When you look through old black and white photos, what do you notice?
For me, I notice that both men and women tended to dress much more formally than we do today.
Look at June Cleaver, cooking in a nice dress and pearls. Cary Grant looking dapper as always. The ever-so-stylish Audrey Hepburn as Holly Go-Lightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The quintessential Jackie Onassis who looks so elegant and pulled-together in a short-sleeved blouse and white ankle-length pants – it took me a moment to notice that she wasn’t even wearing shoes! And of course, how could I forget the Ricardos and the Mertzs in one of my all-time favorite shows, I Love Lucy.
Now, please don’t think I’m suggesting that we wear a formal gown to the grocery store or our best set of pearls while cooking Hamburger Helper. I’m not. I realize that we live differently today than they did back then.
However, I think that we’ve gone a little too far the other way…a little too casual.
Even if we’re home all day with kids, we don’t have to live in sweatpants all day, every day.
My secret weapon: accessories.
They are a great way to look stylish even when wearing a regular pair of jeans and a t-shirt:
- put on one piece of jewelry – Personally, I have a thing for big chunky necklaces. I have a three strand necklace ($5 clearance from JC Penney) that I wear often with my favorite long-sleeve brown t-shirt ($2 at the end-of-season sale at a local thrift store). I get compliments on that necklace almost everywhere I go. It’s a simple way to dress up a plain tee and feel more pulled together – even when I’m sitting in the middle of a McDonald’s playland.
- tie on a scarf – My other favorite thing to do is wear a scarf with a coordinating colorful t-shirt. For some extra sparkle, I’ve even placed a vintage pin (it’s the one shown on my blavatar that I got for $12 from a consignment shop) up high close to my neck. Here is a link to a cool video that shows 24 different ways to wear a scarf.
- cute flats, preferably in a color or a pattern, or boots
- a casual jacket in corduroy or even denim
- a cardigan with some definition around the waist
- carry all of your stuff in a great bag in your favorite color