Here's how this will work: I will take a picture of myself dressed for the demands of a day in Seattle as a consultant and mom, and by way of example, I'll discuss my clothing choices. Comments may include why I chose the outfit, where I bought everything, and approximately how much I paid for each item. This is a peek into what a real Seattle woman — who isn't stick skinny and is limited by a budget — chooses to wear on an average day in the Northwest.
There's one caveat: I am a professional image consultant and will be pushing the benefits of accessorizing, which means readers may suddenly feel the urge to run out and buy kicky shoes or fun jewelry.
This is not an "I'm all that" advertisement. I read a lot of fashion rags and am drawn to the sections where the fashion editor picks out 20 "must have" items and then coordinates them to make a month's worth of outfits. Unfortunately, the list of clothes proffered usually reads something like this: basic shirt dress, $595, Philip Lim; embellished cropped tank, $820, Gary Graham; jersey top, $685, Traffic; white leather ankle boots, $485; Eileen Shields, etc. At this point in my life, I choose not to spend the equivalent of — what is $10,000 these days, anyway, a few tanks of gas? — on clothes seasonally and will "introduce" my wardrobe, photo by photo, so that you can see that my $30 embellished tank gets mixed in and worn on a regular basis. I am all about "price-per-wear," an approach to budgeting that considers the price of an item against the number of times you might wear it.
Yes, I will include outfits I wore on shlumpy days, with some commentary offering lame excuses why I couldn't get it together that day. Along the way, you may learn, quite literally, "dirty secrets," such as the fact that I don't wash my hair every day (you will see hats). Questions and constructive comments are welcome.
The first installment. On this day, I was in a client's closet for three hours, and then I worked from home for an hour and a half (and did dishes and laundry), picked up the kids from school, hosted a play date/tea time with friends, and went out for an anniversary dinner with my hubby (13 years!). I had a quick shower but didn't take time to wash and style my hair. I wore:
- A super-basic, no-iron, white button-down shirt (bought two years ago at Macy's, $24 sale)
- Dressier than a T-shirt, a black short-sleeved sweater cardigan (bought two months ago at Wal-Mart, $14)
- Audrey Hepburn-esque, black cropped chino pants (bought one month ago at J.Crew, $69 sale)
- Snazzy, but oh so comfy, red heels by Liz Claiborne Flex (bought two years ago at Macy's, $69)
- "Did I have too much Claritin, or are your earrings rotating?" silver hoop earrings (bought two years ago at Nordstrom, $30, used gift certificate)
- My wrist isn't green yet, twisted silver cuff (bought last year at Claire's Outlet, $6)
I almost wore turquoise jewelry and sensible, black Parisian-style shoes. Although I liked the color up by my face, I decided it wasn't interesting enough, so I added the red heels (which would have clashed with the turquoise, so I edited the jewelry as well).