A few months ago, I met with a client who was working on several self-consciousness issues. She was a tall woman, and had to endure an endless stream of height-related commentary from friends and strangers alike. Her mother had instilled in her the belief that her ankles and feet were huge and unsightly, and was struggling to make peace with that. She loved fun clothes and dressing up, but lived in a community where folks attended just about every event from “night at the gym” to “night on the town” in the same casual, comfy duds. We talked at length about this last one, and she said, “I have one friend who I’ve never seen in anything but a fleece and jeans. I wouldn’t want to head to a girls night out in a frilly dress and make her feel uncomfortable.”
Originally posted 2013-02-18 06:32:24.
Whenever I talk about office- and work-appropriate attire – especially in the wiggly “business casual” category – I am reminded that the formal-casual gradient is relative. And, in fact, here in the U.S. it seems to change regionally. What would be perfectly acceptable in many Midwestern office environments shocks some East Coasters with its informality. What is totally normal work attire in Denver might seem outlandishly casual here in Minneapolis. And there seem to be marked differences between the California definition of “casual” and the New York definition of “casual.”
Originally posted 2013-02-13 06:03:24.
Jenn threw this one into the Suggestion Box:
I would love some tips and ideas for transitioning into wearing business casual and more heels/pumps/dressier shoes. I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for 2 decades – and most of my “dressing up” has been for church or military functions. On a daily basis, I normally wear casual clothes – because doing errands, cleaning, volunteering, and taking care of my children (6!) requires casual (but no pj’s or yoga pants allowed – my rule).
However, I am starting my master’s in education and will be student teaching and teaching for real soon – all which require business casual every day! How do I make the transition without feeling overdressed? Especially in the southwest, where super casual is the norm (seriously – people wear shorts to the opera and theater here!)? I love to wear heels/pumps, but I always feel overdressed…
Originally posted 2012-11-09 06:12:48.