Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Weekend Wear?

Earlier Drafts:
I last wore this ruffled blouse with a pencil skirt.
I paired this purple cardi with a neon shirtdress.
I really should wear these cargo pants with something other than this top.
I count these nude flats among my wardrobe workhorses.

ruffled blouse (thrifted)
purple cardigan (Martin & Osa)
belt (Ann Taylor)
cargo pants (Target)
nude flats (Jessica Simpson)
red lipstick (Maybelline Color Sensational in "Are You Red-dy")

My attempts to dress less, erm, sloppily on days off have resulted in overcompensation, I'm afraid.  I wore this get-up over the weekend to grab pizza with my husband and a friend, but both of them teased me for being "too dressed up" for a Friday night.  Those rascals.  However, since they're both clothing-conscious themselves, I've given their critique some thought.

Maybe it's the shirt's ruffles, or maybe it's the layered cardigan, or the skinny belt, or the fact that I'm not in jeans, but I can see why this ensemble would read as too stuffy for a pizza-and-wine type of evening.  In my pursuit of balance between the casual and the professional, then, I'm wondering about your typical weekend wear.

Tell me, s'il vous plait ... 

  • What do you normally wear on weekends, or in any casual/non-professional setting?  Do your dressing habits shift dramatically, or do you maintain continuity between your "off work" self and your workplace self?  (Asking this question reminds me of my dad, who, upon returning home from workdays, announces routinely that he's weary of wearing his professional "costume.")
  •  Do you associate specific garments with weekends?  What are they, and why do these read "off work" to you?
  • Would you have worn my outfit, or a version of it, on a weekend?  Would you have worn it to work?  What's the ideal context for such a get-up?
  • Unrelatedly, but still on my brain: does the juxtaposition of the cargo pants with the ruffled blouse make the outfit more or less appealing to you? 


Plummy said...

I think your outfit is cute, but before I scrolled down I thought it was a work/interview outfit (I could only see from the waist up). I think it's because it is so structured, from the button-down ruffled shirt (which, in and of itself, is too formal for me for the weekend!), to the slim cardigan, which is belted to give even more structure. Every piece is cute on its own, but together they present a very tailored, very professional look--not very weekend and relaxed! I think if you took off the belt and replaced the ruffled shirt with one that was a bit more playful and casual then the whole outfit would read weekend to me. With that said, I love that cardigan!

As for my weekend style, since during the week I work in a middle school, on the weekend I tend to grab my shorter skirts, sometimes my heels, and my sweaters that are fashionable, but not quite 'I am a teacher and you will listen to me!' enough for work.

Finally--unfortunately, I don't like this particular combo of cargo pants and ruffled blouse. The idea is right, and I could see it working with a full-length cargo pant, but these pants are just too informal with their cropped length and it creates too much of a contrast. I'm actually not a huge fan of these cargo pants on you (sorry!). I love the color, but they just hit you at an awkward spot. If they were skinny, the length would work, but being wide...in the words of Tim Gunn, 'I'm confused.'

Scholar Style Guide said...

Thanks for your feedback, Plummy! These are actually my favorite outfits to share, the ones that make me say, "Hmph, that didn't quite work." Since I think that most sartorial style is about trial and error, your responses -- even critical ones -- are helpful in my process. Keep 'em coming!


Scholar Style Guide said...

Ok I'm blaming you for my new obsession with getting pointy-toe flats. I usually wear rounded-toe ones, but I'm really feeling the sharper edge that these bring.

My weekend attire isn't much different than my weekday wardrobe now that I'm not working or teaching. However, during the fall, my Saturday outfits almost always contain at least one item from my alma mater to cheer them on during college football season.

Also, I see what Plummy is saying with her critique of the outfit, though I like the contrast of prim and proper on top and down n' dirty on the bottom. And I'm totally with you on my fave outfits to post being the "experimental" ensembles.

Finally, I think the righhand picture is an absolutely adorable shot of you.


Katie, Interrobangs Anonymous said...

I like the juxtaposition of styles in this getup - the utilitarian cargoes, the ruffled blouse, the neutrals, the purple. I'm really enjoying it.

I also think the ruffles of the blouse are mirrored in the gathers of the cardigan caused by the belt and, to a lesser extent, the gathers on the pockets of the cargoes.

I can also see you switching out the cargoes for some highwaisted, baggy dress pants a la Katharine Hepburn, tucking the blouse in and then belting the cardigan over them once it gets colder.

Sara said...

This is definitely something I'd wear on the weekends (but maybe without the belt... I tend to feel more comfortable without belts, even though I love what they do for an outfit). I love the ruffles with the cargos - such a great contrast - and I adore that greyed purple with olive.

Scholar Style Guide said...

This was definitely an interesting outfit to scroll down through! I think this would look great with a pair of dark wash jeans or a pencil skirt, but why not experiment when you're in an experimental mood?

I don't think it's particularly dressy and would totally wear something similar on the weekend. I wonder if your friends might have been reacting more strongly to your hair and lipstick than the outfit itself? I'm used to seeing you with straighter hair and a more neutral make-up look, so I wonder if those changes are what made them think you looked more "dressy." The hair and lipstick look great, though, so why not amp them up a little bit from time to time?

Back when I was young, had a full salary, and regularly went "out" on the weekends, I dressed up MORE for those events than I do now. Since I cannot manage to stay out past 10 on most nights, though, I tend to go more casual for weekend social events than I used to in the past.


Shakespeare's Feminine Ending said...

I actually love this outfit, but it might be because I tend to pair feminine (lace or floral) tops with cropped cargos, too.

The cargo pants ask that the outfit be read as casual and I think that's a positive thing because it allows you to keep your "self" in tact. The top half of you can both be your work and off work self. For that reason, this is the exact sort of outfit that's appropriate to wear to campus on days you're not teaching or attending an important event. It's ideal for library or reading group days.

Diana said...

I think this outfit would be great for a casual weekend dinner out, but take my opinion with a grain of salt because I am often accused of being overdressed too! I think the cargos definitely make this outfit read as casual and not professional.

Since my workplace (university lab) is pretty laid-back, I don't really differentiate between work and non-work outfits...I guess on non-work days I wear less sensible shoes since I don't have to walk/commute so much and since I don't have to worry about lab safety.


Ya know I wore an extremely similar outfit in both color, fabrics, and cuts last week as my first day of [grad] school outfit, and I wore it specifically because I felt it was formally ambiguous. I wanted to look polished but also casual, which is what this ensemble reads to me. Pizza and beer, yes, maybe a little too pulled-together of a look, but pizza and wine? Perfect :)

Between Laundry Days said...

Oh, I so love this. Those pointy toe patent flats are perfect. And not too dressy, I don't think. Just pulled together and lovely!