- Gold scarf – gift
- Burgundy sweater – Calvin Klein
- Green cord skirt – thrifted
- Gray tights – drug store
- Burgundy pumps – vintage Etienne Aigner, thrifted
Yesterday I had a meeting on campus that called for a semi-formal ensemble. It was one of those meetings where you can’t show up in jeans but is still casual enough that a suit would look like overkill. My attempt at semi-formal business ensemble resulted in this pairing of a burgundy sweater with a green cord tulip skirt, gray tights, and burgundy pumps. And, as a last nod to scarf month, I opted for a gold shawl wrapped à la Orchid Grey around my neck.
While a button down or trouser pants might be the more conventional approach to business-casual, I find this skirt and 3/4 sleeve sweater version to be more representative of me and my style as a whole. And since I wanted to feel at ease and confident, I chose something that would let me feel comfortable to the extent that I would not think about my clothes and just focus on my words. And this outfit did just that.
Which is a nice lead into A’s question that she posted yesterday: How do we dress differently for different contexts or audiences? In her words: “How do different crowds of people, and your desire to connect with them, influence your style?” I noticed that without even trying, I automatically reached for a more conservative and professional outfit the moment I found myself back on campus and among professors and undergrads, in a subconscious yet undeniable attempt to align myself with the former group over the latter. While abroad and away from campus, I have been experimenting with cut-off shorts, wearing plenty of jeans, and often living in my hoodie. My living situation abroad has me staying with people a few years younger than myself and I find that I’m increasingly dressing as to “fit in” with this younger and trendier crowd. I like how that’s given me the freedom to experiment with new looks and styles and I kept thinking that I would want to bring that style back home with me, but now I’m wondering how well that translation of trends to my more professional persona on campus will work. While I aim to dress according to a personal sense of style and aesthetic, this oscillation between two cultures and lifestyles has shown me just how context-driven and malleable my performance of self is. S.