I am a fashion reject. Back in January, I wrote a post about how I wanted to step up my game and dress like a grown up–even though I work in solitary confinement as a freelance writer.
I’ve never been a fashionista. I like clothes. But I’m never sure what looks right on me. I’m too lazy to try things on and I feel like I never have the money to buy things that I think would make me fly.
Truth is, flyness is an attitude. A way of life.
And that’s not me.
I can pull it together for a night on the town. But in my day to day life, how I’m dressed doesn’t figure very prominently.
A few months ago, I took a good long look at myself. (And my closet). And I did not like what I saw. Grubby sweats, ratty jeans, flats from Target that were run over, t-shirts that didn’t fit, dresses that were too big, too small, too old.
It’s frivolous, I know. And in the grand scheme of things, who cares what we’re wearing?
Work with me. I need a minute to be frivolous and completely gratuitous.
I asked my good friend, we’ll call her Little Miss Brown, to critique five days of outfits for me. Little Miss Brown is an executive at a luxury goods retailer. And she’s effortlessly fly. Always.
I told her to be no-holds-barred.
My goal is to look chic, pulled together and slightly sexy, (but not too sexy), every day. I’m almost 36. I have two children. And I schlep them both around a lot.
My hair’s going gray. And I can’t get in the gym as often as I’d like.
I’m getting old.
But that doesn’t mean I have to look like a schlub.
Herewith, everything I wore this week. And LittleMissBrown’s verdict. Gulp.
Totally acceptable? Right? I’m wearing a tee and jeans from Urban Outfitters. The flats are from Target. I feel like this might be a Mom Outfit. Something I’m deathly afraid of. I have a two year old but I want to look fresh and summery and pulled together. This is actually ten times better than what I would have been wearing last summer. But I don’t know if it’s a Yay. Seems pretty blah.
You are definitely presentable, but the outfit is a little blah. It’s summer!!! Where are your sandals? You could easily throw on some silver metallic flat sandals and a funky belt to spice up this look. If you normally rock sky-high heels, why not try some wedge sandals as an alternative. It gives you the height without all the discomfort.
You are on the road to yay…but since the look makes you feel blah, it’s a nay.
On Tuesday, I got a mani-pedi and had lunch with my bestie Portia. I invested in a pair of wedges so that I could be comfortable and still give myself a little umph and height. Do you approve of the shoes? I love them. I feel a lot more pulled together in them. About the outfit: The shirt actually belongs to TG. It’s from J. Crew and it’s a million years old. The shorts are from Target. And they’re too big. But I won’t stop wearing them because I don’t have enough shorts. Do I pass inspection?
Little Miss Brown says: This is a total nay…not feeling this at all. But i’ll give you a few fashion points for the shorts and the wedges…two thumbs up! First, give TG back her t-shirt and second, get rid of the bow! NO BOWS! We are women of a certain age and bows just don’t fly anymore…
To turn this outfit into a yay…you should try a boho top or a pocket t tank.
If you want to add an accessory to your hair…try something like this, a feather headband.
Just those simple changes completely turns the outfit around!
Really liking those wedges by the way…where’d you get them?! :-)
I love this dress. It’s from Max Azria. I bought it years ago for a beach wedding I went to on the islands of Turks and Caicos. I wore different shoes and dressed it up a bit. But I still love this dress. Here’s my problem. This dress is now four years old. Is there a point where you retire something just because it’s been around too long? It’s in shape. It still fits. But when I pull it out, I feel a little weird. Like my neighbors are gonna say, she’s wearing that dress again? I wear it twice a month. Also, the color? Does it wash me out? I often wonder if I should try brighter colors.
Little Miss Brown says:
I see that bow is still around… :-)
As for the outfit…cute, this deserves a “yay”! A dress that is in good shape four years later, is a good quality dress and definitely worth the money. You should be proud that you made such a good purchase…and the color is fine, you can always use a neutral color dress. If you feel like it’s getting old to you or you wanna spice it up…add a funky belt. Try these two and your outfit will feel brand new.
This is my black dress from Target. I actually have two so I can make sure I can wear it at *least* once a week. (Is there a such thing as wearing something too often?!) It was less than 20 bucks! It fits me well. And I feel put together when I wear it. Although, did I overdo it on the wedges here? I had no other shoes to wear with it. Except icky flats that are run over.
Little Miss Brown says:
Cute dress…love Target! And like you…when i find a basic/staple that i like, i buy two! I say “Wear the dress til it falls apart!” To keep things interesting, shake it up with different accessories and and jewelry. Try a belt like this with thick gold bangles and gold hoop earrings…
This was actually last Friday, not today. And gulp. I’m wearing the black dress. Again. I have two. It was raining. And I hate wearing jeans in the rain so I knew I wanted to wear a dress. This is the only dress I have that can be worn with rain boots. At least I think it can. Can’t it? Oh. And yeah. I’m wearing a do rag. I’m on my way to get my hair did!
LittleMissBrown says: No worries…you did what I suggested, you switched up the look! People probably won’t even realize it’s the same dress…first time you wore it, you dressed it up. The second time you made it more casual. I don’t think much goes with rainboots…but you turned the look into “rain chic”! This gets a yay, minus the do rag…
Naima A. Brown is the product development manager of footwear for Coach. She has been at Coach since 2002 and prior to Coach has worked for companies such as Old Navy and Calvin Klein Jeans. Naima is a Philadelphia native where she first got the fever for fashion. She is a graduate of Howard University, where she holds a B.A. in Fashion Buying and Merchandising. She also attended the Fashion Institute of Technology’s Exchange Program.
She’s done it all–from working on music video sets and photo shoots. There was a beloved internship at Seventeen. And she’s been an unofficial personal shopper for her family practically since birth.
Her motto: Fashion is the weapon…how it ends is up to you.
Follow her on Twitter: http://twitter.com/lilmissbrown16
What do you think? Was Little Miss Brown right in her Yay or Nay verdicts? Do you think I need to retire the tan dress? What are your thoughts on the wedges?
And for the record, that is not a bow in my hair! It’s a headband! From Urban Outfitters!
I love this headband. Sniff. And I’m gonna keep on wearing it! I gave TG back her tee-shirt. And I’ve got my black dress pressed and hanging up and ready to go for tomorrow. HA.
Oh! And next Friday, check for a young woman who works in the fashion industry who will be submitting five days of outfits for LittleMissBrown’s review. I know how this girl gets down. Something tells me she’s gonna get a Yay every single day. Sigh.
And if you’d like to be featured in an edition of Yay or Nay, hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org
Oh. And be kind to me in the comments. I’m an artist. So I’m sensitive about my sh….
Dear readers: I’d love to hear from you.
UPDATE: I’m dressed for the day now. Here’s what I’m wearing. Shirt from the gap about ten years ago. Seriously. Shorts from jcrew. I fear these shorts may be too short. Especially with these shoes. And how whack is it that I have exactly ONE pair of decent summer sandals. Good grief.