhere with them is not a big deal, especially if it makes everyone more comfortable. I imagine that the whole "I do me" thing is someone still figuring stuff out and needs just a bit more life experiences...

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    1. I do the same thing. If I am going to a business attire environment and I know company execs will be there, Business Lisa looks a bit different from color blast Everyday Lisa. Same for if I am visiting my fam, since I know they are really casual - no need for me to wearing heels while my dad's in sweat pants!

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  5. What a cute printed dress! That photo with you standing by the water is gorgeous!

    I work in an office where there really is no dress code and 90% of the people belong on What Not to Wear (ripped snakeskin print leggings, tube tops, cleavage, see through shirts... you name it). Even though no one says anything to them about how they're dressed, I feel it's completely inappropriate, disrespectful, and sends the wrong message to dress this way. When it comes to the work place, I don't think "I do me" is EVER the right attitude to have unless you don't want to be employed.

    -Sharon
    The Tiny Heart
    Enter my jewelry giveaway!

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    1. Girl, snakeskin print leggings? At work? Shoot, I saw a chick at the mall this weekend in gold lame leggings and didn't think THAT was appropriate, haha.

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  6. What I do is take into consideration the place I am going. Is it a professional environment? Do I want to be taken seriously? If yes, wear something like a chic pencil skirt and top. You don't need to look like you are going to a club just because that is how "you do you!" You have to be courteous and professional in all of your environments.

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  7. I have always worked because of the money. I have always wished to continue to work because of the money. "Looking the part" is some of what makes this possible. I want people to focus on the brilliant advice/strategy I give them, not on what I'm wearing.

    Outside the workplace, common sense and courtesy rule. For instance, I wouldn't wear white lace to a wedding, nor black chiffon to a wake.

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    1. "I have always worked because of the money. I have always wished to continue to work because of the money."

      Hilarious - and utterly true. High five!

      Delete
  8. I work in a business casual environment, but still find myself dressing appropriately. In my opinion, you can "do you" at the work place, but it's important to keep in mind how your clothes are going to look to others. If you're donning a lace mini and tight short clothes to the office, are people going to look at you and think wow, she looks like she's very professional and businesslike, or are they going to look at you and have immediate doubts about your work ethic? Clothes, like our mannerisms, make a first impression on people. I like to dress professional and appropriate for work and never wear anything too revealing to work because I want others to take me seriously. My wardrobe isn't too wild to begin with, but I save my "sexier" things for date nights and time out on the town with my boyfriend. It's a great point you bring up here, thanks for sharing your thoughts. And beautiful outfit :)

    Stephanie
    twenty-something

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    1. I'm with you, Stephanie. I have enough trouble being short and looking young for my age. In the work place, I still like to look cute (obvi, haha) but need to be appropriate enough so that people will listen to me too, haha.

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  9. My office is very casual and I've occasionally shown up in what I call my "fancy" J.Crew weekender sweatpants, or ripped boyfriend jeans--as long as they were the relaxed piece of my outfit (i.e., not with a t-shirt and flip flops). But we all KNOW when we're supposed to be "dressed for the occasion." I don't think I would show up in anything "mini," though.

    Taylor

    ohwelltatslife.blogspot.com

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    1. Those "vintage destroyed" matchstick jeans are some of my faves and yes, I've worn them to the office myself. Granted, I ain't making daisy dukes out of those jeans and strutting them into the office! ;o)

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  10. I always want to feel appropriately dressed, or perhaps a little more over dressed than under dressed. Sometimes I wear things a little short, but I'm so short it doesn't seem inappropriate.

    I think your yellow dress is adorable, I would definitely wear that to the office. Perhaps if the a/c is cranked up than with a cardigan or a blazer.

    Being you doesn't have to mean baring all no matter what anyone else thinks.

    And I totally want approval. I can't help but wonder if the people who say they don't are lying.

    Chic on the Cheap

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    1. I'm on the same page. Because honestly if I didn't give a rat's ass what anyone ever thought of me and had no aspirations or desire for appropriateness, I would be shlumping around in my PJs all greasy-faced all day long. Shoot, I put on real clothes and shoes to take my pup out first in the morning because no one needs to see me with my monkey pants ...

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  11. Love that dress!!! The sandals are the perfect color and that necklace is gorgeous! Really, really like this whole outfit! I dress for situations and most of the time it's pretty conservative. My grandmother was a big influence to me and she said "always better to be overdressed than under-dressed and good manners will never go out of style." It's not good manners to dress like a hoochie mamma at work...corporate office or not. There. That is all.

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    1. Oh you made me laugh out loud here.

      My sis totally thinks like this too, because what's the worst that can happen if you're over-dressed? You end up being the best-dressed person in the room? Thank you, Rachel Zoe, for those words.

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  12. That dress is super pretty on you, love the pattern! I don't understand people that wear things like that to work...it's one thing to dress however you want when you go out, but another thing to do something that puts your job in jeopardy...because dressing inappropriately can absolutely put it in jeopardy. I agree with your philosophy...I like to be appropriate, but stand out at the same time :)

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  13. I think that, like so much related to etiquette, dressing appropriately to the situation is more about making others feel comfortable than about "doing you". I think a leather/lace mini is bound to make others working around you uncomfortable, but those items would be totally appropriate in a club or bar. The challenge of dressing creatively is fitting your sense of style into what is appropriate to the situation at hand. So, if you work in an office setting, how do you translate your love of color or quirky sense of style so that it makes sense and doesn't make others uncomfortable? I think you do a GREAT job of this, Lisa! Your outfits are colorful and fun but appropriate for the activity you're doing (often work, which is why I find myself drawn to your blog, as I'm dressing for work most often too!).

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    1. Thanks, Danielle! I really like your way of thinking about things, that makes great sense.

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  14. I always err on the conservative side when I'm unsure of a situation. Better to be over than under dressed!
    Loving the yellow on you, Lisa!

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    1. I'm with you. If all else fails, put a blazer over it! ;o)

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  15. Dress Appropriately for the situation means to me that people will focus on me and not what I am wearing. I do not want the distraction of what I am wearing to interfere with people getting to know me or wanting to know me.

    I wonder if people who "do me" are really hoping people will not look past their outfit.

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    1. I've never thought about things that way before, very good points you've made.

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  16. I am kind of on the in-between on this issue. I work in a law office which means almost everyone that I come into contact with is in suits of grey, black, khaki or, when someone's feeling frisky, maybe a navy or purple. I, on the other hand, am a paralegal. I go to Court, but not for hearings. I meet with clients, but not for anything really substantial most of the time. I go to meetings, but usually it is just me and the two attorneys I work for or other paralegals. Some see my style as way too edgy for a law office and maybe it is, but, like you, I still gotta be me. And while I still maintain the fingertips to knee rule for my skirts or shorts and do not wear strapless or spaghetti straps and I don't show any cleavage (well, assuming I had any . . .), I still love to throw in the unexpected patterns and colors and mixing. It keeps it interesting. And my bosses and clients actually really like the way that I dress. So I think it's all about having a balance.

    I LOOOOOVE this yellow dress on you. It is super pretty and fun. And I am really digging the outdoor photos you've been playing with lately!

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    1. Haha, if I had any of my own cleavage, maybe my ideas of dressing appropriately would be completely different! ;o)

      I appreciate how you dress for work, Frannie. You are always showing a ton of personality and "being you" but I never think anything you wear would be considered wrong for a work environment.

      And like you, on days if I have to meet with vendors or company execs, I am usually more "professionally" dressed.

      Delete
  17. I really really love this your editorial on dressing and I support your views. I love to be modest and comfortable in my dressing too.

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  18. I think it's important to dress appropriately. But I think a lot of offices/work environments have different standards. So if your work is ok with jeans and shorter skirts then fine. But if you are purposefully ignoring dress code rules then there is something wrong. In general I think it's better to be conservative with lengths and instead show your individuality with color, pattern and accessories.
    Very cute dress btw!
    ~Jessica
    http://jeansandateacup.blogspot.com/

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    1. I agree, I think it's best to err on the side of conservative until one really knows their office environment. And even after that - my personal opinion is that even thought an environment is casual, that doesn't necessary mean one should go around in strappy camis or short shorts (though I admit I totally did the short shorts thing once at one of my early jobs right out of college. I thought I was being appropriate because I wore the shorts with low heels and a button-down shirt .... noper!)

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  19. One can "do oneself" without being inconsiderate or inappropriate, and you, Lisa, do that really well.

    I'd love to know if she "did her" when she was going through the interviewing process.

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    1. Oh no, haha, your last sentence had me giggling!

      Though at my last job, I recall some of the directors in my department talking about a gal they just interviewed and apparently she was showing quite a bit of cleavage. I have no idea if she was qualified for the job because they had a chuckle about her attire and pretty much immediately dismissed her.

      Granted, I am sure that kind of attire may have worked a time or two ...

      Delete
  20. Love your dress!!

    I'm with you--I always try to be appropriate, and definitely err on the side of overdressing. I strongly disfavor the "I do me" mindset, especially when accompanied by clothing that is completely inappropriate for the workplace (mini skirts, sheer tops, cleavage). It makes the workplace uncomfortable and can create long reaching side effects, like taking away casual Fridays (this happened at two different jobs of mine after college!). But all that aside, every place I've ever worked has been freezing--so I especially don't understand the mini skirt mentality! :)

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    1. I'm always freezing on the top half so no one would ever have to worry about me dressing inappropriately, haha. As for my bottom half, I'm afraid I've done the mini thing to work before, but only with opaque tights and only on casual days.

      Delete
  21. I love the print of that dress! :) I'm the same way, I like to fit in, but stand out a bit...
    http://www.closet-fashionista.com/2012/01/new-in-mulberry-purse.html

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  22. I always save my above the knee (NOT mini, just mid/lower thigh) skirts for winter. Then, I can pair them with opaque tights and low heeled boots. I feel like this is the only time I feel comfortable wearing shorter skirts to work. But leather? No. No way.

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  23. Love your dress! I personally think you should dress appropriately at work and to me that doesn't mean leather minis if you work in an office. Our dress code wouldn't even allow that anyway! I feel like if you dress smart, you look smart and you get more respect for it. I know some people would totally disagree, but there is a time and place for a short skirt and the office isn't that place.

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  24. welllllll ... kudos for her having such confidence, but depending on the industry, that "I do me" attitude could very well backfire. Assuming you work in an environment where dressing like that would call unwanted attention, I think there are other ways to showcase your individuality. That said, you look fabulous and I'd side with you on dressing conservatively.

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  25. I'm with you on doing my best to dress appropriately for a given situation. It's not a bad thing to stand out with the way you dress, but not if it's for the wrong reasons! I feel uncomfortable in certain outfits, so I won't wear it if I feel that way.

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  26. Super cute! I like the color combo.

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  27. Keep it classy, not trashy...that's what I always say. To each her own though, I guess. Love the dress, such a cute print!!
    -amy
    www.dreamingincashmere.com

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  28. I definitely dress according to situation - so if I'm in an office environment and the dresscode is a certain way - i will dress accordingly however, I like to put a little bit of my own personality into it ;)

    Love the summer dress on you ;)

    katattack2000.wordpress.com

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  29. You are beautiful and this outfit is AWESOME! I love the yellow and pink! So fun :)

    I feel so judgmental (and I try HARD not to be) but if a woman is wearing leather, lace mini things to the office I believe she is desperate for attention. That doesn't sound like it could ever be appropriate...ever.

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  30. oh...and another 2 cents...I don't think "I do me" to defend inappropriate attire is confident at all. Again, I'm being judgmental--but a confident woman doesn't need to grab attention with leather mini skirts..

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  31. I think it depends a little on your work environment, but I try to err on the side of being more conservative. I don't like to dress like everyone else, but I don't want to stand out because I'm dressed inappropriately, I'd rather use color, pattern, and creativity to stand out.

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  32. I think it's one thing to rock your personal style, but you have to keep it appropriate and classy. You don't want to be a distraction for others. Style is all about knowing what looks good for the right situation. I love that yellow dress by the way, and the pop of pink is perfect!
    Meredith
    www.createthatoutfit.com

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  33. Amazing look! I adore your shoes :)

    Check out my fashion corner!
    mayasfashioncorner.blogspot.com

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  34. I am definitely the one who like to play it safe (especially when it comes to dressing professionally). You look great in yellow.

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  35. I'm a cancer too, so that's must be where I get that same attitude. I definitely dress appropriately - or at least try to! I think in general my style has become more conservative since I dress relatively conservative for work. Definitely would never wear a mini to work!

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  36. Hi Lisa! Beautiful outdoor pictures!! I love the yellow dress on you with the pink sandals!!

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  37. OMG... are you talking about who I think you're talking about? Cuz I saw a similar blog post and thought... wait this girl isn't dressed very appropriately for work, why is she giving advice about work clothes? She does have great style though!

    I try to dress fashionably and look appropriate for the situation as well. I don't think you have to sacrifice either! I mean sure you can look great, but if everyone else there is wondering, "WTF... why is she wearing that..." then even if you look great, you wouldn't really feel that great right? Unless you really just DON'T care at all.

    ReplyDelete

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