Style and Styling

Practical Style

NOT a Part of the Personality Style Series!

Happy day, reader dear!

Do you think you are practical? Do others describe you that way? I am all about practicality. Especially wardrobe practicality! Now to be fair, practicality is relative and therefore defined differently by everyone. My sons never thought my clothing was practical. Their definition of practical meant good-for-rolling-around-in-the-mud AND having-pockets-large-enough-to-hold-a-small-child. For them, cargo pants were the ultimate in practicality. But that wasn’t my definition! I try not to do a whole lot of rolling in the mud and creeping through the bushes…

Practical for the stay-at-home mom with three littles under five is very different from practical for the retired doctor who volunteers two days a week at the free clinic downtown. If you are a kindergarten teacher, comfortable, washable and professional are likely to be your practicality watchwords. Throw in warm or cool if you have playground duty… Practical is determined by your lifestyle. Not by your Style Personality. (Although these two often overlap!)

To figure out what practical means for you, take inventory! Note when and where you spend your time. (Take an average… I have yet to meet a woman with a “normal” week!) What percentage of the day do you spend in work clothes? How many days a week do you work out? How much time in carpool? Attending social events? Doing housework or chores? These numbers should inform your wardrobe choices! If you spend an hour and a half at the gym five days a week, that makes up 6% of your waking hours. If workout clothes are 50% of your wardrobe, you have a disconnect that’s not serving you! (To help with the math, there are 112 waking hours in your week if you spend 8 hours a day in your jammies.)

For the woman who spends a good portion of the day on the floor, and/or driving around small humans, comfortable, flexible, durable, and washable are your practicality watchwords. These same watchwords often suit the retiree! (Maybe without the floor part.) It’s easy to default to yoga pants all day every day, but don’t! Feeling good about how you look is important, especially when you have little to no (adult) conversation in your day. (Been there. Done that. Three tee shirts.)

This works for the Kindergarten teacher, too, if you swap out the jeans for a ponte trouser!

Add some flat sandals and couple of pair of shorts for summer. Pick up an extra sweater or two for winter. Yes, that coat is orange… All the better for walks to the playground. Be seen, be safe. Moms: Especially pushing a stroller!

When you spend 40+ hours a week at work (Include that commute!), most of your wardrobe budget needs to be spent on work clothes. Financial wisdom: Spend it where you earn it! If you need to go from work to social events, dress-up-able is your practicality watchword, enabled with a quick change of accessories!

With more casual business dress codes almost everywhere, most of us can get through the day without three changes of clothes (Not including getting into or out of PT gear.) It’s about buying pieces that most gracefully transition from one part of our life to the next. I call this Dawn-to-Dusk Dressing, and you can read more about how to finesse that HERE.

So how about you? Do you have a wardrobe that fits your lifestyle? Or do you have 10 gorgeous cocktail dresses and haven’t been to a cocktail party in five years? (Yes, I’ve seen that.) Making sure your wardrobe and purchases align with the life you actually live gives you a wardrobe that works for you, and a LOT less frustration and “What am I going to wear?” Do the math, and do tell! Is there an area of your wardrobe that is over-represented for the time you actually spend? Let us know… I love to hear from you!

Stylishly yours,

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