February 17, 2012

On Style

I've always considered myself a reasonably stylish person. I really like clothes. Like, a lot. I have too many of them. My little Manhattan closet is bursting to the brim because despite "purging" multiple times over the past few months before leaving New Jersey, I simply could not make a dent in that massive orgy of clothing. In my previous office job, I was by far one of the most stylish ones there. 

Now, to be fair, that's not saying a lot. At this very low-key not-so-corporate office, common outfits on colleagues could include any (or all!) of the following:
crocs, super faded jeans, sports jerseys, ratty t-shirts, plaid flannel pajama pants (i kid you not), white leggings, shapeless kindergarten-teacher dresses, and fuzzy pink bathrobes (could not make this up if I wanted to). 

So, it's safe to say that my standards really plummeted during my tenure at said office.
Remaining "stylish" at such a locale was not difficult, and in my time there, I felt myself slipping into more and more casual ensembles as I cared less and less about being there.
But, I have nice clothes. I like to look presentable. And I considered myself relatively well-put-together.
Then, we moved to NYC.
And crap, I have really got to up my game.

See, I was stylish by New Jersey standards. By suburban standards. 
And that, my friends, is a whole different story than city standards. 

One of the key problems is comfort.
Over the years I've had less and less tolerance for being uncomfortable. 
I stopped wearing heels years ago because they kill my knees--I'm unwilling to sacrifice cartilage for fashion. 
Then I stopped wearing anything that suffocated me. I seem to have a really strong, physical reaction to things being tight around my waist. Like, get terrible hunched-over stomach pains. Tights/stockings = the worst offenders. Tight pants = bad. Belts around the waist = I will still power thru for style on this front, but don't think that belt will actually stay on all day.
Shoes, must be made for walking. And finding a stylish shoe that can also survive hours of Manhattan-pavement-pounding? Really a challenge. I've been living in my magical Frye boots, which are by far the most comfortable footwear I own. Best investment ever.
So. (Gosh that was a lot of rambling nonsense that no one is going to read.....)

Here are my style goals now that I am living in a super stylish city in which everyone - I mean everyone (well, you know, most people) - looks really stylish regardless of whether they're out to dinner or in the dish rack section of Bed Bath & Beyond, and regardless of whether it's 60 and sunny or 20 below zero and snowing.
(I find style so much more difficult in the cold!)

1. Wear some makeup already!
(I never. ever. wear makeup. For the most part I think it's a really good thing and I'm grateful that I'm not changed to a tube of mascara every morning the second I step out of bed. But.... yeah. Mascara and some lipstick won't hurt)

2. FIgure out how to do my hair.
It was short - super short - for like 20 years of my life. I am still pretty inept when it comes to hair care.

3. Mix it up
I have taken to wearing the same 3 outfits every other day. That is OK sometimes. But for the amount of clothing I have in my closet, definitely not OK all the time.

4. Think before you spend
I tend to buy things on a whim that are really purty and look great but I won't necessarily have occasion to wear all the time - usually black and white dresses (I have been officially banned from buying them) - and yet never have the basic things that I'd wear every day (black pants, underwear).

Style, commence.

{photos from Refinery 29}


Everyday Adventures said...

Can't wait to see what stylish outfits you come up with now living in NYC! You should do some outfit posts:)

jenny d said...

First, I read the whole post (so keep writing them.)

Second, hahahahahahahaha, you're TOTALLY right about what people wear at the office. I'm so glad I'm not the only one who cringes at plaid PJ pants lady. And yes, you absolutely were one of the most fashionable people. (Gotta give props to Anne Marie, though. I love her style.)

I feel your pain on the buying-purty-dresses-but-not-ever-really-wearing-them. The good news is that you're in NYC, and you have Jared to take you places. Air out those dresses this spring, ok?

I can't imagine you with makeup cause your clean look is so nice. Wish I could get away with it, but without makeup, I look like I have no face.

Do post pics of what you decide to do with your now-so-long hair.

And, finally, keep us posted (pun intended) on your evolving NY city girl style. Just promise you won't abandon your signature flats. :)

Lucent Imagery said...

I am 100% behind you on the "no heels" policy. I walk everywhere in our inner city life here in Australia. I want to walk my whole life and won't ruin my legs with them. But there is always that juggle to balance comfort and sensibility with looking somewhat trendy or classic. I love that flats, loafers, sneakers etc are trendy and in all shops.