Now that I am a fully grown lady (read: I was born in the very late 80s – no need to disclose my real age), I have a grown-up job and have to wear grown-up clothes. When I was young and 16, I thought dressing like an adult meant dressing like one of the women from “Sex and the City” — wearing heels, stacking Cartier bracelets and taking cabs to and from work.
Seriously, who did I think I was? The actual realities of dressing for work as an adult are verrry different.
Instead of neon bandeaus and leather jeggings, how about a pair of khakis or jeans? Yes, some rips are okay depending on where you work, but you should never be able to see your undergarments.
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Try to avoid sheer blouses with lacy bras and instead, opt for a button-down with a chunky necklace to cover that cleavage. Don’t worry, you can absolutely let it all hang out for happy hour.
Speaking of chunky necklaces, really go crazy with the accessories and nail polish colors. That rule goes for makeup as well. Best believe I will rock a neon green nail with chunky bejeweled rings to work. I’m not the most talented makeup artist, so the most creative I’ve ever gotten has been a red lip. But hey, if you can dream it, then you can achieve it.
You can’t wear six-inch blue heels to your Monday morning meeting (yes, I used to own a pair of these), but try four-inch black heels instead.
I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to wear sneakers and jeans to my job for the past three years. However, not all of us are #blessed with such a relaxed work uniform. So in place, why not try for espadrilles and relaxed pants instead?
Speaking of a relaxed, it should not look like you’re headed from a 5 p.m. meeting with the VP of Finance to a 6 p.m. yoga class. Try not to overdo it.
Rules of thumb
I went to Catholic school for many years and sometimes when getting dressed in the morning, it’s best to revert back to those dressing rules. You know, your straps should be at least three fingers length (and avoid strapless tops and dresses at all costs) and if your dress doesn’t go past your fingers when your arms are by your side, maybe save it for Saturday. Trust me on this one, I’ve had way to many close calls with stairways and breezy hallways to risk it with this one.
This new way of dressing can be quite a shock to the system. There will be times when you will slip up and forget that you’re at a 9 to 5 and not your 3 p.m. math class with a 4 p.m. happy hour right after. Life is crazy.
There will be times when you try to pair your thigh-high heels with a blazer, a green lacy bra with a white tank top and attempt to rock a sheer blouse with some business pumps, but as time goes on, you will learn.