Style, What Style?

Andrea Freedman

Being in the corporate workforce for so many years not only dictated but actually defined the style of my wardrobe. Since I have left that world to become a full-time, stay-at-home writer, I find myself having difficulty making the style transition from business to casual while still maintaining a presentable image.

There was a time when I prided myself on my work wardrobe and furthermore, all the compliments I garnered from my co-workers on how well I put myself together. Towards the end of working in the office, I found putting a business suit together almost unbearable. Now, there are some days when it is almost as if I forget to get dressed before going out in public. In the past I would have said “I wouldn’t be caught dead looking like that.” As it turns out, I actually would.

Fashion faux pas and lack of grooming on other women used to be things I would turn my nose up at. Ironically, I fear that I am now guilty of that behaviour myself. As someone who used to consciously have at least three weeks’ worth of different outfits to put together, complete with accessories, I am now repeating the same clothing items sometimes two or three times in a week.

My clothing budget of the past has been, for the time being, done away with, but when I am ready to shop again, what will I purchase next? After years of working in an office and looking at a closet filled with business attire, I find myself at a loss as to what to wear. I used to automatically choose a skirt or pair of pants and a blazer; it was almost as if I had a uniform, only I didn’t know it at the time.

In a further effort to save money and continue staying home, I have learned to do my own manicures and pedicures. Even those of us with the best intentions of saving money but keeping up with our beauty regimens just the same can fall to the wayside. Before I knew it, my nails looked so uneven and rough that I hoped no one would notice them. When I caught myself stepping outside in open toe shoes with unpolished toe nails, I knew I had let things get too far.

There are some days when I don’t bother changing out of my pyjamas until mid afternoon and the other day I had to stop and ask myself if I had had a shower. These kinds of things would have been unheard of before.

I used to keep up with fashion trends but as I have no guaranteed income at the moment, rather than updating my wardrobe with new pieces that are stylish yet casual, trying to incorporate pieces from my former work clothing into my new style has been fun but at times quite challenging.

Eventually my existing wardrobe will be out of style but for now I am determined to not shop for more clothes.

When you are working at home and not seeing other people, it sometimes seems pointless to worry about how you look. Having said that, if you still go outdoors regularly even for a daily walk, you might find yourself saying, “Hey, wait a minute, I’m out in public.” You never know who you are going to see.

I can hardly believe some of the outfits (and I use the term loosely) that I have been wearing. Some of them don’t even match and I often put on the same jeans and t-shirt that I wore the previous day. I have even fallen into the trap of trying to pass off athletic wear posing as real clothes.

Where I used to allot extra time in the morning to carefully apply make-up, I now cannot even remember the last time I needed to buy make-up, or the last time I spent more than two minutes putting it on.

One day I found myself outside having actually forgotten to wear a bra. Not to mention the black roots which were so prominent in my hair, since I had neglected to stick to my regular appointments at the salon I normally frequent.

Footwear used to play a huge part in my wardrobe and my life. I was someone who loved to buy new shoes or boots and now that I am out of my high heels the casual footwear I currently sport sometimes feels slightly frumpy.

There is a fine line between appearing casual and unkempt. I wonder what my old friends at the office would say if they saw how I dress today. Would they envy me my haphazard clothing choices or would the sight of my new so-called style disgust them?

A change in career or lifestyle often also comes with a change in style altogether, whatever that new style may turn out to be. Sometimes those changes can be drastic but that does not mean that we should forget all fashion sense whatsoever.

Hopefully, over time, I will transition my wardrobe into something acceptable, perhaps even fashionable. Until then, I will be sure to give myself a once over in the mirror before I leave the house.♦

Copyright © 2013 by Andrea Freedman


About andfreed

I am a Toronto based writer of articles, columns, essays and novels.

Posted on March 1, 2013, in Weekly Thoughts and Observations and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Phil and Gloria Freedman

    We found that a very amusing article. You have to be very beautiful to not have to bother with makeup and just wear anything you throw together. Good for you!! We loved this blog.
    It’s surprising how you change when you adapt to a new way of life. We have heard that the new look for blondes show dark roots.


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