On Dressing Comfortably

Tommy Hilfiger slacks, F21 tights, kitty shoes from daddyos.com, my new Studio DVF carryon bag!

Airports. Test days. Sick days. Long weekends.

What do all of the above have in common? On all of the aforementioned occasions, even the most stylishly-minded of us probably have a tendency to dress....well, like a bum. "I just want to be comfortable!" is not a difficult excuse to use, or buy! Yesterday, while waiting for my flight back to school, I looked around and took in the following:

It's pretty obvious Americans like to travel in comfort. This translates directly to jeans, sweats, and sneakers.

Sneaky pic of woman sitting next to me. Is her way of dressing really that much more comfortable?

I want to talk about a topic that's sort of evolved into a passion of mine: why I believe dressing comfortably is a state of mind.

Honestly, dressing like anything is a state of mind. Why do people get dressed up for big events, or work-related engagements? Part of playing the part is dressing it. Not only would showing up to an interview in a tracksuit be unprofessional, you would also feel ridiculous. Likewise, wearing sweatshirts or lazying around all day in your PJs probably makes you feel lazy and yes, comfortable-- but also sluggish. If you're sick, you're not going to feel attractive to begin with, so why dress to magnify that feeling? I make it a point to dress better than usual when I'm not feeling well, because it's a mental-pick-me-up.

Furthermore, if you're sitting at a desk in a big comfy sweatshirt, would you not be more likely to fall asleep than if you were wearing a nicer, more fitted top? I can't tell you how many people I've talked to who have done just that- fallen asleep during class or even in major test-taking scenarios. Any number of factors can play into that, but I think it's probable that none of them were particularly dressed up! Tons of people thought I was crazy for wearing heels to my AP tests in high school, but they made me feel on top of my game- and hey, we were sitting down!

So why look as tired or as sick as you feel? And since when was it decided that sweats and jeans are the only comfortable attire in the universe? Hmm. Feels like an American Eagle marketing ploy evolution based on what is socially-accepted, to me.

I've jumped on the Polyvore bandwagon to highlight a few alternatives to typical "comfort dressing." If you have any suggestions of your own, feel free to comment!

Alternative Comfort - Classic
Alternative Comfort - Chic ~ Get upgraded to first-class with this pulled-together look!

Alternative Comfort - Classic
Alternative Comfort - Classic ~ Update your t-shirt and jeans with a (still soft!) cute top and skinny cords. Pair with funky but practical sneaker flats and some classy jewelry.
Alternative Comfort - Eclectic
Alternative Comfort - Eclectic ~ I love wrap cotton jersey dresses- in fact I almost always travel in one.

The thing is, most people dress up for other people. And then maybe test days, sick days, and traveling days become exceptions to the rule where they don't have to care as much. But why not look AND feel good, for yourself? So before you automatically slip into that same pair of sneakers you trek to the gym in, ask yourself if that's really how you feel today (this could also be called "Conscious Dressing"...I might just have write about that later on!) College Fashion has a great expanded list here on reasons to dress up every day.

What do you guys think? Do you dress down on certain days? Or do you fly in crinolines, go grocery shopping in sequins? Do tell!



Kirstie MariƩ said...

Really intriguing post! I'd like to be one of those people who dressed up for themselves but unfortunately i've been given a reputation by others of looking glamorous therefore i'm always dressing up. It's my way of life now.

Tee said...

Thanks for stopping by, Kirstie :)
I think a positive style reputation is just one of the great side-effects of dressing for yourself!

Laura. said...

Awesome post! I get what you mean! I always try to stay dressed up even if it is casual chic:) The right accessories and shoes and bag can make a basic tee seem fab. Thanks for your comment:)

Flora said...

YOU'RE SO RIGHT! wow if only more people thought this way. cool! <3

katydid said...

i agree. when getting sleepy at my desk studying, i have been known to put on a party dress, heels, and a ton of makeup...definitely a positive state of mind.

Tee said...

I'm glad to know I'm not the only one these crazy ideas occur to!

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Gira said...

aaah awsme post!! k my opinion :)hehe, i live on a farm.. thus its kinda weird 2 dress uber glamorous everyday! buuuuut when ever we go ANYWHERE i dress up :) 2 feel good :D u r right, your outfit or the mood of your outfit can have such a huge influence on how you feel... when im missioning about on the farm, like with the horses, i obviously go for uber comfy! but i have fun with pairing weird stuff together and experimenting, cuz like no ones going 2 c me.. hehe but on the otherside.. i hate not being comfortable.. so go 4 comfy all the time, just stylish no matter what :D comfort doesnt have to substitute style.

Caitrin Watson said...

Ya, you know me! I'm known for wearing jeans, t-shirts, and sweatshirts around the apparel studio. I think the problem is mostly that I don't own many clothes that I really like. I have the ability to dress fine when I want, I just have to raid other people's wardrobes to do it. Having to buy my own clothes tends to mean I don't buy them at all, so a lot of my clothes are kind of old (and a lot of my T-shirts were free). You should write an article about inexpensive style, too. I'd definitely read it :) LOVE YA! <3

grizelda said...

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Tee said...

Gira- Haha I love the idea of dressing up on a farm! My friend recently taught me to ride, and I had no idea how to dress for it!

Caitrin- Good idea, maybe I shall:D you can raid my closet anytime, even though it's far away!

derekcardigan said...

Thanks for the sweet comment, Tee!

As for your post, I definitely love to dress up everyday. It just helps with keeping my spirits up! When you dress like a slob, you feel like a slob. So why not dress amazing to feel amazing!?

Rochelle said...

love the post lots to consider! i am such an emotional dresser if its raining and i can get my way out of going to the city for castings its hot chocolate and a big sloppy joe for me heheh xx

Intrinsically Florrie said...

Your shoes are so adorable! Fabulous bag too.
There's being comfortable and there's making no effort whatsoever; I find the latter impossible. The thought stresses me greatly actually.. O.o
I so want the Marc Jacobs headband in your set. :D

Florrie x

Tee said...

I'm so glad this post strikes a chord with many of you! Florrie- I know, not making an effort is unthinkable for me too! It baffles me to see it, but I think most confident and successful people will go the extra distance in *most* situations!

jane voodikon said...

i agree. i work from home, or a small studio office with only two other people, so i can literally wear whatever i want. but most days i do make an effort to put on makeup and a carefully planned outfit. my mom, when she saw that, thought it was hilarious, but a) i like wearing clothes that look nice and b) like you say, nice looking clothes aren't necessarily less comfortable than sweats and sneakers and c) i think it does make you feel more productive. that said, i've recently been trying to get used to wearing high heels, which is fine except on the occasions when you'll unexpectedly be carrying bicycles up and down numerous flights of stairs. that was a, er, challenge.