Dressing for Situations / Key Pieces/What I Wore/
What Not to Wear/


Dressing for Your Audience: Studying in Public

For every chance I’m able to study in my cozy room, there are even more times I’ve had to pack up my bag and head over to the library to crack done and finish studying.

The whole idea around studying is learning the material; so many times, what we wear while we learn isn’t a priority, which is completely understandable. I am personally guilty of running to the library without a second thought about what I was wearing. Despite this, the library is place where hundreds of students are studying, learning, and interacting. While it is a place of learning, it’s also an ideal situation to discover new opportunities. 

Dressing for this audience is particulary easy, so even more so to try it out! Below is an example of a potential studying outfit:  

what I wear: Library
The main characteristics of this outfit is the idea of swapping. Instead of those sweatpants? Maybe change them out for flattering skinny jeans, or even leggings (if you are wearing a tunic!). Instead of wearing a college sweatshirt, perhaps exchange it out for a fleece pullover. 
Remember, the library is not a fashion show. If you are more comfortable wearing something different, don’t feel as if you have to change your whole wardrobe. These simple changes are usually comfortable, and more ‘put together’, however you might not want to pull an all-nighter in something you don’t want to wear. The main purpose of dressing for your audience is make sure you are confident.
audience: The intended audience was those who I went to dinner with, however, the indirect audience could also be everybody at the restaurant, the staff, and anybody I came into contact with.
purpose of this outfit: I chose to wear this particular ensamble for the fact that I was going to nice place for dinner, so I wanted to wear something that wasn’t to revealing. However, because it was a peer’s birthday dinner, I also wanted to wear something that was ‘current’ and was flattering. 
revisions: While I look at this outfit, I would change the cross-body so it could fit my items, or simply remove them. I would also straighten out the top, so it would be more ‘crisp’.

Dressing for Your Situation: ‘Date’ Night

As a premise for this post, I would like to note that “date night” does not exclusively mean dressing only for a ‘romantic’ date/night. This post reflections outfits for situations that can been various interpretations for the definition of the word ‘date’. Take it in whatever context that provides to be most effective. 

Date Night: Elegant Evening

In a previous post, I stated that the “little black dress” was a wardrobe necessity. This first example of what to wear to ‘date night’ proves the versatility of such a key wardrobe piece.

For an ‘elegant’ outing, the audience is suppose focused on you. As a suggestion, wearing a solid-color (or little black dress) is an excellent chance to show the audience the importance of dressing nice, but not subtracting from the personality. Also, because the fact that this dress is black, the addition of  a ‘colorful’ accessory can help “tie in” the outfit.

This outfit incorporates a lot of classic elements; this is done with purpose. For an elevated affair, this type of outfit is typically timeless. The inclusion of a ‘timeless’ outfit allows the owner (you!) the chance to wear this outfit for many years, and many occasions.  

Date Night: Casual but not Dressy
The awkward ‘inn-between’ of an outfit: the dress code deems it ‘business casual’ but not ‘business’ and not ‘dressy’. Where does this come into play? Example: a nice restaurant that you wouldn’t have to wear heels in, but jeans wouldn’t be acceptable.

For this situation, my suggestion is to wear a dress that you would be able to wear with your parents, but maybe not be able to wear to class (on the premise that is it too “dressy”).  It means to pick out an outfit that you would normally think to pair with heels, and instead ‘dress it down’ with nice sandals, a cardigan, or a leather cross-body.

The message that you portraying for this audience (for this outfit) is that you have the ability to adapt for situations. This may seem as if the whole ‘dressing for you audience’ purpose is going to ‘deep’; however, honestly, how many times have you seen a person wearing the most perfect outfit at exactly the right time? It’s the tool of being about to adjust, adapt, and take advantage of a situation’s exigence.

Date Night: Casual Outing
This last photo is an example of what a ‘casual’ outing could be dressed for. The audience for this outfit? Most likely those whom are your peers, friends, or  those who are at level of familiarity. It is to be noted these outfits are able to replicated in other situations, such as: going to class, running errands, getting lunch/meals with friends.

The element of this outfit is one of being comfortable and ease. This is the outfit you could go be active in (may not in the skirt, however), spend the day outside wearing. The key concept of this look is to remain ‘put together’; the audience realizes you are ‘dressing down’, but they also understand you are able to still remain appropriate and professional. 

Key Pieces: The Little Black Dress

the little black dress
I realize this post may not come to any surprise, but there is some truth in clichés. 

And this trite dress certainly lives up it’s expectations. 

 The “LBD” makes it’s way into the world of key pieces for the fact it’s so important to have. 

While it is important to keep in mind the audience that you are dressing for; it’s equally important to remember that every situation does not require a new article of clothing. There are many items in your closet that can ‘double cross’ over into different genres of ‘audiences’ 

The Little Black Dress can be both worn in a dressier setting, and dressed down for a more ‘low key’ environment. A person may wear this dress to an interview (with the right styling), or to a nice dinner later that evening with friends. The chances to wear the little black dress are endless, which your bank account is rejoicing over.

If you do not currently own this staple, and only under the circumstances you wish to purchase one, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, discover a dress that is made out a fabric that can be used throughout the year; a heavy wool dress can’t be worn in summer, and a gauzy-fabric dress can’t be worn during the winter. My rule of the thumb? Find a dress that has a rather large percentage of cotton; it’s less likely to be dry-cleaned, easier to wash, and able to be layered.  Also, keep in mind the ‘shape’ of the dress; discover a dress that fits your figure rather then what is ‘trendy’. And lastly, remember this is a dress to be worn is a various amount of locations, settings, and environments; find a dress that is able to be worn in all of these variables, namely, a dress that is deemed ‘appropriate’.

audience: Orginally, the target audience was my classmates, as I also wore this outfit to class. However, much later into the afternoon I also ended up going to a sport’s bar, so my target audience shifted from my friends to my peers.
purpose: The purpose of this outfit is all based around remaining apporpirate for multiple situations and also being confident. 
revisions: There wouldn’t be much I would have changed, due to both settings being fairly low-key. However, there would be the chance I would have changed my footwear into a different flat or wedge for the sport’s bar. 

audience: Orginally, the target audience was my classmates, as I also wore this outfit to class. However, much later into the afternoon I also ended up going to a sport’s bar, so my target audience shifted from my friends to my peers.

purpose: The purpose of this outfit is all based around remaining apporpirate for multiple situations and also being confident. 

revisions: There wouldn’t be much I would have changed, due to both settings being fairly low-key. However, there would be the chance I would have changed my footwear into a different flat or wedge for the sport’s bar. 

Designer Vs. Not: the difference?

The war behind the labels: the designer (or lack of) tag. Many may hold these clothes closer to their hearts (and safes) then others, calling to the names of their wardrobe as if they are already on a first-name basis.

Is there any reason to be a label-hunter and a brand-groupie? Honestly, no.

Does that prevent anybody from coveting over this year’s season of Diane Von Fusternberg or Chanel? No.

 For all the money that this designers ask you to write out of your checkbooks, there are a few reasons why it may just be worth it. Traditionally, the material is higher quality. The cashmere may be softer; the cotton less ‘itchy’. Classically, the structure of the apparel is more flattering; the darts in the right places, perfectly stitched lines,  lining that is suppose to fit like second skin. Designer clothing, in general, is suppose to flatter the body more,  and be constructed of high-quality materials.

Is it worth it to purchase a white button down that cost upwards of five hundred dollars? Perhaps. Is it worth it knowing our economy, price bracket as young adults, and general budgeting? Of course not.

 The beauty of designer label’s and brands is the inspiration they provide the fashion industry with. Those couple thousand Jimmy Cho heels that have been on the display for months? A similar style will produce by another company in a timely manner. This is also shown in apparel spectrum: dresses, blazers, oxfords.

 Designer products may seem worth it at times. Remember, these items can be a highly quality, yet companies mark up the prices over cost in order to make a profit.  The leather loafers at Gucci may seem ‘classic’ and ‘splurge-worthy’, yet, Target may make a similar pair.

The reminder is that the audience doesn’t care about where your clothes come from. The audience cares about how you represent what you are wearing; which has nothing to do with the brand. 

Dressing for Your Situation: Academia

Academic Situations

The world of academia is one of learning, research, and wonder. Dressing for this world is no different; perhaps, even more intricate.

From my personal experience, in terms of attending lectures and class, the protocol for appearances depends on the environment of the class. There are multiple variables to warrant the setting of the “dress code”; for instance, the time period of which the class takes place, the location, and the subject of class. Personally, in my experience, I’ve discovered that there is a direct relationship between the earlier the class, the more you can get away with.

However, there are some circumstances that are encountered in the world of academia in which dressing for your audience is necessary, perhaps vital. Some of these include: group or individual presentations, meetings with advisors or professors, guest lecturers that visit the university. In these situations, the importance of dressing well is a reflection of yourself: the correlation of dressing professionally and being professional is direct.

This may seem daunting- dressing ‘business casual’ for class- yet it’s honestly not. A staple in all closest is both a pair of well-fitting classic pants (any traditional color, fabric, etc) and a pencil (or, a-line, depending on what’s most flattering on the body) skirt, and the addition of a blouse are the foundations of these ‘power’ outfits. Adding other key details such as: drop earrings, cardigan/blazer, shoes that ‘pop’, allow the audience gain more insight into your personality.

Dressing for class may be a personal choice; however, dressing for presentations or situations in which you represent yourself are not optional. The advantage of dressing for this audience? Believe it or not, by presenting your self as professional, the purpose gains more validity and credibility. 

Key Pieces: The Black Blazer

the black blazer
Many may believe that black isn’t versatile; however, they could not be more wrong. 

I am a fan of color: my closet is currently still full of bring summer hues. I am both of a fan of neutrals and a firm believer that color can make a wardrobe. However, there are those circumstances in which you should be running for the color-less, dark, side of the spectrum.

 The perfect example? The black blazer.

Blazers are completely classic; in the professional world, they are deemed a necessity. The appearance of a blazer can transform many outfits from being dreary and generally lacking, into an ensemble that is worthy of being called ‘professional and current’.

A perfect example of an opportunity to don this blazer is when an occasion calls an outfit that isn’t ‘business’ yet isn’t ‘casual’ or ‘business casual’. So, what could you wear? A nice pair of tailored (and flattering- meaning no extreme tightness, tears, or holes) of jeans, a printed blouse, black pumps, and of course: the black blazer. The addition of the blazer, instead of a cardigan, allow the audience to understand you are able to adapt to both situations: professional and casual.

The addition of the blazer isn’t always going to instantly make an outfit “put together”; however, it will provide the extra push that an outfit needs to signify to the audience that you are proficient in the area of adaptation and communication. 

Not Dressing for Your Audience: Class

Just as it is important to know how to dress for your intended audience, it is also just as important to recognize what not to wear. This may seem like a silly statement, however the validity in this is presented in multiple situations in daily life. 

Example: what not to wear to class. 

I understand the premise for attending class is to learn, and thus, the realm of academia must take a priority over ‘fashion’. However, there are certainly some ‘rules’ to follow when attending a lecture or any other opportunity on campus. 

In order to be taken seriously as both a scholar and a peer, please do not wear combinations that are in essence, revealing. For example, the image above pictures a young women wearing tight (and short) clothing…but paired with insulated, furry boots that are usually worn in cold weather. Not only are the pieces worn confusing in the sense of the climate, but also they are not ‘appropriate’. 

Attending class does not mean having to look perfect; it means to be comfortable in order to absorb information and learn. However, take into consideration that there are multiple advantages into looking ‘presentable’ for class. For example, attending lectures are an excellent chance to network, discover amazing opportunities (for example, one of my friends found out about a research job via a classmate), or making a good impression with the faculty. 

Key Pieces: Nude Shoes

nude shoes
This key piece isn’t as ubiquitous as other staples, yet they are just as incredibly important.

Often overlooked for the more recognized cousin, the black shoes, nude shoes have so much to offer to your wardrobe that it’s often surprising that they are not deemed much more influential.  One key advantage? They ‘go’ with the ninety-ninth percentile of your wardrobe, colors, and situation.

 This shade of shoes can be paired with almost any outfit; they also provide a ‘put-together’ look when paired with basically anything. Nude footwear are also able to escape the pesky time change called seasons: you can wear these throughout the year as the color never goes ‘out of style’.

 Another amazing advantage of wearing nude shoes? They don’t break the line of vision. For other shoes that have pigment, they continuous line that begins at the end of your clothing until the end of your leg is broken the moment your eye sets upon the footwear. However, with nude shoes, this is not the case. The line of vision is able to continue, allowing for the legs to appear longer, and the outfit even more flattering.