Yesterday I wrote a post about how I realized that I have created a uniform of sorts: I have a basic layer and then I add something to show the direction in which I need to carry myself for the day. Ally mentioned that we should always be ourselves when we dress, which I agree with. We should always wear what makes us comfortable and feel confident.

Except…

I love the show “Modern Family”. There’s an episode where the family goes to Disneyland, and Gloria (true to herself) go in high heels. To Disney. After complaining for awhile, Jay guys her slippers. After she puts them on she is much happier. Now I know this is a sit com, and I know they go to extremes to prove a point, but think about the underlying principle: Gloria is an incredibly sexy character who is always dressed sexy, including heels. It is who she is. But…she’s going to an amusement park. Does she need to totally be herself in this environment? Or should she adapt?

Say you’re a jeans and t shirt kind of person. Say you get invited to a cocktail party. Do you show up in jeans and t shirt? Do you proudly walk in with your levi’s and proclaim “Hello world! I’m just a denim sort of person?” Or do you wear something different? What about a wedding? Funeral? Holiday?

Are there times when we need to adjust who we are by wearing something different?

Dress codes in schools or work places? You know I hate them because I think they rip the individuality out of everyone and are maintained by an arbitrary board which actually has no rhyme or reason to it. But does a school or employer have the right to tell you what to wear? Or are you allowed to be true to yourself?

What about dress codes at events? A few years back we were invited to a 40th birthday party where we were told we had to wear white. I wore a white dress and hated it. I felt uncomfortable the whole night. In this instance, it was a party that I had to attend- there was no going around it. But what do you do in this instance? Do you not go to the party? Do you wear what you want and stand out? Or do you suck it up?

How far do we go in order to be ourselves?

So….do you have a look or style that defines you? Do you dress to suit the occasion or yourself?

 

57 thoughts on “I’m Just Being Myself

  1. Wow I’m first. I like a uniform because it removes the pressure of dressing to impress. Everyone is on the same page. In general I feel people under dress all the time. I don’t think jeans are ever appropriate at a funeral.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I have so much to contribute to this conversation but not all of it is positive and since I’m in a hormonal mood I’ll wait. And read other people’s comments as the day progresses. 😳

    I will say this: always thought-provoking content on this blog. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Another great post!! I’ve definitely always been more of a jeans and tennis shoes kind of person. I’ve never been one that dresses to impress. Sure, there are those times when you have to adjust and conform to different dress codes- job interviews, every day at work… but I’ve always downplayed my attire so as not to attract attention. But now that I’m just a few short years away from 50, I’m finding myself wanting to change that. I beginning to realize that it hasn’t been so much about not wanting to impress…. but rather a case of I never knew how to dress my body. I hide behind baggy, bulky clothes because I am not happy with myself. But I am trying to change that mindset, and maybe adjusting the way I dress needs to be a crucial part of that. Thanks for prompting my mind this morning!!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I was like that too after I had a baby. I wanted to hide behind clothes, and yes, it’s a tough mindset to get out of. It’s all about impressing yourself, and it doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive, just you!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I’ve just recently started hearing about people mandating certain colors or theme of dressing for parties and weddings, etc. I feel like, at that point…I’d just be busy that night. It’s more fitting of a sweet 16 party than a request by grown adults who should value your company more than the superficiality of such petty things. I know black tie, business casual and basketball. And 95.5% of the time I’ll be in between the last two. My one rule for my kids is “show up clean and tidy”. Present as you’d like to be known. It’s expression. I can’t even imagine dictating colors to friends or anything of the sort much past basic level of formality/informality.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I am big on the clean and no holes that are not supposed to be there. The whole theme thing has gotten ridiculous. My daughters school is having a fundraiser and it’s disco themed. Now I grew up in the 70s and 80s and I didn’t do disco then…certainly not doing it now….I don’t understand how people have that much time to think about things like that

      Liked by 3 people

      1. These theme days at school kill me. No, Im not sure who the live in nanny is who had time to makeover your child head to toe as an old person for the 100th day of school, or a greaser from the 50’s or an 80’s theme kid. But they don’t live here. I’m lucky if I have a chance to brush her hair and get her to school in *regular* clothes from Target.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Luckily the elementary days are over for me…I still remember my daughter having to dress as American a Girl Julie for dress as your fave author day, or a colonial shopkeeper for colonial fair

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post! Like you, my basic daily outfit is black. It’s comfortable & slimming. (I should also add I’m 56) I dress it up with lightweight scarf with some colour in it that lifts & smartens the overall look. Wearing high heels are painful. I gave them up years ago due to back pain and refuse to wear them saying it’s for health reasons. I wear a uniform to my part-time job and I am happy to do so, I don’t have to think about what to I wear. Being asked to wear white to a party; if it’s for a valued friend, I respect them and go along with it to please them. I want to make their day special and will make the effort to make them happy. Thanks for sharing. Tracey 😊😊😊

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I am so envious of your sense of style! If I had to describe a look or style that defines me, I would have to confess Advanced Frump. I loathe shopping and it shows. Sigh. I had a mother and sister, both gone now, who loved fashion and shopping and who were always elegantly turned out in lovely outfits, shoes, purses, makeup. Neither is here to point out my sartorial gaffes or to give me gifts of clothing, which my mother often did. I think style is a gift and sadly, I was not in line the day it was given out! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. This gave me pause. About a year ago, I signed up with StitchFix indicating sizes, preferred styles, frequency, etc. But when I saw how much it would cost per month I thought, “Oh. Maybe not.” And I didn’t hit “send” or whatever you had to do to enroll. Your post has made me wonder why. Clinging to an outmoded (and broke) version of myself from decades ago who shopped at thrift stores for $1 pants and dresses? Thinking that I don’t “deserve” to spend that much $ on myself every month to look, as my mother might say, “smart”? Hmmm. I love looking at the StitchFix ads; the clothes are so clever and stylish. And since I don’t like shopping and could definitely use fashion help, maybe it’s time.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I love it because I hate shopping but like to look nice. And I had the same mindset…I bought all my clothes at old navy sale, and I thought that it’s ok to have clothes I love that got me well and make me feel good. Now I don’t usually buy five things a month, but usually there’s one or two things that are perfect. And I do feel so much better about myself when I love what I’m wearing.

        Like

  7. Work attire for me is “casual” within the bounds of a law office. No jeans, unless it’s a designated “jeans day.” At home it’s whatever — jeans, t-shirts, maybe a kaftan, maybe my pajamas! Cocktail parties is a definite cocktail dress time, and weddings/funerals? Dress. Church? NEVER JEANS. We grew up dressing in our Sunday dresses, patent leather shoes, etc. I don’t care what other people do, but church means dressing nice.

    I dress for myself. That said, there are definite dress codes (for lack of a better term) for occasions. If an event is black-tie only, you don’t show up in yoga pants. Not only are you not dressed in an acceptable manner as noted in the invitation, I believe it shows a lack of respect for the occasion and the person who invited you. I surely wouldn’t want anyone to show up at my wedding (ok, that’s not gonna happen LOL) in jeans, so why would someone believe it’s acceptable unless specified in the invitation?

    Individuality is one thing, but I think people who do their own thing AT ALL TIMES, thumbing their noses at what is asked or expected, are selfish and disrespectful.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I think you hit it exactly right. Peoples need to do their own thing at all times. At some point we have to cooperate with others and coexist, high means being a part of society. I’ve seen people show up at wakes and shiva calls in shorts. And not nice shorts. And part of me gets the thought that counts part. And the other part of me screams NO

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Well, when I’ve dressed to please other people’s ideas of what I should be wearing I’ve had some of the most horrible experiences in my life. From this, as a wise older woman, I’ve learned that I dress for me first, cognizant of where I’m going and what I’m doing. I’m smart, I’m stylish, but I am me first. I’m not thumbing my nose at anyone, I’m being sane, a quality that is in short supply anymore.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I agree. I hated the white party, and I’m just not going to a fund raise where it’s disco themed. But I think there’s a line between being yourself and being appropriate. I see someone in shorts at a wake or shiva call and I cringe

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Do you think the concept of dressing for the occasion is an age related thing? Meaning those of us who may be of a specific generation were raised to dress in a certain way depending upon the event. It was respectful to dress in dark colors and typically a dress if female if you were to attend a funeral. Weddings were typically dressier occasions, even something outdoors. You didn’t go outside to do yard work in your heels… well that’s common sense but I think you get it.
    Do those things simply not matter now? Is it more important just to BE at whatever obligatory event no matter what you wear? And…think of cultural requirements as well…

    How/why we dress in the way that we do is much more than just an outward presentation of the human under the clothes. And now I want to pull out my Sociology research and dive back in!!!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Deb I think you are correct. I think it’s very age related. Women of my generation were raised to dress appropriately for a variety of events. My entire closet is designed that way. By the time I retired from teaching the principal had to have a faculty meeting to tell younger teachers how to dress properly. No flip flops and not to wear their pants too low because their thongs were showing and parents were complaining. A big difference from when I began teaching in the early 70’s and teachers couldn’t even wear pants. Life is much more casual these days. But class is class. I think a person can always look appropriate for anything they are doing. But I do think that’s generational.

      Liked by 6 people

    2. Do they matter and should they matter? Like a religious thing…. en where yarmulkes at temple. Is it right to be a man in temple and not wear one just because you don’t believe? And how appropriate is really sexy clothes at something like a pta meeting? I think it’s age related to a point. Younger people have grown up with casual work place environments. But have we gone too far? I know my daughter pays attention to where she’s going. She does mock trial and moot court and would never show up in anything other than suit. And she’s careful what she wears if we’re going to something at temple or church

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Well we definitely can’t generalize the “I don’t give a darn” attitude to everyone who was born after 1970! You and many others have taught your daughter respect for certain social customs and places. That leads me to another social issue around being taught or coming to learn specific behaviors… how many would like to follow these social patterns but are unable to because of financial insecurity?
        I know that I’ve opened a can of worms so to speak with these comments, but your questions often lead me down this path of analysis and contemplation on our society overall!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I get the financial aspect of having certain clothes for certain occasions. It can be daunting. But I guess it’s more the carelessness That annoys me. Like people don’t care

        Liked by 1 person

      3. This is a response to the comment by Deb below but the site won’t let me respond in the correct order so I am doing it here. So this is to LA and Deb. I think a person can dress well or appropriately and not spend a lot of money. Money shouldn’t be an issue in looking nice.

        In the mid 70’s when I was a divorced single mother I began my teaching career. I had a close friend who was very wealthy and I was poor as a church mouse raising a child and had an ex husband in the theatre and only getting fifty dollars a month in child support. So I had a couple of skirts and a few different tops and switched them up with accessories and wore those to work. I also was lucky in that wrap style dresses and skirts were in style back then and I could easily sew a few of those and get fabric cheaply and make a bunch of them. I always looked in style and nobody thought I was lacking in class or funds. I also learned that all one needs is a suit jacket and a couple skirts or slacks and you have a good wardrobe.
        I looked at the amount of money my friend spent on clothing and was astounded. She liked Liz Claiborne and gave me a LC denim skirt that was too tight on her and I wore that a couple times a week for years with a top and nobody ever said a word because it was a skirt and not jeans.. So for years until women were allowed to wear pants, I wore a skirt and changed up colorful shirts that I bought at inexpensive stores but that looked like the designer clothing my friend had. I had ONE jacket I picked up at a discount store and since it was black it went with everything. I learned that accessories, scarves, belts etc. could make people think your clothing was expensive. You don’t need a lot of money to look good.
        Now as a retired woman on a budget, I can do essentially the same thing. Don’t laugh, but a few different tops over black or white pants always look nice. I do have more funds now than I did in those early days but the same principal stands. I have a friends who are wealthy. I never feel they look better than I do. Their slacks may be hundreds of dollars but they don’t look any different than the ones I have. black is black. White is white.
        *If your slacks fit you well that is the key! As long as your clothes fit you are good to go.
        ** Here is the thing. When I was a teenager I got a job in high school and then in college at a store called Jordan Marsh. I started out as a teen model and wore their clothing and did fashion shows for them. I then began working in their junior dept. while I went to school. They gave us classes on how to dress. It was the best advice I ever had about how to dress. They literally gave the teen board girls tips on how to create a wardroom with one pair of bottoms, two skirts and two tops. One jacket. One belt, one sash or scarf. ONE PAIR OF hoop earrings and one pair of studs. They showed us how to mix and match and always look different in the way we wore our clothing. They also said, one pair of dark shoes and one light. That is a basic wardrobe. If you can afford more great. But if not, That is all you need to look in style at all times. So take it or leave it, but if you have a few basics, one dark pair of slacks and one light, a few tops, a jacket, a pair of heels and a pair of flats you can go anywhere. I never forgot that advice.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. You are so clever! I love how you respond to our comments!
    Of course you adapt. I love my designer jeans but I wouldn’t wear them to A wedding. My closet reflects how I dress. It is designed and divided into a sections according to events. So, for dressy attire I have a section with those little black dresses and a some formal long black skirts and palazzo style dress pants, very dressy tops and formal jackets or tops, including a couple with sequins.( I‘ve been to a lot of weddings.) Then Ive got a medium dressy/professional section with blazers, dress pants, and afternoon styled dressy skirts or slacks. That’s the area I go to when I have to be in front of a large group giving lectures, going into universities or regular schools presenting my grants or giving lessons to a group of educators. And the rest of the closet is filled with denim in varying shades of indigo, chambray, or black denim in long or Capri lengths. The next area includes tops, and the last clothing area is for sweaters . I also have an entire section for shoes, and boots of varying heights.
    The first thing I do in any home I’ve ever lived in is spend money on designing a closet with appropriate shelves and sections for my shoes and boots, hand bags and clothing.
    So, my closet is designated into areas according to where I’m going and what I’m doing. It’s filled with clothing that all represents me! My favorite clothing is jeans for casual wear. But I have my style of uniform for other events.
    BTW, Ive been married a couple times and both husbands knew I don’t share my closet. I need my stuff organized how I like it. It’s a quirk of mine.
    I had one relationship end because he wanted to move in and share my closet. I told him he’d have to put his belongings in the spare bedroom. He refused so I told him then he wasn’t the right guy for me. Lol Best decision I ever made. Lol
    I’m laid back about most things but I like a well designed closet for my stuff. It’s my one luxury in life.
    So yeah… I think our closet says it all… it’s as representative of who we are as what we wear.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I LOVE the idea of a super organized closet!! I think people have gotten very laissez faire about what they wear to things. I understand it’s the thought behind going to something that’s important, but shorts at wakes/shiva calls just rile me up. That’s my pet peeve. What’s the line between being yourself, and being a member of a society

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I agree that dressing for occasion is age-related. Think “Miss Manners” and Emily Post. We, too, always had to dress nice for church but nowadays that is not always the case. Always had to have a black dress for a funeral. I know that for me, since working at home and a lot of days in my pj’s until noon or so, “dressing up” is a limited experience. I used to wear heels all the time and felt great in them but since the kids were born and now that I have some knee issues, those are a thing of the past. I’m a bit divided on the new dress code invitations. On the one hand, I think it’s cool to have theme parties. On the other hand, I don’t necessarily want to have to go out and buy a new wardrobe for a one-time affair.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I almost always wear black- to the point where a friend once didn’t recognize me because I was wearing a worn-out white t-shirt to paint in. So while I’m usually wearing jeans, a black tank top, and some sort of cardigan, I will dress up for a wedding or when I’m going out, and will dress down when the situation calls for it. It kind of drives me nuts when people wear super casual clothes for a big occasion like a wedding. Would it hurt to put on nice clothes for things like that? It doesn’t take any longer to put on a nice pair of slacks or a dress than it does to put on casual clothes…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s how I feel! I don’t understand how you wear super casual clothes to an event. To me, it’s a matter of respect for the bride, or host of an event. And I’m ok with casual shoes because I get foot issues, but it doesn’t take much!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree. My ex husband’s wife wore the weirdest outfit to our son’s wedding. It was so inappropriate. Countless people commented on how ridiculous she looked. I think her point was to be noticed and she was. But not in a good way. Meanwhile, my son didn’t notice and as long as he was happy that’s all that counted. My first husband is now married to a woman who is an artist and dresses really strange. At one cocktail party event for my son’s job, his father was in town so we all were there. My ex’s wife wore a see through blouse. All I could see was her bra. I was mortified. I thought, how could she wear that to her step son’s charity event? And while she is younger than I am, she is still middle aged.
        My second husband had already passed away by then and I was with a date who looked at me and whispered “What the hell is wrong with her?”( It was a black tie affair.) Meantime, I had on a black satin pants suit that looked elegant. No blouse, but a satin cami peeking out. Honestly, some people are just attention grabbers. I saw the look on my son’s face when he saw his step mother and I know he wanted to crawl into a hole. I think some people just care about themselves and not how their appearance affects others.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Only being able to wear white for an event….no thanks. I am a nurse and I am so glad that wearing all white is mostly a thing of the past. White can get messy so easily(at least for me!)

    I think there are certain occasions where a certain dress code is called for like funerals. One of my parents’ neighbors showed up at my dad’s funeral in a tshirt and shorts…..did not understand that at all.

    My daughter was in symphony band when she was in high school. The girls would wear long black dresses for performances, and the boys would wear tuxedoes. Then some of the parents would come dressed to watch them in very casual clothes, like tshirts etc. That used to drive me nuts also.

    Maybe it depends on where you live, but it seems like dress standards for men are very very relaxed compared to years ago.

    My own fashion sense has dwindled over the years, especially since I always wear a uniform to work. I am going to give a speech at a nursing conference soon, and I have no idea what to wear. I’m in that always hot phase of my life so that makes shopping more challenging.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. What people wear to funerals kills me. How do you show up in a t and shorts? I just don’t get that. And you’re right! Kids are performing and dressed nice, how do you just show up like you’re running errands? I think we need a little decorum

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I suspect if someone told me how to dress for an occasion, I wouldn’t go. As far as the all-white shindig — I would be tempted to wear my normal clothes and wrap myself in a white sheet, toga style. Even if I were escorted out, this would give a few others some amusement.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Goodness LA you are 😀 over thinking this uniform conundrum, Gloria is who she is a sexy character, so should she dress sexy for the amusement Park? I’d say yes dress to impress but perhaps tone it down a little!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. They tried that in some public schools in the city. What 3nded up happening was the wealthier kids had more expensive shoes and backpacks. I don’t know if there’s a social leveler anymore

        Liked by 2 people

      1. To a great extent most of us try to conform every day. Even nonconformists conform to some idea they have in their head about what makes them nonconformist. My style is perfect for Florida. Laid back—I can wear capris, t-shirts, and flip flops almost year ‘round and no one would give me a second look. But if I did that in your world, I’d be considered odd (probably “stupid” given your winters).

        Liked by 2 people

  16. For me it’s a bit of both, not so long ago I had to attend a family meal, given that it was in a pub I wore jeans/trainers and a tee-shirt and no make-up, everyone else was dressed up. It didn’t bother me, it was just a meal at a pub. However for weddings/funerals birthday meals out I think an effort should be made.

    Liked by 1 person

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