Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Several readers have inquired about my weekend/after work outfits, so I thought I'd show you a few of them in one post. As I hope to convince you, dressing down needn't mean dressing slovenly. Though many of my casual outfits are built around jeans and comfy shoes, they also tend to include the same sorts of accessories, color combinations, and other details that make my work wear interesting and uniquely me. They also generally look neat and fitted, with plenty of the layering strategies you're used to seeing from me. Shown above is a typical outfit that I'd throw on after work when I'm heading over to Mark's place or going to meet friends for a casual evening out. Starting with a pair of jeans and a comfy, long tunic, I added a hat and scarf for some visual interest, layered on armwarmers and a cropped hoodie for warmth, and chose a funky but functional pair of shoes to complete the look.
Hat: San Diego Hat Co. -- Scarf: Banana Republic -- Tunic: H&M -- Hoodie: Kersh -- Arm Warmers: Sock Dreams -- Jeans: Acne -- Shoes: 21 Sport
This outfit is really basic, being built around jeans and a sweater. But with this one I've brought in a little color with the purple sweater and boots, as well as adding some sparkle with the sequined scarf. An outfit like this is a great way to throw on something in a hurry that's easy, comfy, and still looks put together. Because the sweater is a loose, lacy knit, it adds a bit of sheer texture to the outfit.
I very frequently add scarves to my casual outfits to boost the style. To me they add an element of sophistication without looking too fussy.
Sweater: Free People
Scarf: Urban Outfitters
Here's an even more relaxed look, with faded jeans and sneakers this time. But rather than wearing a plain t-shirt I chose this soft drapey cowl neck shirt instead, which adds a bit of visual interest at the neckline. The other thing I did here was to use several different shades of purple, creating richness and depth. Since I usually don't bother with a lot of jewelery on the weekends, I use layers of color to make my outfits more interesting. Between the soft cowl, the chunky sweater, the jeans and the sneakers, I definitely look comfortable here, but the outfit still gives the impression of being carefully put together.
Sweater: BB Dakota
Jeans: Lucky Brand
Finally, here are some outfits you've seen before that I've either transitioned directly from work to an evening out, or worn out on an evening or weekend and then decided to turn into a work outfit later. Notice that all of these outfits are comprised of comfortable pieces, good walking shoes, and not too many layers that require frequent adjusting. That's because when I go out, I usually walk to wherever I'm going and don't often stay in one place the whole time; thus, comfort and ease are key. Boots are my most frequently worn after-hours shoe because they don't slip around or otherwise bother my feet even on steep hills, and I try to avoid tight-fitting belts when I go out because bar stools and restaurant chairs rarely keep my posture as straight as my office chair does, which means that anything squeezing my middle is going to be digging in by the end of the night.