Thursday, 17 April 2014

Do you dress to impress?

I guess that this question may be more relevant for those of you who are still working than it is for those of us who have retired. Having said that, when I worked full-time I didn't worry about dressing to impress my managers, but that may have been because I wasn't overly ambitious! I have read numerous articles and blog posts about "ideal" capsule wardrobes for the office and a lot of advice to dress for the next level up at work rather than your current level if you hope to advance. As I said, not being ambitious, all I worried about was whether I had something clean to wear for work.

Once you have retired, does that mean you don't have to worry about impressing people any more? Probably, but I do think it is important to dress appropriately for certain occasions, especially living in Spain. John and I were presented with a special award at an event in a local bodega almost 4 years ago.  We could have turned up in jeans and t-shirts, but we felt that we should look smart as a sign of appreciation for being given this award. We have noticed how our Spanish neighbours dress up at the weekend as well as for family occasions such as weddings, christenings and first communions. I guess it's a sign of respect. The outfit shown below is an example of my usual smart casual look: to some of you it might look far too casual, but as I said it's one of my smarter casual outfits.  Did I mention that I wasn't overly ambitious?

Since I started doing Project 333, my wardrobe has become more compact although more versatile than it used to be and most of the clothes are suited to my current lifestyle and mix and match well. I do have a few pieces of clothing though for the "certain occasions" that I mentioned earlier. When John and I married just over 5 years ago (it was a second marriage for both of us) I wore a white jacket with my navy floral dress. That same white jacket made an appearance at my niece's wedding last year, though worn with a different dress.  Guess what I wore for the presentation in the bodega? Yep, you're right.

This is the outfit that I chose for my 65th birthday party in Paris:

Although I may only wear this jacket a couple of times a year, it's what I wear when I want to dress up a bit. I may not be trying to impress, but I think it raises my usual style a notch and hopefully makes the right impression.


  1. I think we should dress to feel good about ourselves not to impress. And if you like being casual that is the way you should dress!

  2. I think that what you say about being respectful of others is definitely important. Many people, especially women, just feel better about themselves when they dress up a little. It can also be fun to play around with clothes, whether fancy or casual. (here from the Ultimate Blog Challenge)

  3. I think we are similar. In my professional life I have to wear a black suit but my main concern is that I find an ironed white shirt to go with it and there are not too many Golden Retriever hairs on any of my garments! I have never particularly wanted to dress up which can be an advantage but also I am aware that I miss out on the 'feel good factor' that many women experience when they make themselves feel good according to what they wear. I feel good in my pyjamas! However I do agree with what you say about respect. The black suit is out of respect for the system I work in and the people involved, who are sometimes in grave situations. And when we attend certain ceremonies, what we wear can show our respect before we have even said or done anything. Thanks for a thought-provoking post.

  4. I used to have to wear corporate business clothes but now that I work from home I like to wear smart casual clothes that are comfortable but still have a bit of style and I like to have fun with colors too. Choosing clothes just feels like another way of expressing my personality whether any one other than my family see them or not.

  5. Thank you ladies for your comments. I think we are all in agreement that the way we feel is very important when it comes to choosing clothes, however sometimes we have to consider others.

    I had to smile at Harriet's comment about Golden Retriever hairs, as our little Spanish dog sheds white hairs all over the place, so I am constantly picking stray hairs off my clothes!