Work Style
Where strategy meets style
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Work Style


Toning it down?

Do you ever feel like you should tone your style down a bit? I work in a corporate office where it’s acceptable (encouraged, even!) to wear a polo shirt and khakis every day, so sometimes I feel a bit overdone. Not to mention, I’ve received my fair share of “what the hell are you wearing?” looks. And once, I was walking down the street and two teenage girls literally pointed at my outfit and laughed! I felt like I was 13 again! (Trust me, that was not a good time. I won’t get into details, but those days were filled with coke-bottle glasses and teased/curled/bleached/sprayed bangs.)

How do you balance?

So, I always seem to struggle with maintaining a balance between my personal style (which can be a bit funky) and “professional” clothing, which, according to most people, is limited to boxy navy blue suits and sensible (read: ugly) shoes. Y’all know I will not wear sensibly ugly shoes!

I think I’ve managed to find a compromise above–dark trousers and a fitted sweater in shades of blue balance a vintage tie-neck blouse and wine-colored shoes and belt (thrifted!). Decorative hoops and a camel-colored beret add interest without being too distracting. Now, if I could just get my co-workers to appreciate the finer points of shredded jeans and dominatrix platforms, I’d be all set!

Do you ever feel out of place because of your outfit? Did you tone it down or just say screw ’em?

  • Marcella

    January 5, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    I very much agree, nothing wrong with looking fierce no matter what the occasion!

  • Nina

    January 6, 2009 at 1:32 am

    i find myself caring less and less…or i’m just used to the “wtf” looks. haha

    and i got the nikon D60 D-SLR. it’s a great camera. i’m still trying to get used to taking photos w/it w/the remote and tripod. it was a lot easier w/my little canon using the self timer. oh well…

  • Marian

    January 6, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    You look fabulous dear in that work style outfit!

    If today i want to wear a paper bag,rock this style or that or even none at all I do it,somehow and someway along the way I realised that you can only please one person in life all the time, and thats yourself.

    I say do you at work girl!
    one does not have to wear an ugly boxy suit with quote unquote ugly shoes ;o) to be professional.those silly rules only exist so people can be boring and not cross any lines. Once you look professional and sharp that all that counts.

    oH also one thing about me is I like it when folk dont get my style or whatever. tells me im doing something right.If everyone (and that includes all those boring as time folk) that would mean my style is average, pretty boring,uncreative.

    in the words of Marianne williamson-

    “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

    big kiss,

  • Alana

    January 7, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    A former coworker and I just talked about this. She dressed cute and hated dressing down to fit in w/ our slubby coworkers.

    I used to work at Old Navy and I wanted to look cute like anybody else. Occasionally I would step away from my comfy outfits of a hooodie/jeans/sneaks and spruce it up a bit. Whenever I did I felt out of place cuz my coworkers looked so slumpy in thier tshirts and jeans. It wasn’t like a H&M or Urban outfitters where the employees are stylish. I had to get out of there becuz I wanted to work in a retail env’t with other stylish 20somethings.

  • Claudine

    February 19, 2009 at 10:33 am

    When I read this it totally hit a chord with me, there are often times when I dress down to the point that now when I shop I chicken out on stuff. My sister-in-law who often comments (on how she doesn’t like what I wear) that I should just “own it”. Your blog has inspired me on many levels ( to go “thrifting” and to just be myself) I love checking to see what you put together.

  • Monica

    February 26, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    I didn’t know what to put for a website since I have none, lest a facebook account should count?

    I have to agree with Claudia and say that lately I to have found myself holding back just a “smidge” when it comes to being fashionably fabulous! *sighs.

    The stares does at times make you feel uncomfortable…but now looking back on it I think they just gave those stares cause in reality they envied the fact that fashion-forward ladies (such as yourselves;)), have the creative flair and BALLS(hihi…) to WORK IT!!!

    Tamia I came across your blog site at random and am in love with the fact that you have a similar style sense/taste…I have been constantly drooling over the shoes and the outfit ensembles are wicked!


    Just for kicks…I’m a 5ft 11′ chick whose also crazy in love with heels; six-inchers are always wayyyy more exciting then boring flats!:P

    Really luv the site;)


  • Kate

    February 27, 2009 at 11:42 am

    I usually just hold my head high and do my thing. The world needs people who stand out and are brave enough to do so.

  • 404momi

    July 7, 2009 at 5:23 am

    I dont see anything funny about your style. They might be laughing in your face – but I bet they are taking notes behind your back secretly wishing they too could pull it off.