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...