Dressing like you live in your car is not okay. Clothing is one of the few perks of adulthood so don’t ruin it with a stained Bugs Bunny t-shirt and “yoga” pants. I may be an epic failure at housekeeping, parenting, anger management, etc. but this bitch can dress! And you can too. No excuses.
But I can’t dress like a functional member of society because:
- It takes too long.
- It’s not comfortable.
- I don’t have enough money.
- Grownup clothes are boring.
- I don’t get what I’m supposed to wear.
Let’s debunk that shit right now. Poke around for the reasons why you should step it up and ways to do it that won’t break the bank or make you look like you escaped from a religious compound.
It takes too long.
Too long to…. what? To slip a one-piece maxi dress on? To put on a shirt with buttons? You’re not that busy, Hon. A dress takes as long to put on as sweatpants so don’t even. If you build a wardrobe where everything fits and works together, you can get dressed in minutes.
If your mornings are frantic, plan an outfit the night before. This makes it less likely that you will impulse grab sadpants and a hoodie.
Dresses are a failure-resistant choice because they are just one thing. You can’t fuck it up. No top part or bottom part matching. Add a cardigan if it’s cold. Tights maybe? You’re good. Dresses come out well in the effort: result analysis.
It’s not comfortable.
As someone who wore jeans on a Transatlantic flight (never again) I know that jeans are not necessarily comfortable. A dress is more comfortable than jeans every single time. And flats are actually terrible for your feet. You don’t have to court uncomfortable clothes and buy a bunch of leather pants and Alexander McQueen armadillo shoes. But if the label implies that the elastic pants are “one size fits all,” please no. There should be some definable human body under the clothes.
I don’t have enough money.
You do. No matter what your budget, there are non-awful clothes out there. Yes, more money is better. I could spend the GNP of a small country on clothes and it would never fill the Void. Dolce & Gabanna is fucking amazing, right? But it’s like $5000 for a dress and no way. So how do you end up with the good stuff? It’s all in the homework.
The internet has given us many great things. Otter videos. Live traffic feeds. Ability to do some low-key stalking. But shopping– shopping is where the internet really shines. You can get anything and everything, expanding your pool of eligible purchases to infinity. I got a pair of Prada heels for $80. I shit you not.
So if you have $100, you can get something, possibly several somethings, to update your wardrobe and go from meh to marvelous.
Grownup clothes are boring.
Sorta. Teenager dressing does have it’s charms. All the eyeliner you want. Vinyl miniskirts. But let’s not forget there are some real turds in there. Remember the raver fashion of the 1990’s? Flannel shirts? Hypercolor? Bad bad bad.
What do you like best about teenager clothes? The fun? The slight “fuck you society” vibe? You can keep those warm fuzzies and wear fun, offbeat outfits as an adult and look like– an adult. A cool adult. I thought I would die a thousand Gothic deaths before I would wear tweed. I have tweed. I’ve tweeded. But my tweed is pink! And it’s more Chanel than weird old guy.
Find the reason you like certain looks and translate whatever that reason is into something that’s still you, but maybe not as vinyl.
I don’t understand what I’m supposed to wear.
That’s because there’s not one thing you’re supposed to wear. To solve this problem, you have to figure out what you like (see above) and where you want to go. Most people don’t have a personal style. They just throw on whatever that’s comfortable/cheap/ available/ familiar. But you’re better than that! Once you know what kind of clothes you like, it makes everything a lot easier.
Go buy some magazines. InStyle is great for this exercise because it shows people (well, really beautiful rich people) tooling around LA or whatever wearing everyday outfits. Remember these are likely highly styled and planned “causal looks” but the takeaway is the same– who grabs your eye? Alexa Chung’s cool girl? TS’s pretty princess? Find your style bestie.
Now ask: is that person’s style something I can borrow from? Note I did not advise you to copy them because you’re (probably) not a size 0 with an AmEx Black card. But you might be girly. You might be a little sporty. Downtown? Vintage Zoey? Now go buy one or two things that channel that spirit. Nothing major. Go get something that calls to you but you’re not quite sure about. A printed cardigan or maybe a pair of almost biker boots– and take that item and add it to a less than exciting outfit you already have. See, better already! Not that scary!
These are the basics. More to come, maybe with some embarrassing photos?