Monday, September 19, 2011

Lifestyle Dressing - Do's & Dont's

{"wedding" dress/date night dress}
I've worked with a lot of women over the course of my career, but I must say that styling women for living their life was always the most enjoyable.  Of course it was fun and exciting to help a woman pick out a dress for her daughter's wedding or a black tie event, but what I always loved the most was helping a woman build or add to her wardrobe to live in.  In the industry they call it "lifestyle dressing", which means outfitting a woman for every aspect of her life from work to the weekend.

While I no longer style woman as my profession, I still get asked plenty of questions about what to wear for a special event including baby showers, family photo shoots and blog conferences like Blog Sugar.  I love it and I feel honored that someone would seek my advice at all.  All this thought that goes into preparing for a special event and my one bit advice is this; buy an outfit for your life and not for a specific special event.
  • Don't buy a dress you can only ever imagine wearing to a wedding; instead buy a dress that can transition into a date night with your husband or a very fun night out with your girlfriends
  • Don't buy a blouse that you can only ever wear to work because it's so 'formal' or 'stuffy'; instead buy a blouse with a fun print that you can imagine wearing with jeans and flats for the weekend
  • Don't buy a skirt that can't be worn with both flats and heels; instead buy a skirt that can be dressed up when the occasion arises or dressed down for something more casual
  • And don't ever, ever buy shoes that are so uncomfortable you can only wear for an hour at a time before you have to take them off.  
{work blouse, play blouse, fun blouse; the blouse that does it all}
The key is to build a wardrobe that all blends in seamlessly together so there's no "work wardrobe", "weekend wardrobe" and "dressy wardrobe".  It can all be intermixed (for the most part) and be worn for most facets of your life.  Eventually the end goal is to have a closet that breathes versatility so that you don't have to go out and shop every time you have a special event; you can instead shop your own closet.  I bring this up because while choosing my own dress to wear for Blog Sugar last week, I asked myself these very same questions.  Does this dress have longevity, will I wear it to other events besides Blog Sugar, will I wear it in my everyday life, could I wear it to run errands if I had to?  The answer was yes to all of them.  And so as they say, "done and done."  I took that baby home from Old Navy for $23 and I already wore it this past weekend.

And that my friends are my two cents worth of style advice for the day ;)  


  1. I think this is great advice, Andrea, and something I'm not necessarily great at. Next time I go shopping, I will keep that versatility idea in mind!

  2. And this is why I'm looking forward to your new blog. :) Seriously, this kind of stuff is what a lot of style/fashion blogs are missing: the practical tips those of us on budgets and real-life schedules could use to beef up our own wardrobes. I love this idea of having a wardrobe that can all be intermixed... I just wish I knew how to do it better! Hopefully you're going to help us figure out how! :)

  3. Those are some great tips! We both try to buy items that are all season (or at least 3 season) so we get more out of our wardrobes. Also, if you can't dress it up and down, it's really not worth the investment. Your blouse is very pretty by the way!

    Heather & Kayla

  4. Thanks for the tips! I've shared them with my girlfriends. ;)



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