Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Style Evolution

I have always had a hard time with the question - How would you define your style?  It's never been an easy answer for me.  I think it's partly because it's kind of always evolving.  I really feel as of late it's really changed and shifted a bit and I think I'm getting closer to actually having a style.  

I am finding myself going towards a bit more of a casual shift in focus.  This isn't to say I don't want to still appear chic, cute and put together, but I am definitely started to shed some of my dressier styles.  I see a couple of reasons for this - first off, obviously, motherhood.  My time is much more limited, so I want to go for things that will be easy.  Also, since Oliver has been much more mobile, I want to wear things that will make playing on the floor with him at lunchtime easier, but still look nice enough for work.

Speaking of work, I have found that a more casual approach to my work looks just make sense for where I am at in my job.  When I started in this field, I was basically a receptionist, I was the first point of contact and therefore, a dressier look was important.  I wore a lot of dress slacks, long skirts, blouses, blazers, etc.  Now I am in a position where I support a facilities team - my maintenance staff wears jeans and work shirts in the field.  My boss is a male and pretty much wears chinos and a sweater every day.  I don't have a problem being the most dressed up person in a room - but I just started feeling more and more like I wanted to be a little more like the team.

So what is my style these days?  I thought I'd highlight a couple of outfits to try and better explain what I think I'm getting at.

Sweater - American Eagle (b. a resale shop), Pants - Old Navy
Boots, scarf, purse - Target

I love these pixie pants from Old Navy - I have two pairs and I wish I had more.  They were great in the summer with flats or sandals and now I've managed to transition them to fall with boots.  They are comfortable, they are still "dressy" enough for work and they go with many different things.  I can make them be pretty casual chic with a sweater, or I can dress them up with a blouse or a blazer.

I've also taken to really loving scarves as an accessory.  I used to resist scarves, I have a hard time with things too tight around my neck (you'll never see me in a turtleneck, ever.) - but have found so many different ways to tie scarves without choking myself that they've really become one of my favorite looks.  I still love jewelry - especially necklaces - but I also find scarves are much more Oliver friendly too.  The picture below is from today and he just wants to chew on the necklace I'm wearing and while it was cheap, I have others he's nearly broken that are not so cheap, so scarves sort of help with that!

Sweater - Stitch Fix, Black shirt - Gap (Clothes Mentor)
Pants - Old Navy, Boots - Target
Necklace - Charming Charlie

This look features my other pixie pants from Old Navy.  I have had this pair since the spring and I'm still not tired of them.  In addition to pixie pants, I am finding colored jeans/pants are probably my new favorite thing ever as well.  Again, they are dressier than jeans, but still casual enough that I don't feel over dressed when wearing them and they're definitely good for chasing after an 11 month old.  I like having a lot of color in my wardrobe, so that's another reason that I am loving colored pants as well.

So I would say these two looks are quickly becoming my "uniform" so to speak.  Fitted pants, boots, sweaters and an accessory and I'm more or less good to go.  Does this mean skirts and dresses are out for me?  No, not at all, but I'm finding myself drawn to more casual looks in that area too.  For example, one of my favorite dresses right now is a jersey knit cranberry colored dress that looks cute with tights, boots and a denim jacket.  The jersey knit material makes it feel more casual and good for everyday.

I've even found my style choices in the purses I carry has changed a great deal this year too.  I used to always go for more of a "hobo" style that slings over the shoulder - but now I'm finding more and more I like something that allows me to be hands free, especially if I'm shopping with my boy.  My favorites are some of my satchel styles I've found at Target lately that have a crossbody strap, like the purse in the top picture.  I also love bags that can be adjusted to be either over the shoulder or crossbody.  This means I'm seriously cleaning out my purse closet and hoping to sell some that I am no longer using - that's huge!

I guess a third reason that my style has kind of changed so much this year relates back to Oliver a little bit again - I never like to make it sound like I'm bragging, because I am really not - but I actually ended up about ten pounds below my pre-pregnancy weight with Oliver after he was born.  I attribute this to the fact that he still nurses a lot - remember yesterday I said he still wakes up at least once at night? I have also found that while I haven't gotten back into running or working out, keeping up with him is quite a workout in itself, not to mention, up until this week, we would go for a long walk just about every evening, twice on weekends sometimes.  So, I almost feel like I'm getting more exercise now than before I was even pregnant.  But this means that much of my old wardrobe from before pregnancy hasn't actually been fitting the greatest.  The area I'm struggling with the greatest on this now is in jeans - you ever find that when you first put your jeans on they can seem a little tight but then loosen as the day goes?  Halfway through the day I'm almost always reaching for a belt with many of my jeans.  I'm still on a quest to find some that I actually like the fit of.  The eternal battle. Anyway, I don't know what's going to happen when he finally weans, but my goal is to keep the weight off so I can keep up with my new wardrobe.

This is getting so wordy, I apologize, if you're still with me, kudos!  I've decided that if someone asks me what my style is now, I'll answer "Working Mom Casual Chic" - because I think that best describes it at this point.  I'm continuing to cull my wardrobe though right now I've kind of put a halt on some of that simply because I have a birthday coming up, but I hope to keep working on this new me so to speak as time moves forward.  

How would you answer the question of "how do you describe your style?"  Have you ever gone through a style evolution?  Do you think I'm way off base in what I see in myself right now?  Feel free to share any thoughts in the comments!
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