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How to Get Out of the ‘Work-Clothes Rut’

One of my most vivid memories of my late-Great Grandmother was her telling my mother to put on a little lipstick and to watch her figure. Great Gran grew up in a time when women focused on taking care of themselves to keep their husbands happy. These days we throw on a pair of heels and grab a fun clutch for a different reason–to make ourselves feel great.

The problem is, unlike many of our fore-mothers, women make up a larger percentage of the workforce than ever before. And it’s easy for us to get caught in what we might call the “work clothes rut.” True, women in uniform is nothing new, but even 1940s Sears catalogues encouraged women to spice up their wartime coveralls and to stay fresh. Again, we need to remember to make these steps not for others, but for ourselves.

True, a weekend in PJs, lingerie, or nothing at all, can be fantastic and indulgent. But after a tough work-week, it’s important to have things to look forward to. For me, those two magical days off include wearing the most fabulous thing I can toss together from my closet’s contents. I look forward to the days when I can wear absolutely anything I want. The best part? Having your wardrobe dictated 5 days a week means shopping for clothes that can only be worn 2 days a week becomes surprisingly economical–all a girl really needs to do is stick to a few basics.

Any disciple of the capsule wardrobe can tell you that picking up a few classic pieces can go a long way. I’m not saying you should be dressed to the nines to do your weekly grocery shopping on Saturday morning, but remember that clothes really can still be exciting, and inspiration can be found anywhere.

Do you dare to wear this much white? This embellished jacket from Balmain would also look great with a pair of dark jeans and heels with a simple top.

One of my favourite easy to wear chic pieces is the colourful pair of silky harem pants seen in Haider Ackermann Spring 2012. Sure, these pants have actually been around for a while, but they can always be worn with saucy high heels for a night out, or ballet flats for the afore-mentioned grocery store. I’m also infatuated with the rock-star chic tailored jackets in the Balmain line this season. Match an embellished jacket with a pair of dark jeans and some heels for a dinner, a concert, or even bowling. Try something daring for a day of shopping–go completely mod à la Vena Cava Spring/Summer 2012. Dare yourself to wear something you’d never wear, or re-awaken your sleeping style spirit. Don’t forget to have fun just because you’re stuck with a uniform or dress code for the rest of the week.

But don’t listen to me. Do it for yourself. You might feel a little uncomfortable breaking out of the rut at first, but when you really work an outfit, everyone else will just be wishing they had your confidence.

Have any tips to break out of a fashion work rut?

Comment here below, e-mail me, or share it with us on our Twitter (@nowthatslingeri) and Facebook page!


Photo Credits and Sources

Sears Catalogues during the Second World War in the United States:
JoAnne Olian, Everyday Fashions of the Forties as Pictured in Sears Catalogues (New York: Dover Publications, 1992).

Balmain Spring/Summer 2012:

Haider Ackermann Spring/Summer 2012:

Vena Cava Spring/Summer 2012: (also featured image)

Vena Cava Spring/Summer 2012 one-piece: (also featured image) 



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