Pull Yourself Together

I’ve written a lot lately about how dressing “for success” — rather than for your mood or the weather — can change your entire outlook on things. If it’s raining and you let yourself shlep around in rain boots and a hoodie all day, you’re letting the rain win. If you’ve had a bad week and refuse to get dressed, you’re not doing yourself any favors.

This week was not my favorite week. I haven’t been sleeping much, I’m exhausted — this morning’s 3-mile run was way more difficult than it should have been — and I’m more than ready for the weekend.

Anyone else?

I did manage to get dressed this morning (you’re welcome, co-workers), and I needed an outfit that would work for both the office and happy hour/a night out with friends. This is the best I could come up with, as I was running way behind this morning:

Stood in front of the garbage can again. Oops.

Yesterday I mentioned that I’d written a guest post for Ashley at A Healthy, Happier Bear. She’s undergoing some blog maintenance (fingers crossed everything works out A-OK for her!), so I figured I’d re-post the blog here for those of you who missed it.

It’s all about pulling yourself together so that you look presentable during your 9–5 life. My closet isn’t huge, but I’ve learned to make smart purchases and only buy things I adore and see myself wearing regularly. You don’t have to invest in expensive pieces, nor do you need a closet filled with clothes.

But here’s what you do need to do…

I’m a magazine editor and I work in an office that’s 85% (ish) women, and pretty much anything goes here, style wise. Jeans are fine, dresses are fine, and one girl regularly shows up wearing grey leopard print leggings. I’m not kidding…

As for me, I’ve managed to find a few tips and tricks to dressing up daily.

Invest in a good, dark-colored blazer. Try to find one that fits well, but if it doesn’t, spend the money to get it tailored. It’s amazing how a blazer can make an outfit go from sloppy to professional. I throw mine on over both jeans and dresses, and use it as a jacket in the springtime.

So versatile
You've seen this photo before!

Yes, you can wear a button-down shirt. For a long time, I avoided button-downs. I’m, well, chesty—I never thought I’d find a shirt that would close over my boobs. One day, I found one at J.Crew and fell in love. Not only did it fit perfectly, I loved how it looked. You can wear button-downs with skinny jeans and boots for a casual look, or tuck it in with a belt for something that’s more pulled-together and professional. These wardrobe staples go with everything and are so versatile.

I always stand in front of the garbage can...

Buy dresses! I wear dresses almost every day. They’re so easy—you just put one on, pick some fun jewelry and you’re done. No mixing and matching, no fussing with fits. I definitely recommend buying high quality dresses. Sure they may cost a bit more, but they’ll also last longer and fit better. Dresses easily go from daytime to playtime, and can be worn bare-legged in the summer or with tights in the winter.

Add a belt for an extra kick
Old Faithful

Wear what makes you happy. I’ve never considered myself a girl who adores pink, but lately I’ve been really into wearing bright, hot pink. It pops and it makes me smile. Find a color that you love and don’t worry about how it looks on you—instead focus on how it makes you feel. The other day I woke up feeling cranky. I put on a bright skirt and couldn’t help but feel perked up. Hot pink won’t cure cancer or create world peace, but it can make a sad girl feel a little happier.

Hot pink = Happy Ali

Pull it together. I had a revelation last summer. I was getting dressed for a nighttime work event and wasn’t sure what to wear. I needed to be dressy, but not too fancy. My first thought: a sequined skirt and a plain tank top.

Not flattering, right?

Ick, I thought at first. It just looked so…sloppy. I decided to tuck in the shirt and throw on a thick belt.

So much better!

Instantly a little better! I still felt too uncovered to be around coworkers, so the last thing I did was resort back to the LBB (little black blazer).

There we go!

Suddenly, my once-lame combo was an ensemble!

Be confident. Duh, right? You can make anything look good if you feel good in it. Don’t be afraid to try something new—it took me 25 years to try tucking in my shirts—and try on everything, even if it looks lame at the store.

YOUR THOUGHTS: Any fashion advice, tips or tricks you’d like to add?



0 Responses

  1. I loved this post! Reminded me to stop “saving” the special dresses and tops I have in my closet, and try to incorporate them into my weekly outfits more often!

  2. Great tips!! I’m a senior in college and interviews are just around the corner. I bought a suit and several blouses and business casual things a few weeks ago. I’ve already had to go to a few functions in business casual since then and it’s hard! I’m not sure exactly how “cute” one can dress as an accountant, but I hope I can be a little creative. Love all your outfits- especially the sequin skirt!

  3. I saw your post on Ashley’s blog and have not been able to get your “old faithful” dress out of my mind. I even had a dream about it. I think that dress and I were meant to be together as I am head over heels in love with it.

    Thanks for all your (awesome) tips. I’m pumped to have discovered your blog

  4. I love love love looking at your outfits. You’ve inspired me in the fashion department. The other day I was wearing a black ruffle blouse and gray pants. I tucked in my blouse and put on a little gold sparkly belt, and threw a red shawl cardigan over it. I was like wow, I look so much more pulled together!!! Thanks, Ali!!!

  5. Love this post, you are so fashionable! I usually wear a suit every day, boring. I might need to take a trip up sooner than planned so you can take me shopping!

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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