The Prof Life and Style section will be a look into the lives of women who cherish their own style. It will also be my two cents in what is trending, taking what you already own and building possibilities through new eyes, fresh ideas, and sprinkles of charm. I hope to leave colorful confetti and celebrate “yay you” moments. You are chic anyway…I’m just reminding you to shine.
We all have a morning routine of sorts. We might not do the same thing in the same order each day, but chances are we have a rhythm we are partial to. For example: after the shower (most days), the makeup (if time permits), and the hair (messy bun again) the wardrobe selection is last but not least. Our buckets are either filled or slowly emptied as we head for the closet door while asking the dreaded question: “what to wear?” Most think through their days figuring out ways to eliminate options. As your fingers touch the hangers, you eliminate options by visualizing the last time the garments were worn, starting with the ones you have worn most recently. But if you are pulling a “Princess Kate approach,” It really doesn’t matter when you last wore it. Repeat outfits are so 2017.
It isn’t so much fashion trends as what goes on during our days that informs our choice of what to wear. How can we properly transition from one look to the next while managing our schedule and our various roles? There are experts on TV, blogs, magazines, and various mediums that say they have the answers of wardrobe “should” or “should nots.” I am only one voice of thousands giving my two cents. Even though you can get advice from anyone, you have my word (I won’t swear on Chanel as my favorite fashion character Carrie Bradshaw once did – maybe J. Crew) that I will always keep ideas fresh and, above all, help you uphold your own style while we look into fashion finds.
Our own sense of style is needed now more than ever. Why do you think mixed patterns became a thing? This trend came to be because of some fabulous woman who always wore stripes on bottom and polka dots on top. She wasn’t trying to set an agenda – she was wearing what represented her interest. She thought, Who cares is if it doesn’t “match”? She bravely ventured to express her own way of being fabulous. The important thing is not to be afraid. This isn’t adolescence or high school, where fitting in is everything. This is adulthood, where standing out is GOOD, and being yourself is valued. Why not be the next trendsetter? It isn’t just clothes, it’s a sense of style. It’s you.
My new favorite trend is retro tennis shoes with dresses. It appeals to me because it combines the idea of standing out with embracing your life as it is – for me, this is defined by my roles as educator, mom on the go, and traveler. Recently, I took a group of students to a study abroad experience in Italy. Since I had never been abroad before as a student (although I should have jumped on the chance), I researched the most important thing first: European summer fashion. According to my research, Italians, with their luxurious style sense, commonly wear high heels on cobble stone streets as they venture to class, work, dates, and appointments – no matter what the occasion. I quickly passed on this as an option, imagining myself hobbling, feet blistered and bloody, before the first day was through. Then suddenly, I found exactly what I hoped I would: cute tennis shoes with dresses, skirts, and even dress pants. As the summer months drew closer, I decided not to wait until I breathed in the Italian air to debut the cute shoe trend. Instead, I dared to wear them on campus the next perfect spring day. It must have been the newly planted colorful tulips that gave me an extra boost of confidence in my step. I was extremely comfy yet put together as I ventured to my office.
It was then I realized it wouldn’t have mattered if it was a trend or not – it was the comfort, not the style, that boosted my energy and motivation for the day. And it shouldn’t have mattered if it was on the Vogue “Top 10 Fashion Finds for the Spring” Whether you are teaching, grading, schooling, or parenting (or all the above) it pays to go to class with class and dress your part. Be yourself! Isn’t that the best person to be? Who cares if you didn’t think of mixed patterns or tennis shoes with dresses first. Tomorrow as you are going through your morning routine, instead of dreading picking out your clothes, jump with joy (literally) to dress the part of yourself. My hope is I can assure you along the way or give you two thumbs up on your choice. Or better yet – give you more options to consider. So who’s in for dressing the part?