Style rut

Apr. 24th, 2016 02:15 pm
white_hart: (Default)
I have rather lost interest in clothes recently*. At least part of this is because I can't find clothes that do what I want. My current work environment is definitely at the casual end of business casual, and a lot of the dresses I used to wear in my old job feel too formal; I've also found that I'm more attracted to clean, simple lines and minimalist outfits, rather than the layers I used to like. And I'm wary of looking too quirky, or girly, or cute; that was great when I was an accountant who wanted to convince non-finance people that she wasn't really like the other beancounters, but now I'm a person who runs the administration of a fairly large academic department. I want people to take me seriously, and I'm not convinced that dressing like a toddler or a Manic Pixie Dream Girl is really the best way to go about that***.

So I want to look professional but not remotely corporate, grown-up but not boring. I want my clothes to be comfortable and practical. They need to be machine washable as I don't do dry-cleaning. I like dresses because they're easy (especially on swimming days, when it's much easier to wear something that I can just pull over my head than have to step out of a skirt or trousers while trying not to let it touch the wet changing-room floor), but they have to be knee-length and have sleeves and high enough necklines not to show masses of cleavage without a camisole underneath, and at the moment most dresses seem to be super-short, sleeveless or low-cut, or all three at once. I prefer jersey dresses because stretchy fabrics minimise the fit issues inherent in the fact that most clothes aren't cut for someone my shape, but there seem to be fewer of those around than in recent years****. And I can't stand the feel of polyester, and there seems to be a lot of that about. I'm not actually short of clothes and everything I own has a fair amount of wear still in it, but I do miss having fun with what I wear. At the moment getting dressed in the mornings feels like a chore rather than a pleasure, and there are more days than I'd like when I find myself getting to work and wishing I'd put something else on.

So, does anyone have any tips on how to reinvigorate my interest in clothes? (I miss the style blogs of yesteryear, which used to be great sources of inspiration.) Or should I just keep scouring the shops (of which Oxford has fewer and fewer) until I have enough fall-out-of-bed-and-go dresses that I don't need to think about getting dressed at all?


*Actually, I have lost interest in lots of things - knitting, sewing, cooking - which I mostly put down to a combination of (a) having a job that's interesting and fulfilling enough that I don't need so many outside interests and (b) being so knackered most of the time that I don't really have the energy to do anything apart from working and absorbing fiction**.

**There may be a (c), viz. having somehow recovered the ability to read lots of books, which I had thought was lost and gone for ever, I have remembered that reading is the Best Hobby Ever and uterly diskard anything that would eat into my precious reading time.

***Today I am wearing a long-sleeved green t-shirt under a baggy black t-shirt with Little My on it, jeans, rainbow-striped socks and fluffy slippers, and I love it, but today I am not at work.

****My favourite dress at the moment is this one which I got from White Stuff this time last year and have probably worn once a week, or at the very least once every two weeks, since then. I have another one in the same style but a dark red floral print, which I wear just as often, but sadly they don't seem to have the same style this season.

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