A work uniform

by L

Everyone from Mark Zuckerberg to Barack Obama has adopted a “work uniform” — here’s how to make yours

How to Perfect the Art of a Work Uniform

Would Totebaggers consider (or have you already adopted?) a work uniform? Personally, I like clothes and variety too much to wear the same things all the time!

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116 thoughts on “A work uniform

  1. Of course, thinking about this more, I realize that I always wear some sort of blazer (suit or separate, including knit blazers and moto/asymmetrical ones) to work as part of my outfit, so that could be considered a uniform, but it is definitely not the same gray t-shirt and jeans every day like Zuckerberg.

  2. When I was working full-time, before the whole capsule thing took off, I had black, grey, navy and brown pants that were all season and then seasonal tops (2 per pant color per season) and a couple of tailored jackets for those days that required a more formal look. It gave me roughly 8 changes of work clothes per week. I followed my boss’ lead with slightly more formal business casual (yea a mouthful).

    Now that I don’t go into the office often, I have a capsule wardrobe of 33 pieces for that purpose that focus on my two pair of pants – black and navy. I have 4 pair of shoes and 4 jackets (one summer and one winter pair per color), and the rest are tops. I rotate more through them because people see me infrequently and I think they recall the tops.

    Now that i am home, I find that I dress down a lot more. Some mornings I go to the gym, the straight to my work desk, and don’t shower until my work day is over. I have found that I am generally more productive if I get “dressed” for work even if it is casual clothing. I’m working on taking some weight off this summer and plan to put together a capsule wardrobe for fall.

  3. I didn’t think of it as a “capsule” but sure, I had teaching clothes that I didn’t usually wear otherwise. When DS was a toddler, I tried to specialize those more to be the kinds of clothes that I could also wear to play with him. Mostly that meant stretchy fabrics, which were still new, and i was always looking for skorts or split skirts that would work, but that was in vain. I always found separates easier than assigned “outfits”, even though I did have pairs I tended to repeat. But I do not understand the idea of a suit as an easy thing to toss on in the morning. Corporette continues to use that line, even though it’s founder has two small children now, which makes me wonder what planet they live on.

  4. When I first went back into the office after working from home for years, I found that having a basic mix and match wardrobe helped me a lot. It consisted primarily of solid pants, printed skirts, cotton tanks and cardigans, and about 4-6 pairs of shoes. I have gotten more casual, and need to refresh my wardrobe in my new size, but will probably continue along the same lines. I found two pair of pants I like and bought each in several colors. I have discovered that I really only wear the solid color stuff in my wardrobe, so now use jewelry or scarves more to accent. I just cut my hair to chin length, which is the shortest it’s been in more than 30 years (since that ill-advised Dorothy Hamill), so bought a bunch of fun new earrings. Mornings are just better if I don’t have to think too much about what to wear.

  5. I’m kind of uniform-y.

    Shirts, except for a couple of patterned ones which I only wear when I’m doing sort-of business casual (no tie), I rotate white, blue, off white, and gray dress shirts, mostly JosBank Traveler version, point collar. I have many more ties than shirts so I don’t do the “if it’s my gray shirt, it’s my black patterned tie like I notice some guys do”. In fact, I try very hard to wear a given tie only about once every 6 weeks to two months. Wool slacks: black, navy, charcoal, medium gray and never two days in a row. Usually black loafers (no tassel). I need to get a pair in cordovan or brown that I like. I wear my dress jacket (sometimes it’s a sport jacket, sometimes it’s a suit jacket with its pair of pants) into the office and back to my car. Rarely, as in 2-3x/yr, will I put it on for an in-office meeting.

    I’ve tried wearing khakis when I dress down, but I’m just not as comfortable in them as wool slacks.

  6. IMO most men seem to have a work uniform. For example, my son’s office is business casual and his uniform consists of about a dozen light blue shirts of varying hues along with a few white ones plus several gray/blue/tan slacks. Any shirt can go with any slacks. With a couple of navy blazers and a few ties he’s all set for most business situations.

    “I have discovered that I really only wear the solid color stuff in my wardrobe, so now use jewelry or scarves more to accent.”

    Me too. I’ve tried to pare down my wardrobe to core pieces in black or white or tan. For weddings, graduations, and bat mitzvahs over the last few years I’ve worn the same black sheath dress. Sometimes I’ve worn it with multi-strand pearls and sometimes with scarves. I’ve been tempted to get a new more colorful dress for these occasions, but I’ve resisted because I know that a new dress will take up room in my closet with very little wear. So although my style may be boring I think it’s working for me.

  7. I used to wear pant suits in the cooler months. Really easy as I would just wear tees or shells with the suit. Changed my accessories and I felt comfortable all day. I wore a lot of dresses in the summer and I would always bring a sweater to wear if it was cold due to A/c.

    I am stuck on the subway. Again. The only good thing is that there is wifi, but I hope my battery holds out until I can charge my phone.

  8. I like variety. I like to dress up. Even as a kid I loved playing dress up. Sometimes I want more swirly boho stuff; some days more athleisure; some days slightly glam. It’s a harmless hobby. People who want to moralize about simplicity and only having five items of clothes because children are starving in India can bite me.

  9. I totally have a work uniform. In fall, winter and spring, it’s a shirt (usually a scoop-neck white t-shirt, but occasionally a blouse) with a cardigan sweater (usually a bright color, but occasionally navy) and a pencil skirt. In fall and winter, the pencil skirt is black or gray wool, and is paired with tights; in spring and summer, the pencil skirt is khaki cotton with a bit of stretch, and legs are bare. Shoes are kitten-heel pumps (black in winter, lighter for spring). The same cardigans are worn year-round (they’re mostly cotton, with a couple of cashmere ones thrown in).

    In summer, I usually wear some variation of this dress (I own it in several colors), paired with light-colored sling-back pumps:

    https://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/118799?feat=615-GN1&page=summer-knit-dress-short-sleeve-paisley&csp=f

    I wear jewelry year-round — earrings, rings on both ring fingers, and a necklace or pendant every day. A few are classic “good” pieces, and others are costume items.

    I look terrible in dress pants, and almost never wear them to work. I almost never wear blazers, either, since up here things are much more casual than they are in the city; I think my clients would actually find it odd if I was wearing a suit when meeting with them.

  10. People who want to moralize about simplicity and only having five items of clothes because children are starving in India can bite me.

    Pure sloth on my part.

  11. lol RMS. I haven’t seem people defend their minimalist wardrobe based on starving children but rather on being able to spend their money on other things like fabulous vacations.

  12. I pretty much have a uniform of black pants and a black top. I could wear the same thing every day like Zuckerberg. I don’t think anyone really notices or cares what I wear. I don’t notice or care what other people wear. I realized that I have very strong sensory issues when it comes to clothing. If something doesn’t fit right, I cannot focus on anything else. I completely shut down. I fully realized this after having kids and watching my kids freak out over uncomfortable clothing. I get it. My boys wear athletic clothing all the time – they can’t stand zippers or buttons.

    I need to find better tops. I like longer length shirts. I have a long torso and find a lot of tops feel really short on me. Any suggestions for good, longer t-shirts that aren’t super thin?

  13. What’s the point of a fabulous vacation if your clothes are boring?

    Yeah, I know. I get it. I just enjoy playing dress up.

  14. I have a long torso too, tcmama. I sometimes buy tall sizes in shirts even though I’m only 5’6.5″, which isn’t especially tall.

  15. I love color, so that prevents me from assembling a uniform wardrobe of muted colors where you can mix and match. I have tried to make myself own a LBD but then a green or magenta dress catches my eye and it’s bye to the black dress. I don’t think muted colors suit my skin tone so there that too.
    I tend to stick to classic cuts though so there’s that.

  16. Rhett, I hope that these problems will get fixed in my lifetime.

    I am wearing my summer uniform today. White or light colored denim, and a sleeveless top. It’s black because we’ve been lucky to have a few days with low humidity. When it’s sticky, I wear more dresses instead of jeans.

  17. At my BILs company, all the local managers were wearing the same thing – tan khakis, blue dress shirt. A higher up from Europe came and basically yelled at them. My BIL had to go out and buy khakis in a wider variety of boring hues (gray, brown) and shirts in colors other than blue (gasp, lilac!).

    My sis got a kick out of all of this since she had been trying to upgrade her husband’s professional wardrobe for years.

  18. Lauren, I avoid light colored pants or skirts if I’m going to be using the subway. Maybe it’s force of habit, but dark colored clothes seem safer.

  19. Lauren, did you always clean both pieces of a suit together, so they’d wear evenly? I can’t picture a life in which my top and bottom pieces are dirtied at the same rate.

  20. Kerri, I don’t understand why the Euro manager yelled at them.

    If only Amazon delivered to stalled subway cars! We use battery cases instead of external chargers; it’s always there, instead of an extra thing to carry. Mine is a ridiculous waterproof thing that could last through Armageddon. DS got it for me & I couldn’t say no, because it took me six months to figure out how to get it off the phone.

  21. Louise, that’s cute! Wear with a bright colored top to the next dance performance.

  22. The skirt Louise posted is something I could wear to work.

    I have 7 pants I rotate through, some skinny, some boot-cut/trouser/wider leg: 1 gray, 1 khaki, 2 black wider leg; 1 gray, 1 navy, 1 black skinny. The pants dictate the shoes. Then I pair colorful or print tops/sweaters depending on the weather. I also have 2-3 skirts and some dresses. I have 1 dress I can only wear with leggings because it’s too short for work IMO. Though NY&Co would disagree…

  23. I do not have a minimalist wardrobe. Every morning it’s a fresh question of what I’ll put together.
    However, I do have a lot of dresses, which are easy, including a handful of old reliables for those mornings when I’m tired and not feeling inspired.

    I do have a lot of color — mostly solid colors as others have mentioned — which I’ll mix with the neutrals.

  24. Louise, I liked the skirt. It’s definitely got a lot going on visually and was probably designed as resort wear, but having the colors limited to the simple navy and white makes it maybe ok for a workplace — as a Friday item perhaps?

  25. When I had to wear suits a lot, I either dry cleaned them together, even it the jacket didn’t need it, or when possible, I would get two bottoms – like one solid and one patterned – then I would still dry clean them together, but I would get more wears out of the jacket. I always liked mix and match better because when the original “suit” didn’t match, the jacket still went with something else.

    T-shirts: I, too, have a longer torso. I often look for t’shirts that say they are tunics – then I buy the petite one size larger than my “regular” size. I find this sometimes works on bottoms as well because with petites they expect your hips to start to flare higher than in “regular” sizes. I just have to watch the length.

  26. I wear a ton of dresses. So much easier to just throw on one piece rather than several. This is super dorky but I keep a note card on the hanger for each dress, making a note of when I have worn the dress to meet with clients, so that I don’t repeat for a client.

  27. Nordstrom has some Halogen and Caslon t shirts suitable for business layering that are good for long torsos.

  28. Years ago I had color analysis done and still am fixated on making sure that tops are in my color palette. I have pale skin and when I wear a color that does not look good on me, it’s obvious. Oh how I envy the people who look good in black. It has turned me in to a finicky shopper, so much so that I roll my eyes at myself sometimes.

    Is Corporette worthwhile or will it be a time leech?

  29. Marshals and TJ maxx are also good for longer tops, but the treasure hunt business model doesn’t always work if you’re after a specific color or style.

  30. And I line up my work outfits on Sunday night, complete with undergarments looped around the hangar, I do not play. Best habit I ever started.

  31. Swim — A very stylish aunt of mine analyzed my colors for me way back when I was in college. I never, ever deviate from my “season.” I think that wearing colors that suit you is essential to looking good. It also makes shopping much easier. For example, I can immediately rule out anything that is brown-based, or anything that is even remotely yellow or orange.

  32. Is Corporette worthwhile or will it be a time leech?

    Both. There’s actually only 15%-20% discussion of fashion; the rest is career angst, relationship angst, discussions about where to go on vacation, etc.

  33. I have evolved a uniform for the days I have to be on campus: ankle pants in black or gray, a longish top, and a longish soft sweater or knit drapy blazer in some kind of constrasting color. And either ankle boots or flats. I buy the ankle pants in multiples, and have the drapy blazery sweatery things in a bunch of colors. Then jewelry – maybe a dragon pendant – and long earrings and I am ready to go. God forbid ankle pants ever go out of fashion. That is usually what happens when I find some clothing style that really works for me.

    If I am working at home, I tend to wear roll-up hiking pants with tons of pockets, or if it is hot, a skirt.

  34. I was at Chicos yesterday and was impressed by their tshirts. (And embarrassed that I was at chicos). Longish, thicker, nicely cut. I’m short, but I have a hard time find tshirts that don’t expose my mid section when I move around.

  35. Corporette – the actual recommendations are not always that great, but there are usually good recommendations in the comments if you ask – I need a dress with short sleeves or long sleeves to wear to a work cocktail reception in the SW, for example.

    I have been wearing fewer dresses to work lately because my office is so darn COLD (even in the summer). They are good for networking events though.

  36. HM, I love that article. That’s the same process (on a much smaller scale) that is involved in being a yield engineer. What is broken, based on a combination of equipment knowledge, process history and personal idiosyncrasies of the people providing you with data?

    Maybe we can form a Totebag superforecasting team in early retirement.

  37. On the topic of clothing – I always tell my clients “you manage what you measure,” but I’m not that great about turning it on myself. However, tracking my price-per-wear has completely transformed how I shop. I am a much more discriminating shopper now, and pay much more attention to buying the right clothes. Also, my spending on clothes has gone way down while my enjoyment of what’s in my closet has gone up. (Spending wasn’t ever that crazy to begin with, but I’d say I’ve cut in in half).

    I’m genuinely surprised at how effective this has been.

  38. Lark, that’s fascinating. I have been trying to force myself to wear everything in my closet (seasonally appropriate closet, anyway) but I lost my mojo. I have to get back to it.

  39. Maybe we can form a Totebag superforecasting team in early retirement.

    When you’re bored with that you can join me and DH for “New Testament study in Koine Greek”. We’ll be in the corner with the comfy chairs.

  40. Lark, I’ve thought of your tracking method sometimes when I look at all the stuff in my closet that does not get worn as much as the 6 or so bottoms and the 12 or so tops that I’m always reaching for. So this dissuades me from buying new stuff unless I really, really, really like it and know I will wear it. As much as I like that cute floral dress I see on sale, I’m just not going to wear it that often. Also, I should clean out my closet by at least half. Are you a fan of Rent the Runway?

  41. July – I am amazed by this: “For weddings, graduations, and bat mitzvahs over the last few years I’ve worn the same black sheath dress”

    I crave variety so much – I don’t think I’d be able to do that! I don’t even wear the same thing to the same networking gala 2 years in a row. I don’t have that many weddings/graduations to go to, though. Just bought a new dress (only $65 though!) for a wedding we have to go to in August – this is likely to be the only one this year.

  42. My next project is to clean out the master bedroom closet. I know I don’t wear many of the things in there and I need to make some serious decisions. This would help me figure out what I wear, what I can donate, and what I can throw out. After that, new closet set up (and hiring my FIL for a weekend again at a price of a steak dinner).

    L – I have a small selection of dresses I would wear to more formal affairs. If the crowd hasn’t seen the dress before, it’s a go. If it’s been a few years, it’s ago. I have a wedding in the fall and I’ll probably wear the dress I wore to my son’s baptism. I just don’t have the closet space for new dresses and I don’t have enough functions to warrant them.

  43. Swim, I’m a summer. Is that what you are? I gravitate towards those colors (and away from autumn colors–Blech!) naturally. But I have started wearing black anyway. It’s not like avoiding it makes the allergic circles under my eyes invisable.

  44. Lark, I remember you were starting a spread sheet. Tell us more about how it’s going.

  45. I went shopping for Baby WCE and me last week and bought an Izod fullish golf skort that is appropriate for the (rare) hot days here. It’s nice to be back to my usual clothes after the pregnancy/nursing period.

    Are skorts with bare legs tolerated elsewhere? We have a very strict dress code. Employees are required to wear clothes.

  46. I considered doing rent the runway for my nephews wedding, was hoping to be fitted here and pick up the dress there, but then I looked at what’s available to buy for the same price and went with these.


  47. I have not done rent the runway, but I would definitely consider it for a black tie event.

    I’m going to try to post a snippet from my spreadsheet:

    Item Cost Worn Price Per Wear
    Black maxi dress $68.00 1 $68.00
    Blue bead wrap bracelet $30.00 8 $3.75
    J Crew pink linen tee $29.62 8 $3.70
    J Crew navy linen tee $29.62 7 $4.23
    Talbots blue/white maxi skirt $79.50 8 $9.94

    That black dress got worn once, I immediately knew it was a mistake, so I got rid of it right away.

  48. I wasn’t sure if I should even admit to color analysis because in the past when I have described it I have honestly had people look at me as if I had two heads. Should have known better with this group.

    S&M, yes, I’m a summer, and black sure does bring out those dark under eye circles. If black were flattering I would wear it 24/7.

  49. Lark — I would never actually go through the detail of creating your spreadsheet but I have mentally calculated cost per wear. It’s a good exercise. I am remembering that I’ve actually had my LBD uniform for about ten years. I wore it for both my kids’ high school graduations. I probably wear it about twice a year and I originally got it at Target for about $35 IIRC, so it’s been quite a bargain!

  50. Swim – the best color testing I had done was at Prescrptives cosmetics for makeup. They made up the foundation to match your skin tone. I still miss their one shade of lipstick that suited me very well. I find it hard to get just the right shade of plum lipstick.

  51. On wearing the same dress – at the last family wedding I went to, I wore the dress I wore to my sister’s rehearsal dinner in 1997. It’s black with white accent, and a pretty conventional style, and I always loved it so I never got rid of it when I gained weight. I got a ton of compliments on it, and I was ridiculously happy with my thrift. I have another wedding coming up that will require a new dress. Alas, nothing else from ’97 hanging around.

  52. Is. None of those options is. I don’t need remedial English!

  53. Swim, as a summer you can wear dark gray just fine, though, can’t you? (I’m a winter but my mother is a summer.)

  54. Used to Lurk – every season is Women’s Winter in my office. My corner of the building is really cold and I run very cold (hypothyroid).

    WCE – I would not wear a skort to the office. I like shorts (for casual wear), less excess fabric. I wear far fewer skirts than I used to – dresses and pants are easier for the office (unless I am wearing a skirt suit, which is rare) and then I wear shorts off duty if it is hot.

    Rhode, I like repeating dresses too if I can, but then I find that the dresses from a few years ago don’t look right any more. This season I was after something different and so decided to grab the ruffly/off-shoulder trend: http://www.asos.com/asos/asos-double-ruffle-halter-scuba-midi-dress/prd/7664827

  55. Louise — I really miss Prescriptives. They had THE best foundations, bar none. My skin tone is hard to match (vampire-fair), but Prescriptives had the perfect foundation for me. After much trial and error, I have finally found a line that is a decent-enough replacement: The L’Oreal “True Match” line. Their foundations come in warm, neutral, and cool palettes, with many shade choices (fair to dark) in each of those three categories.

    I am also a one-lipstick woman: Nars “Afghan Red.” I wear it with everything, year-round. I will go into deep, deep mourning if they ever discontinue it.

  56. Where do you get a color analysis done? I want to do one, but I hope my colors are red, black, and white because those are my favorites. I once branched out and got a different colored shirt. I excitedly told my husband that I got something that wasn’t red or black. When I showed him the shirt, he said sarcastically , “Wow. You got pink and grey instead of red and black.”

    Thanks for the shirt recommendations!

  57. Tcmama — First, you time travel back to the 80s. (Maybe they’re still doing this now, I’m not sure; they seem to have a Color Me Beautiful website but it’s focused on product sales rather than color consulting.)

    Or, you can still get the book. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0061C1NHA/ . The basic thing was skin tone (warm to cool) and hair color, but I recall a big part of confirming that your likely season was correct was holding the color swatches up near your face to see what worked well. They also appear to have the swatches and color fans and stuff on Amazon.

  58. We did this as part of a group of mothers and daughters some time in my late high school / early college. One of the daughters was going through a raccoon-eyes-and-all-black phase and was very annoyed to be told that she was an autumn and should avoid black but looked lovely in olives and golds.

  59. Hi from somewhere over the Atlantic. I had some excitement heading out- there was a fire in my terminal. It was all over the news. Most of the terminal was evacuated, but not my gate area, which was way at the end. So tons of people got stuck outside the secure area, and we at the gates couldn’t go anywhere. Most of the shops closed. When my flight boarded there was no one on it , so then we had to wait two hours for all the passengers to get through the huge backlog at security once they were letting people back in. Good thing I don’t have a connection to make. I heard there was smoke and flames and water everywhere

  60. I don’t have a work uniform at all, but I usually plan my outfits for the week on Sunday night. Check the weather. Steam/iron things that need it & make sure I’ve got special things like tights if needed.

    I keep my work shoes in a file cabinet in my office. They never see pavement. I commute in other shoes & change.

  61. And I love color and patterns. I am a sucker for Boden patterned dresses & skirts. I also have a lot of patterned or bright colored shells. I will
    throw a plain cardigan over that. And I often wear jeans to work except in the summer when it is too damn hot for that.

  62. “Are skorts with bare legs tolerated elsewhere?”

    I don’t know what the difference between a skirt and a skort would be for work. Both would be acceptable with bare legs. I wouldn’t wear an athletic one or something too short though.

    It would be much more odd for me to wear pantyhose than to go bare legged, which is the norm in warm weather. But my office is casual. I could get away with wearing shorts since we have no dress code, but I wouldn’t personally feel comfortable at my level/function.

    I remember doing my “colors” with my mom & aunts when I was in middle school. My mom
    Was convinced that I was a “summer” but I am sure that is not true. Those colors look hideous on me – especially the cool pastels. I am both pasty pale and blonde (at least because of the highlights) so light colors make me look super washed out. I also can’t do yellow but I love rusty red/dark corals.

    MAC “O” has been my nighttime lipstick for 15 years. And I still keep a black honey Clinique almost lipstick in my desk drawer for everyday. I also like the burts bees lip shimmer in fig which is a similar color – subtle and flattering.

  63. @tcmama – have you looked at Duluth Trading? It’s very marmish I know, but the tee shirts are longer and good quality. Run large though. They also have a ton of colors. On the other end of the spectrum away from frumpy is Madewell and Everlane – they often have good t shirts too.

  64. Mooshi, did you hear it was a fire at Panda Express that caused all of that smoke and the evacuation?

    I used to keep my work shoes in a cabinet too. I did wear my boots during the colder months, but I found that my shoes had a lot less damage if I kept them in the office, and I was more comfortable during my commute. After 9/11, I started to keep a pair of sneakers there too in case of an evacuation.

    S&M, I did try to dry clean the pieces together, but I did mix and match the tops and bottoms with other stuff. I might wear the jacket over a dress, or I might wear a sweater with the pants instead of the jacket. The dry cleaning wasn’t really an issue. I generally just wore black, blue or navy pantsuits so it wasn’t difficult to find simple tees or blouses/shells to coordinate.

  65. It is still possible to buy Prescriptives cosmetics online. They sell many of the same products, and you can still get custom foundations and powders.

  66. Wow, L, I bet you look fantastic in that ruffle dress. I’m thinking of getting a colorful Mexican bohemian top just for a fun change.

    I have no idea what my season is, but I’m probably wearing the wrong colors in any case.

  67. I guess I have a “work uniform” just because I tend to like the same things. I am a winter, of the vampire variety, so some colors look fabulous and others look like death, and there is very little in-between. I tend toward black pants, a jewel-toned top, and a black or white or blazer, with a scarf or jewelry. My other option is grey pants, usually with a navy top and a coordinating blazer. Sandals in summer, boots in winter. However, my SIL a few years ago pointed out that I only wore solid colors and could use a little pattern, so I have picked up several patterned tops at WHBM that can be worn with or without blazers and that can go from work to casual — think something like this in a darker color: https://www.whitehouseblackmarket.com/store/product/printed-shell-top/570205843?color=1653&catId=cat210001. I need a more tailored, fitted cut; the floppy stuff always looks gorgeous on the rack and then like death on me.

    For casual, I have two pair of the same basic pants from WHBM that are sort of like cargo crop pants, with pockets but the bottoms can roll up some. In winter I also have some leggings and sweaters.

    My biggest problem now is that I have a freaking closet full of clothes, but they are in three sizes, so I can only wear a small portion at any time. Right now I am between sizes and frustrated — the good news is that I have lost enough weight that the fat pants are too big; the bad news is that I am not into the thin pants yet, and I am long-waisted, and so I am having real problems with not flashing the belly at work. :-)

  68. LfB (and someone else above, tcmama?), the current trend for tops is like a square, loose but also not that long, so not the best for long torsos! But I can virtual shop for people if anyone wants. ;)

  69. I wear a lot of black, gray and navy. I know from my nail polish colors that I actually look better in deep blue reds, or brighter blues that are closer to dark purples.

    We’re going to travel next week to the south and I know it’s going to be very humid. I’m planning to just pack a lot of white tops and dresses. I’ve just accepted that I’ll be hot. We went to Vegas last year in July and I’ll decide after this trip if I’d rather be in Vegas or South Carolina in July.

  70. Lauren,
    SC in July is very humid and hot. This year though it is cooler here so hopefully you get a cool week there.
    I am glad to know that Prescriptives can be ordered online. Didn’t know that !

    RMS/DD – do you know anything about Western Colorado State University ? Just curious…

  71. @L — Yeah, and that trend is killing me and part of the reason I haven’t bought any new clothes in a while. It just does not look good on me — I have wider shoulders and some hips, and so if you put a big square on me that falls to the top of the hips, I look like a linebacker. Whereas if you give me something more tailored, or say a tunic with a belt, I actually have a shape. Flowey and blousey are hard enough; dressing me in a square from shoulders to hips is a horrible, horrible idea.

  72. Oh, I love that pink top, July! You and I and Louise will have to wear our brightly-colored dresses to the Totebag cocktail party. Everyone else can wear their tasteful neutrals.

  73. do you know anything about Western Colorado State University ?

    Yeah, a little bit. I’ll be honest, I haven’t been hugely impressed with the handful of graduates I know. Their computer science degree doesn’t even require calculus. (I can’t believe I’m saying that). Their admissions standards are pretty low. Why do you ask?

  74. Ah. Well, it’s probably a nice place to teach. Gunnison is a cute town. They cultivate a kind of “Old West” feel. It is, however, super cold in the winter. People complain. According to Wikipedia, Due to its location in the Rocky Mountains, cold air in all the valleys settles into Gunnison at night, making it one of the coldest places in winter in the United States, especially when snowpack is present. So don’t get a chihuahua.

  75. RMS – a few people from here have moved out West. One moved to Boise. I “knew” Boise because it always appeared on Best Places to Live lists.

  76. I like Boise. It’s pretty and clean and in a lovely setting.

  77. I agree – I visited Boise last year. It’s really a nice place with a lot to do (personally, I was a bit shocked). My friend has lived there for about 5 years. She really likes setting and the COL.

  78. it’s really a nice place with a lot to do (personally, I was a bit shocked).

    I think it’s because “Boise” is a silly-sounding word and gets used as a punchline.

  79. People who move from here are IMO, more comfortable moving to places that are not big city. So, they would go to smaller places or cities like Denver (big but not too big).
    My friend in Boise, located and purchased a newly constructed home, close to work, located daycare/pre school for the kids all in one long weekend.

  80. Last post re this: Colorado Western is ranked #498 in the USA according to the Forbes article.

  81. Colorado Western is ranked #498 in the USA according to the Forbes article.

    Uh, okay.

  82. “Their computer science degree doesn’t even require calculus.”
    That is unusual. Are you sure it isn’t an IT or Computers in Business degree? Certainly, they don’t have ABET accreditation without calculus

  83. L – I want a new cardigan and I can’t find what I want. I would love some virtual shopping help.

    I have an old black piece from Macy’s that is perfect. Except I have been wearing it twice weekly for years and it’s kind of wearing out. What I love about it is it’s synthetic (not acrylic, more like the yarn use in travel-clothes). It’s the kind of synthetic that holds its shape and is impossible to stain. It has two different weaves, a diamond pattern on the top and ribbed from the bust down. It’s meant to be a fairly tight piece and I usually wear it with just the top buttoned, which makes a nice inverted V and is flattering to my not-so-hour glass figure.

    Kind of like this, but not so bolero like. https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/89/29/dc/8929dc9a8d5d0cc797621c49d622ffb8.jpg

  84. Mooshi, I just checked and they seem to have added one semester of calculus. So maybe that’s part of their “becoming selective” plan. Still, the degree looks completely disjointed to me. It’s Intro to This and Intro to That and hardly any sustained, multi-semester classes. And yes, they call it “Computer Science”.

  85. Most of what I see offered as “skorts” are actually skirts with a pair of shorts sewn in. That’s way too much fabric for me– like wearing a diaper. A skort is basically a pair of shorts with a flap in front, so it looks like a skirt from the front and shorts from behind. You know, a combination, not just doubling up.

    I did my colors from the book. My recollection is different from HM’s. The swatches, etc were a small part, but I think there were lots of other types of questions. Unfortunately, I can’t remember what those were. It’s funny to me to hear “raccoon eyes” as a phase. Thanks to allergies, I’ve had them my whole life, and passed them down to my son. I started wearing black (charcoal) in Berlin anyway. I wear strong colors. If I do pastels at all, it is like the dress I linked to above, which has mint green under something neutral.

    A point I’ve seen made on a lot of interior design blogs is that dark colors make the walls of a room recede visually, so they are better for small spaces than white. Makes sense to me. Carrying that over to clothing, we know that black makes people look thinner than white does, because it recedes there too. So my point is that wearing black works fine for summer me as long as there are one or two other colors, even just a necklace or something for the eye to pick up.

    L, from the title in the link you posted, I thought that was going to be a “cold shoulder” dress, which I think of as “sunburnt shoulder”. I can’t stand those, but because I have faith in you and your sense in fashion, I clicked. And I was right. Great dress!

    Laura, that is exactly what you had on the first time I met you. IIRC, short turquoise jacket, black pants (jeans) and a simple white top. I completely agree with you that boxy stuff only works if your figure is strong enough to push back against the force of no curves. Fashion made for young women? What?

  86. Ada, how bout this one?

    https://www.lyst.com/clothing/neera-cardigan-black-57/?reason=search-product-image

    Or you can look at Corporette. Descriptions of the forum yesterday were accurate, and featured pieces are clearly influenced by advertiser $$$, but there are also a bunch of style guides like “Workwear Hall of Fame” and “Wardrobe essentials”. This guide is for red cardigans, but I bet a bunch of them are also available in black. http://corporette.com/red-cardigan-sweaters/

  87. Those cardigans are very “square” – since I am constantly working on creating a waist, they don’t do me any favors.

  88. RMS/DD – do you know anything about Western Colorado State University ? Just curious…

    Very late on this. We were just in Gunnison a few weeks ago. The campus is beautiful, albeit small, and it’s a great setting in the summer. I’ve never been there in the winter. I know nothing about the academics.

  89. My skort is full and 3″ above my knee. I didn’t realize it wasn’t a skirt till I was in the dressing room. Since “hot” here means “several hours were over 80 F” and I work in air conditioning, the “shorts” part haven’t been noticeable yet. The best thing so far is that I could carry Baby WCE a few blocks to the on-campus baseball game, along with my backpack purse and diaper bag, without worrying that I was flashing the entire campus, a la Marilyn Monroe, when the evening ocean breeze picked up.

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