Monday, March 23, 2009

Outfit of the Day, plus a Casual Discussion

Puppy training still in full force - lots of walks today and some garden clean up this afternoon (you know, from the holly hedges that I butchered yesterday). Plus work and E's soccer practice. Busy but fun day. Sunny but chilly and windy, but decided to go ahead and pull out for its inaugural wearing...the J Crew Ringspun Painter Tee (what was this, Holiday-ish 08?) I was in love with the green Bon Voyage tee for quite a while. Fantasized about how crisp it would look with white jeans, about how it would ground a floaty white skirt. Almost got it once for 29.99, but couldn't decide between with pink and the green. Oh, decisions, whatever, I know. Finally made the decision when I thought it was gone forever and happened to see 1 in my size hanging on the sale rack and I grabbed that sucker, only to find it was 19.99 with 30% off. Squeeee!

So since it's totally not short sleeve weather, and I'm always cold, I pulled out a white long sleeve perfect tee to layer underneath along with yes, the trusty Chicos jeans and my LL Bean navy polka dot slipons. Add some gold hoops and the cheapo H+M ring. For bus stop and dog walking, add the green Gap corduroy jacket and a pink pashmina (bunched up as a very cozy scarf) and I was good to go.

But it got me thinking about casual in general. Here I was in a tshirt and jeans, yet I felt very polished and pressed. Not quite church-ready, but not that far off. And my reality is that I am casual most days, since I am blessed enough to work 95% of the time from home (so fantastically flexible). I think that all too often, people equate casual with sloppy. I remember way back in the day, when I was relatively fresh out of college, and my company then instituted casual Fridays, and later jeans Fridays. (woo hoo!) There were some guidelines, of course, but it was so widely open to interpretation. One time in particular, two guys that I worked with had on the same basic outfit - a navy blue collared knit shirt and jeans - but the effect was so totally different between the two. "C" had a nice blue shirt, well-cared for, just the right fit so that it was a light loose casual, with a white tshirt underneath, tucked in with a belt, and nice sneakers. "J" had a faded blue shirt, that was a size too small-ish because it stuck to the chest area a bit, if you know what I mean, no tshirt underneath, not tucked in, with very dirty sneakers. Amazing the difference.

And I think that's what I strive against in my daily casual wear. Ok, you know my "dirty" secret - the gardening overalls. But I have other sloppy clothes - like the mens XL fleece pullover from Disney that is oh-so-cozy and my favorite thing to wear when I'm sick or just really chilly & tired. Plus tees like the one at right here, which make great sleep tees, especially when I roll out of bed and throw on sweats to take Lucy out in the morning. But most days, I try to make the effort. It can be a slippery slope. (For you Project Runway fans, yes, that is me channeling Laura Bennett - love her!!) And it doesn't take any longer to throw on a fitted tee or sweatshirt, or add a nice cardi or cozy sweater than it does to put on a sloppy, torn, paint-splattered faded tee or sweatshirt. (This is the plug for the well-organized closet.) Trust me, I am all about comfort. With the possible exception of the occasional dress heel, I only wear extremely comfortable clothes/shoes/etc. But I think it is possible to be comfortable and chic at the same time. If you need some more great ideas, FabulousFloridaMommy had an entire post devoted to some great casual chic options for spring/summer. Definitely check it out, if you haven't seen it already.

And another Lucy puppy pic to make you smile, or at least it makes me smile...

10 comments:

Posey Ford said...

Getting ready for bed and I have on this same green ringspun tee, it's soo soft. I don't think I could ever get enough of them! Puppy pics are always appropriate in every situation!

Christina said...

I have the same J.Crew tee in the pink color. I love it!

shopaholicdiva1027 said...

I agree Heidi. I always feel better when I make the extra effort not to be a slumpadinka. I have a very casual lifestyle also,and Jcrew's tees are so cute and easy to dress up or down. I have the "safari" tee from that line that I love. Ohhhhhh and I love your little puppy. He's soooo cute.

GingerSnap said...

I totally agree that too often people equate casual to frumpy or sloppy...there is a way to do casual right and then there is the (in ShopDiva's words) a slumpadinka way!

AppGal said...

I totally agree. I actually have a hard time calling j.crew's tees "tees." The image that comes to most people when you say "tee" or "t-shirt" is the frumpy shirt you get from some 5K walk/run or a team-building exercise from work. We need to come up with another name for j.crew's tees :)

HeidiG said...

PoseyFord & Christia - I think I'll be wearing this tee a lot. It is very comfy.

ShopDiva - I like the safari one too, but the green actually won me over.

GingerSnap - isn't ShopDiva awesome for inventing the slumpadinka term? Love it.

AppGal - I agree that we need a better name. Mentally, I usually think tshirt (sloppy 5K walk shirt) vs. tee (nice, fitted, presentable), but it would be good to have a better name. I'll see if I can get a good suggestion from the JCA's this weekend. If so, will definitely share.

purplesweettarts said...

I really like this t. Unfortunately, I didn't get one. But I love blue and green together, it looks so bright and crisp. It looks really great with your coloring too! You definetly look pulled together and not at all sloppy! Love the puppy pic too!

HeidiG said...

Purplesweettarts - thank you! I did wonder a bit about the green vs the pink on me (and my fave JC SA, Jill, liked the pink better when I tried both on), but in the end the green was hanging there by itself, so it was meant to be, I guess.

Ema said...

Hi Heidi, it's Ema. I also had an afterthough about the same T-shirt after not buying it for 19.99!!! But I found it on ebay for the same price lol.
I can't wait to wear it, but it's still too cold in NYC.
I too have a very casual everyday life and I always try to find nice clothes that I can actually wear!

HeidiG said...

Hi Ema. Love your blog, by the way. Majorly love your rules. Excellent score, getting it on eBay. I have actually never purchased clothes on eBay, but I am sure that J Crew will drive me to it one of these days.