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One of my biggest pet peeves is woman looking like they just stepped off the short bus when they are at work or out and about. I know I know, being a stylist this should bother me, but it is just starting to get ridiculous. Being busy is no excuse for landing on the “Walmart” video. I know we should not judge a book by its cover but we do, get over it and create a better cover. The point is that your clothing should reflect who you are and show your personality.
As you know I am a military spouse and military spouses are high on the list of culprits here, but this is for all spouses. Quick disclaimer; I consider being a Domestic Engineer (DE) or a Stay-at-Home Mom a full time job. I have been a DE, then quit, and tilt my hat in respect to any who take on this career choice. Now, with that being said let’s get down to the nitty gritty. Regardless if you think no one cares about the way you look you are wrong, someone is always watching you. Would you allow your child to stay with a daycare provider if his/her attire was non-matching, wrinkled and ill fitting? Maybe, maybe not, that provider could be awesome at their job and very knowledgeable but you would wonder “how are they supposed to take care of my child properly when they cannot even dress themselves?” This is just an example and my opinion, but think about it. Your husband, children, other wives, school officials all see you; you are a representation of your house. I know my daughter watches me, even helps me on occasion, pick out clothes and put make-up on. She is learning from me that I care about myself. Taking some time out for you, it is a must. If you are a DE then try these tricks to make putting together outfits as painless as possible.
• Buy dark trouser denim jeans in a wide leg and boot cut. These are the best things you can do for your wardrobe. They are comfortable and easily transition from day to night with simple accessories.
• Scarves are your friend; you can throw them over a plain white-T and “Ta Dah” you have a cute outfit. Do not underestimate the power of accessories.
• Buy pattern flats; no one wants to grocery shop in heels, I‘ve done it, save yourself the pain. Plus, pattern flats are so cute and easily create interest in an outfit.
• Buy good quality but cheap layering tops. Old Navy, Ross, TJ Maxx are all good stores to find good buys. This is a key factor, you do not want to waste money buying really expensive tops when you know Jr is going to throw up all over it and you do not need it fading after the first wash.
• Invest in Woolite; I hate to say it but this actually works. If you are good you can find coupons for this detergent. It is gentler on your clothes so they can last longer which will save you money in the long run.
Woman who are on the job, learn professional attire. A great professional wardrobe can be budget friendly and figure flattering. Please never interview potential employees or clients in ill fitting jeans and T-Shirts (unless that is the required dress for the job, then make sure it is a dark denim that has been pressed with a nice polo shirt non-faded or not too tight) this has happened to me and it was very disappointing and translated as a lack of professionalism. I wondered if this person realized that in her highly visible position that she was doing herself a disservice. Here are some tips to get you started on a great professional wardrobe.
• Invest in a well made black suit; this will be the foundation of your wardrobe.
• Find a tailor; I cannot stress enough how important a tailor is for the professional wardrobe. A great suit can be a dart or hem away from being perfect.
• Find comfortable black heels; another staple that will be a foundation piece.
• Pearl and Diamond stud earrings; they are classic (even if they are fake) they are understated and appropriate for the work place.
• Buy blouses that have patterns and color to stretch that black suit for all its worth.
• Find a sleek briefcase; it just looks great and it’s functional.
• Lastly, my favorite motto is to “Dress for the job you want NOT the one you have”.
I am not always the 4-inch-stilleto-diva that I am at work but I do know the value of looking presentable and put together when I go out. People treat you different, but most importantly you will feel good. When you know you look good you feel better about yourself, it doesn’t matter what size or shape you are.