Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Passing for Normal

I put together this look on a day when i planned to walk down the street and talk to the owner of the local florist shop about temporary holiday work. I went with something very simple because every once in a while that type of look is refreshing to me, after so many baroque outfits. As it happened, the day got away from me and got a lot hotter than the weather-people predicted (pretty early in the day, too). I didn't want to make my first entrance in a pile of sweat. So i went the next day and wore the outfit below.

Both looks worked for me and my purpose because i chose elements that overlapped between my regular style and a standard business casual style - between the style i feel comfortable with and the style i wanted to project. My palette is neutral, which is the classic 'business' look, so i didn't have to make any changes there. I paid attention to grooming (wore makeup and gel in my hair), wore my classic jewelry pieces and traditional style, low heeled shoes. I didn't show too much skin and kept the silhouette neutral. Since this is a production job, working on your feet all day, a suit or office-type wear would have been inappropriate. And the flowing skirt, old-fashioned details on the blouse and hat, neutral palette and natural fibers made the outfit enough' me' that i wasn't distracted by my clothing and could concentrate on the conversation. The owner took my information, we'll see what happens - it's just to help out during busy times. But it would be fun to see behind the scenes in the floral industry.

If you have an occasion coming up where the image you would like to project differs greatly from what you usually wear and you're feeling stuck, try the method i used above. Sketch out a list of adjectives and attributes of the look you'd like to project - colors, shapes, fabrics, type of metals in the accessories, textures, even particular articles of clothing. Then, take this list with you to your closet and pull out any pieces which match any items on the list. See if you can make any outfits from this group. You will then have a much better idea of what outfits are possible using your current wardrobe and if you need to do any shopping. Also, any shopping you do will be much more focused, since you will know what you need in order to complete your look. You will also feel more comfortable basing a look for an unfamiliar situation on pieces which you know reflect your style and flatter your body.

Tee: Target
Skirt: own design
Sandals: Naturalizer
Blouse: own design, based on some girls wander
Capris: Royal Robbins
Flats: old Borns
Belt: vintage Coach
Hat: ?


  1. I much prefer the 2nd outfit - the little details just make it more "you".

    I am in admiration of your bookshelves! I love seeing a home well-stocked with books.

  2. i like the second one better, too. but the first one worked out fine for that day - i wasn't distracted by my clothes (which can very easily happen!) but that's part of my idea for this blog - to SEE what i'm wearing, and deciding if that's REALLY the way i want to dress for that re-curring i'm putting it all out there for now. as time goes on that may change.

    so thank you for the input! and mr. e is a FABULOUS furniture shopper! he's in charge of all the interior dec and found our great bookshelves (which we still have too many books for - happily!).

  3. Hi there, I found you through Sheila's blog.

    The 2nd outfit is the way to go: comfortable, practical and suits your style. I started working in a floral shop in 1989 and found out quickly what worked and what didn't.

    Open toed, slide shoes can be problematic when moving large pots and buckets of flowers. Same goes for clothing. Don't wear anything too delicate or fussy because there will be water splashed, clothing snagged, and surprisingly, paint and dyes spilled. Loose or draped sleeves tend to be the main offenders. I'm not saying that you can't dress up, it's just that things will have to be washable and not too precious. I screamed when hot pink paint ended up on my boots. I'm lucky they were well conditioned and I was able to get the paint off, but a lesson was learnt.

    Oh and the "behind the scenes" is not all that it seems. Holiday and happy times are fun but the day to day reality is heartbreaking at times.

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