outfits · Dressing with Grace

Keep Your Outfit Balanced

Have you ever gotten dressed in an outfit that you thought would be “comfy and easy to wear” and then said something like this –

This doesn’t look right! This makes me look like a big blob!

I sure have! The problem is those enticing/comfy loose clothes need to be accompanied with another garment that is more fitted, rather than flowing. Let me show an example using our dress form I’ve named Grace.

The peplum top in the picture above is full and loose below the waist, and also the sleeves, so styling it with a pair of straight legged white jeans keeps it looking balanced. However, if i styled this top with loose pants the result is quite different.

Continue reading “Keep Your Outfit Balanced”
Dressing with Grace · outfits

How Does a Woman Dress Business Casual?

When you receive a notice that the event you are attending is “Business casual,” do you panic because you have to idea what to wear? Are you ever worried that you’ll walk into an event under-dressed or over-dressed? I’ve been there, too!

In continuing our series of, Dressing with Grace, I thought it might be helpful to address this subject. Let’s just take a look at one outfit and see how simple it is to take it from casual to Business casual to dressy.

Business Casual means traditional business wear with a more relaxed style that’s still professional and appropriate for an office environment. 

Pictured below is an example of a casual outfit. The flat, open-toed sandals and the denim jacket give it that comfy, casual vibe.

If we change the shoes and accessories, we can easily make this same dress, Business Casual.

The dress is sleeveless, but not open in the back or a deep neckline, both which would make it inappropriate. Closed-toed pumps and jewelry all bump it up to slightly more dressy, but still not an overly dressy outfit.

If a jacket was needed, you could add a sweater or something like this…

If a dressier look was needed, again, just changing out the accessories makes this dress totally acceptable.

Heels, a dressier purse and jewelry give the same dress a more dressy look.

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Pants are acceptable, too, in Business Casual. They would need to be a tailored fit in a fabric that is neat, like cotton or khaki pants. Dark wash jeans that do not have holes or tears can also be acceptable. It’s the accessories that would keep it classy and appropriate.

Shoes to avoid in business casual attire:

  • Open-toed shoes
  • Flip flops
  • Tennis shoes

Admittedly, I have a lot of clothes. However, I spend very little on them by shopping at consignment shops and even Goodwill. But you can have a small wardrobe and buy dresses or pants that can be dressed up or down, as I’ve shown with the outfit on this post. It’s so doable!

Another important point is that as a woman, I try to keep whatever I’m wearing looking feminine. I dress for my husband, who appreciates it when I look “nice.” That doesn’t mean dressing up every day, but just adding a little jewelry, colorful shoes, and a purse can add that softening touch to keep my outfit appropriate and womanlike. Being dressed for our husband and also according to the requested code is easy, and so is adding those gentle touches that help us look our best!

If you’re married, remember that your husband is visual. Refresh your Business Casual, but also your daily wear!

Do you struggle with knowing what to wear in the Business Casual mode?

Dressing with Grace · outfits

When You Don’t Know What To Wear

This is an exciting day! At the end of this post I’m going to be telling you the four winners of the $25 gift certificates to Elizabeth Dean Boutique!
But first let’s talk about how easy and how fun it is to put an outfit together!

How many times have you looked in your closet and declared, I don’t know what to wear?! We have all been there! I want to share a few tips with you today that will help you to make an outfit choice much easier!

This is the first in a series which I’m calling,

Dress with Grace

In each of these posts, I will use my model form, whom I have named Grace, to show outfits that I have put together to give you some inspiration for daily dressing and also selection in wardrobe purchases.

First, it’s important to start with some basics. I would strongly encourage you to make sure you have pants or skirts in colors like black, navy blue, and white. This is like the canvas or the building block for your outfit. Let me show you some examples of this.

Here’s an outfit I purchased at Elizabeth Dean Consignment Boutique – navy pants and a silky blouse. I love consignment shops because I don’t like to spend a lot of money on clothing, but I want good quality. I wait and keep looking until I find the pieces I need. These navy pants can be dressed up or down. They’re light weight and don’t wrinkle.

J Crew Pants and Talbots top purchased at Elizabeth Dean consignment for under $25 total. .

My second tip is, know what you need, then keep looking until you find just that and at the price point you can afford! This spring I was looking for a neutral colored jacket. I found a cream colored Talbots jacket for $1 at the Dollar Days at Elizabeth Dean! It’s worth the wait and also fun to hunt for it!

If Grace wanted to make a more casual outfit with the navy pants,she could simply change the top and accessories. She will be ready for a beach vacation now!

Pants and top purchased at Elizabeth Dean Boutique. The top is Anne Klein and I only paid one dollar for it at the dollar day sale!

It gives it a whole new look, doesn’t it?
Now Grace will dress up a little by changing the accessories. Heels, a dressier necklace and orange purse change the whole look.

If Grace was going to a casual event, she could use that same top, but change to white jeans, a cross body purse and tennis shoes.

I guess I need to remove the size sticker from my sneakers!

The pants in this next picture are so comfy! I knew they would be great to either dress up or dress down. First, let’s dress Grace up a bit.

I purchased the White House Black Market blouse and Banana Repu7blic pants at Elizabeth Dean Boutique for under $25

With a black T-shirt, sandals and orange bag, Grace now has a casual look.

Bear trap sandals purchase for $3 at Elizabeth Dean Boutique!.

Here’s one more way to style these pants, using a white blouse and pearls. What a versatile pair of pants for only $10.99!

Here’s yet another way to style these pants with a black blouse.

My last tip is to take a picture of your outfit after you’ve put it together. I make an album on my phone of outfits, then when I need to get dressed and I can’t think of what to wear, I can pull up the album and know I have a complete outfit all ready thought through!

Dressing with Grace is more than the clothes. It’s how we present ourselves to the world. Being put together and looking your best is a lovely testimony. Christians don’t have to be drab and stuck in a time warp. If you’re married, dressing with grace is t’s also a blessing to your husband, who was made to be visual. Give him your best to look at! “Mommy clothes” are okay for the gym or your morning walk, but put yourself together for the man you married. I just bet he’ll appreciate it!
Lastly, remember that the hidden man of the heart must be beautiful. To walk in fellowship with God, love Him and serve Him gives a radiance no outfit will ever give. I hope the recent series has strengthened you!

It’s been fun to host this little give away, featuring Elizabeth Dean Boutique. Thank you to the store owner, Tricia Mosier, for generously sponsoring it, and also to each of you who entered!

The winners were chosen by RaffleCopter at random.

The winners are:

  1. Tosha Hatley
  2. Lindsay McAuliffe
  3. Tammy Tyms
  4. Jennifer Collins

Congratulations to each of you! You will each receive an email announcing that your name has been drawn. You need to respond within 24 hours to the email so I can mail the gift certificate to you, otherwise you will forfeit your certificate to another winner. I’m excited for each of you!

Who struggles with choosing an outfit to wear? What other info would you like me to address in future “Dressing with Grace” posts?

Refresh your wardrobe!