The Art Of Dressing Down
How To Make Casual Work For You
Everywhere I turn at the moment, I see ladies ‘dressing-down’ and looking fab. It seems to be the trend of the moment, and it has got me thinking. There is a fascinating psychology behind choosing a comfier look – and as always, I’ve got some simple rules that will make sure we all look our best while ditching our posher pieces. I am going to share it all with you here.
So this is for you if you love to be casual and comfortable. But it is also for you, if you usually prefer a more pulled-together, polished style. I dare you to try something different, let down your guard and get loose!
Pressure To Look Good Everyday
Today’s world never slows down, and we are therefore exposed to images of women looking absolutely fabulous around the clock. Never a chipped nail, laddered pantyhose or crinkle in sight. Yes, we know they have a team behind them, but that doesn’t stop the pressure we feel to keep up.
When you add to the mix the humiliating headlines which taunt female celebrities who dare to take a day off from ‘perfection’ and actually show their human sides, it is no surprise that we want to hide our own flaws.
“Sophia Has A Pimple!”
“Look at Jackie’s Sweat Marks!”
“Why Did She Pair That Dress With THOSE Shoes?”
It would honestly be laughable, if it wasn’t so hurtful.
When it comes to the workplace, the pressure to look smart and in control is also a tough one to bear. When you consider that women are almost always paid less than their male counterparts, despite generally taking the lion’s share of home responsibilities, it makes sense that we want to appear as though we have it all in hand. Dressing-down can feel like releasing the grip of control in this area, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
I want to be a voice in the sea of opinions, reminding you that you don’t have to live up to anyone’s standards. Just try to have courage to be yourself, wear what makes you feel good and have fun with it. Let’s start with the first part.. other people’s opinions.
The Dressing Down Disguise
It might come as a surprise to learn that some women choose to dress down as a kind of hide-away from the opinions of other people. If this is you, don’t be ashamed. And if you are able to face up to the truth of doing this, I want to encourage you to be brave and let your own light shine.
What is there to hide from? Unwanted attention from men is a big one, but what a shame to let yourself blend into the background of life and giving up on the fun of dressing for yourself for this reason. Maybe even more tragic, is that many ladies choose to dress down in order to avoid dealing with competitive women. They wear more ‘dowdy’ clothes than they would like, in order to prevent being considered a threat by other ladies.
If this is you, please have the courage to dig deeper into this belief. Women can be catty, for sure. But the vast majority of us are not scanning our sisters, looking to annihilate threats. Flowers go ahead and bloom, despite being surrounded by all of the counterparts, just as gorgeous as they. Wouldn’t it be great if you could feel the same?
Another way that dressing down is used as a disguise is to hide an unloved body shape. This is the easiest to fix, but is no less painful for the person in question. Just take a look at what Veronica, a medical researcher has to say about hiding her body shape.
“When I was 20 kilos heavier, I thought I had to deny my femininity. Inside I desperately wanted acceptance… but outside I didn’t look like the woman I thought I was supposed to be. I was afraid if I wore something pink for example, people would say ‘who are you to be feminine? You’re not a proper woman’.’”
All of these reasons are rooted in fear. Reality is often far less scary than you imagine. So let’s take one step at a time, you don’t need to let go of your dress-down chic, but start to bring a little more of your personality into it. Here is how.
How To Dress Down With Style
Uncomfortable Is Non Chic
One of the reasons to love the casual style is that it is comfortable to wear! Nothing digging in, making us fidget, faff and fiddle. Casual therefore gives us freedom to have fun.
It is also très chic to look as though we have just thrown an outfit together, and look great without trying too hard. That is easily achievable when you follow the simple tips we will cover below.
MSR Top Tips For Dressing Down
Loose fitting clothes are totally on trend right now, but the trick is to make sure that your clothes still fit you properly. It can be a fine line to tread between baggy and sloppy. So here are my top tips on how to dress down confidently, so that you always look great without trying too hard!
Fit – Be sure to follow the rules for your body type when it comes to dressing down. Try pairing a casual loose flowing top with comfy leggings, shorts or even a skirt, to keep some balance in your silhouette. Alternatively, turn this on its head and opt for casual pants with a vest top.
Try outfits on before you buy, so that you can see how you feel before parting with your cash. One simple way to do this is in our virtual dressing rooms, this will save you a ton of time too!
Functional – The great thing about dressing-down is that you can get active spontaneously! So think about the functionality of your outfit if you want to be able to hop, skip and jump at a moment’s notice, without stressing about your skirt riding up. Dressing down = you are ready for anything.
Palette – Opt for a simple color palette to keep your options open with your casual wardrobe. Try sticking to one signature color to bring your outfits to life.
Holes – When it comes to holes be careful. They are generally not suitable in the workplace. But, if they are your thing, try making your own with an old pair of denims, rather than pay a premium for someone else to have fun with a knife on your behalf.
Accessorize – Play with fun casual accessories, such as bags, belts and chunky rings to dress down your outfits.
Add Denim – One sure fire way to add a casual touch to your look is to add denim to an outit. A denim jacket over a pretty summer dress for example, or a pair of jeans with a blouse adds a relaxed edge to any look.
Mix and Match Footwear – It is really fun to add a pair of shoes to an outfit that you automatically think wouldn’t work. Try a pair of sneakers with a floaty skirt, or some killer heels with ripped jeans and a white tee. This is where the fun comes in, experiment, see how you feel wearing something that is out of the ordinary.
Scrunch the Sleeves – An instant dress down tip is the 5 second scrunch up – jackets and shirts will totally transform their character.
Don’t Slack On Grooming – Dressing down isn’t a license to let it all go – so keep your look fresh and tidy with a little grooming. How much is up to you.
Lazy Girl Bonus Tips – Dress down isn’t just for lazy girls, and wanting to shave a few minutes off your day isn’t lazy either…. but just go with me here!
Save time by choosing items that are machine washable (no more trips to the dry cleaner)…..and then wash them only on a cold wash to boost their lifespan. Plus this is great for the environment too by using less energy – Win, win, win!
Save even more time by shopping for your casual clothes online. MSR allows you to shop around from the comfort of your laptop…. how is that for a bonus?
Are you tempted to get loose? I hope that you feel a little more free to try something different, to relax your guard and dress down for a change. And if you live in your casual favorites, why not follow some of our ideas to add a new dynamic?
Whatever you like to wear, I hope that you have fun. Try to escape from the need to disguise yourself with clothes. The world truly needs you to be you!