17 January 2011

Wardrobe Challenge- Days 8- 12: My Interpetation of Casual Dress

For the last couple of days, I've been hiding out in Oxnard for a work related retreat. Prepping my wardrobe for this retreat presented some challenges of it's own. First of all, the dress code was casual.  Frugal Jana does not know what casual means. Second of all, the weather was quite confusing. Was it going to be hot? Was it going to be cool?  Next obstacle was the location. What do I wear to hang out at a beach hotel in the middle of January?  Sure, I could have solved this dilemma by pulling out my spring clothes to achieve a "resort look". But, that's called cheating. This Challenge is about working with what I currently have hanging in my closet. In order to maintain the integrity of the Challenge, I did not cheat.  But, Boy was I tempted.  Instead, I some how manged to pull together these outfits:

Day 8
Everything about this combo is boring. I've had this jean jacket since college (10 years)  and those black pants for about 7 years. I had a 2 hour drive ahead of me and wanted to feel comfortable. To compensate for the simplicity of this look, I added in a leopard print kitten heel. That gave me something to smile about in the picture.

Jacket- Gap, $50
Shirt- Michael Stars, FIDM Scholarship Store, $1
Pants- Old Navy, $34
Shoes- Mossimo for Target, Target $7

Day 8.5
Thank God I had the opportunity to change out of those boring black pants and ancient jean jacket. Now this is more like it! I purchased this dress with the intent to wear on a date that is going to happen one of these days. Instead of deferring the beauty of this dress for a purposed date, I whipped this cutie out for an evening dinner with my colleagues.

Dress: Zac Posen for Target, The Goodwill $2
Shoes: Not labeled, The Goodwill $7
Purse: Loeffler Randall for Target, The Goodwill $4.99

Day 9
Flats are my definition of casual. Since I am short, I  prefer heels to add an element of sophistication to my look. When I am in flats, I feel young.  These leopard print (yes, I like leopard print shoes) pointed toed flats are an exception. To up the chic quotient, I  added in an a-line black skirt, detailed white shirt, and printed cardigan. The patterned pantyhose helped pull everything together.

Cardigan: Merona, Target (Christmas gift from Mom)
Shirt: American Rag Et Cie, The Goodwill  $2
Skirt: Ann Taylor Loft, The Goodwill $2
Hosiery: Nordstrom Rack $3.90
 Shoes: Merona, The Goodwill $6

Day 10
As previously stated, dressing casual decreases my age by 10 years. In fact, this is something I would have  worn in high school! That explains the high school year book pose... All jokes aside,  It's a very comfortable outfit and served it's purpose on this day.

Dress: Ann Taylor Loft, The Goodwill $2
Tights: Merona, Target $2
Shoes: Merona, Target $5

Day 11

This is my favorite casual look. I felt a little more "grown up" and slightly more chic than I did on Day 9. Perhaps it's the navy blue shirt dress and gold ballet flats? At any rate, I am looking forward to repeating this nautical look once the Challenge is complete.

Sweater: Charter Club, The Goodwill $2
Dress: Gap , The Goodwill $2
Belt: J Crew, The Goodwill $2.99
Tights: Merona, Target $7
Shoes: Merona ("gift" from Mom)

Day 12
This cardigan and skirt confuse me. The cardigan's busy pattern prohibits coordination with some of the conservative items in my closet; and creates a visual disaster with the creative pieces. Although you can not tell from the picture, the skirt is a fine weave corduroy in a deep eggplant purple-ish color. I've considered it a bit too casual for work and a little too frumpy when paired with ballet flats. Since I had to wear these perplexing items, why not pair 'um together? I am please with the out come. 

Cardigan: Merona, The Goodwill $2
Skirt: Uniqlo, The Goodwill  $2
T-Shirt: Merona, The Goodwill $2
Shoes: Not labeled, The Goodwill $7

Praise God these "casual dress" days are over! This was a challenge within a Challenge! I think I am the only person that feels uncomfortable in a dress code that is indicative of comfort. Give me a pair of stilettos any day over a pair of sneakers. Well, except for when I am running..

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