A Week of Outfits: Monday

“Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman.” 
― Coco Chanel

Back to work!

I picked this look because I needed a simple but serious outfit for the day. I had meetings at a client site that involved me getting up early to get ready, traveling, and needing to arrived in a polished state. I had to lug around several devices, project folders, and notebooks without overwhelming me so I didn’t want to bother with an outfit that required a lot of elements. I needed a single item solution and so: a power dress.

This dress is from MM LaFleur–a brand I’ve written about before with a huge amount of love and satisfaction. I own five dresses from them in total, bought over several years, and would like a couple more at some point. This brand is on the pricier side, ranging from about $150-250 per item as a general rule, but I have found them to be solid investment purchases. I’ve spent some additional money having each one tailored and I have never worn one of their pieces without being complimented for looking nice.

Finding simple ways to feel much more put together is something that’s become important to me in recent years, especially as I’ve leveled up in my career. Clothes are an important way of communicating messages about yourself, and I try to be in control of my messaging.

I mentioned before trying to incorporate more dresses into my wardrobe and there is a reason for it: simplicity.

It’s very fashionable to look “effortless,” look being the operative word. The amount of women who look simultaneously great while not giving two ***** is not a vast number in my experience, and the most “effortless” looking women I know actually have to expend an awful lot of energy to achieve the appearance of nonchalance.

Effortless is not my aesthetic, but more importantly, it’s not my reality. I am a person who has to expend effort in order to look the way she wants, especially in a professional setting. I also confess to admiring “effortful” style quite a bit. I like fashion that clearly took some thought, wit, or creativity to put together, in the same way that I admire women who look polished and well groomed. All of these things take time, energy, and whatever amount of money we are willing and able to put towards them. I aspire to polish whenever possible. However, I’m also naturally lazy, not very self confident (physically speaking), and not particularly gifted when it comes to the finishing touches that allow some women to achieve that finished look.

Well-tailored work dresses allow me to put on a single item of clothing and fairly basic accessories (charity shop shoes in this case, a pair of earrings that were a present from my father, and a trusty old Longchamp bag that fits my gear and still allows me to look professional), and feel fully outfitted. I’m then able to spend the rest of my preparation time focusing on the “polishing” bits for when I need to feel serious and be taken seriously.

See? Very serious.

9 thoughts on “A Week of Outfits: Monday”

  1. You look great! Love the dress and the shoes – your outfit exudes effortless style! 🙂

    Hope you have a good Monday. It’s back to work for me too, but I’m sporting Gap jeans and a sapphire blue T-shirt from Jigsaw (my office dress code is casual unless clients are visiting).

  2. Beautiful! Your vintage scarf, from the other day, around the neck on a cooler day would be lovely. I second the shoe comment – amazing 🙂

  3. Looks great!

    Like you, I like to keep it simple — and spice it up with accessories. I think smaller women have to be very judicious with prints; I add them in scarves and cardi’s but very rarely wear a big piece of it.

    Grooming is so important to look polished. You can spend $$$$$$ and still look disheveled if you’re not paying attention to all those details. And (she sighed) it becomes really important as you age to my decrepit level; what’s vaguely amusing in your 30s or maybe early 40s looks…haggard a decade later.

    1. GROOMING is something I need to think about more, as you say it’s the make or break part of getting dressed. Jeans and t shirt can look luxe if you’re hair is done and you look tidy.

      1. It’s damn difficult in hot and humid weather, that’s for sure. I avoid all business meetings (if possible) in summer because I always end up sweaty.

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