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It’s the second day of my 21 day Skirt and Dress challenge and I was actually looking forward to getting dressed today more than I expected to be. Since I work from home quite a bit, it was easy to slip into a sweatpants and t-shirt dress code – after all, who would see my outfit? If I had to go out for an appointment, I’d just change clothes, right? Well I found myself taking a bit more time and being more intentional about my attire this morning – I actually planned it out last night!
I love denim – there is something about a great pair of jeans that I think most women love, even if they can’t find quite the right pair! I was fortunate to find a great denim skirt at one of my favorite places to shop – TJ Maxx!
I LOVE T.J. Maxx, but if you’re not working from a wardrobe plan – or at least you have an idea of what kinds of garments you’d like to add to your wardrobe BEFORE you hit the store, you can end up with a lot of unrelated garments and no cohesive “look”. Even an unmatched suit has SOME degree of forethought and planning attached to it! My skirt(s) for today (I ended up wearing two different ones) are pictured below:
I started out the day with a cream-colored knit twinset – a cardigan and matching shell. I picked up this combination YEARS ago in a store I can’t recall the name of, because it was one of those mix-and-match basics that every woman should have in her wardrobe. It harmonizes with over 80% of what’s in my closet, it’s easy to wear, and a multi-season item that can be worn in all but the hottest weather. The cardigan has matching-color buttons – which lends classic appeal. If you want to Diva-fy this ensemble – change the buttons on the sweater to something more colorful, sparkly or interesting, but realize that when you change the color of the buttons or the fabric, you also, conversely, limit what you can wear with the garment.
Here’s my skirt – a denim straight skirt with tiers. It’s not your “normal” denim skirt – a little more upscale than that, and also found at a T.J. Maxx. I bought it because of the classic shape and the LACK of ornamental stitching. That made this skirt more business-appropriate for me, but it could also be dressed down for weekend or casual wear.
I’ve worn this skirt many different ways over the last couple of years – and that’s one of my criteria when adding anything to my closet. It has to be wearable in multiple seasons, and with many different garments that I already own.
I’ve spent too much time getting rid of “orphans” in my closet – items that are nearly impossible to mix or match with anything else other that what you bought them with. Those jacket and dress combinations made of mystery polyester fabric that don’t look right except with each other… the pants and jacket that don’t look right paired with other garments, etc.
You could make many different outfits with this skirt:
1. Wear it with stockings and beaded flats, plus a crisp white blouse for spring or summer,
2. Pair it with a light or dark jean jacket, tights and boots in the fall,
3. Pull on heavy tights and a chunky sweater, and you could even wear it in the winter!
Approximately mid-way through the morning, however, the chilliness of the day got to me – it was rather cool and rainy here in eastern Connecticut where I live, and we’re trying to conserve our fuel oil, so I changed into a longer (and warmer) skirt:
I absolutely LOVE this skirt – for many reasons:
1. It’s easy to wear – there is elastic in the waist, which means I can tuck anything from a lightweight tee shirt or tank to a chunky sweater into the waistband and still be comfortable.
2. It’s length makes it versatile – I can wear it with flat sandals, a simple pump, riding boots (which I have and do quite often) or a boot with a heel. You could also pair this skirt with a victorian-style lace up boot for a period-inspired look.
3. The skirt incorporate a lot of ‘foundation’ colors that can be used to build a wardrobe. Red, pink, white and black – all incorporated into the beautiful floral print. Want a little more attention? Pair the skirt with a hot pink sweater and boots. A little more conservative? Black flats, a black sweater and leather jacket let the skirt be the center of attention. Looking for luxury? Add a velvet blazer and equestrian boots for a totally different feel. Full on romantic? A lacy blouse in red or even burgundy would set this skirt off beautifully.
Because of it’s versatility, I find myself reaching for this skirt quite often – it’s easy flow also makes it beautiful in my eyes – it simply floats around your legs. This was another ‘right time, right place’ find at T.J. Maxx, but you can find tons of these skirts for sale during the spring and summer months. It can be incorporated into a more structured outfit, and all but the most conservative employer will have no objection to this beautiful combination of classic colors and the floral motif.
Side note: There is a definite difference between the “feel” of these two skirts. The straighter denim skirt contributed to a different attitude and a different way of looking at my image than the floral skirt did. I have worn the straight denim skirt to work, as I have the floral, but at different times. The denim skirt – because of the classic cut and lack of ornamentation, could be worn for most business casual occasions, and a more creative employer would have no problem with this skirt as part of a coordinated outfit. The floral skirt is best reserved for creative employers and solo entrepreneurs. The length and fabric are too casual for a more conservative industry like law, banking or insurance.
How is YOUR 21-day skirt and dress challenge going? Have you found new inspiration in your closet? Stay tuned for my next article – I accomplished my seasonal closet switch this afternoon and found some lovely linen skirts I’d temporarily forgotten that I owned and that will certainly make it into my 21 day experience!
write by Diego