The Importance of Dressing to Impress

Obama in the Oval Office

When the media started printing stories about Obama taking off his suit coat  in the Oval Office, loosening the dresscode of the Bush era, it got me thinking  about my personal experiences with dress codes, and various reactions I’ve received when deviating from them (whether intentional or otherwise).

The word dress code alone makes me shudder and remember my grade school days of being stopped in the hall by teachers, and being asked to put my arms flat by my sides to makes sure my shorts were fingertip length; my high school days of receiving a Coca-Cola T-shirt because, while carrying my school books, it appeared my shirt showed part of my stomach…

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Winter White No More

Lindsay Lohan in an advertisement for her spray tan

When I set out my work outfit last night, it was following an evening with my fiancee grilling our dinner and eating  on the porch.  It was really nice outside in the northwest suburb of Chicago I recently  moved to from the city.  Well, that was last night.

This morning it was windy, rainy, and miserable.   Due to my new favorite cosmetic item – sunless tanner – I had set out a skirt, no tights, and one of those cute ruffle sleeved tops  I am starting to see everywhere.  Normally, I would need at least a few Saturdays baking in the sun before I even consider exposing bare legs, and I’ve always been afraid of sunless tanner.  Well, we haven’t had enough nice weather to get a tan..  So despite my visions  of streaks and Lindsay Lohan-like orangyness that can’t be hidden because, well, it’s your skin – I took a chance.  I may sound dramatic here, but it’s not like purchasing a lipstick, which you can wipe off, that is too orange.  

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Dressing the Part: The Proper Role of Fashion in the White House

Michelle Obamas Vogue Cover

Michelle Obama's Vogue Cover

I’ve been a little down this week, so in an attempt to cheer myself up, I decided to stop at the bookstore to indulge in my two favorite things – coffee and fashion magazines (not to mention the lovely smell of all those books).  In perusing, I noticed Michelle Obama is on the cover of the March issue of Vogue.  All political associations and viewpoints aside (I also wrote about Sarah Palin’s fashion choices during the election, and Jackie O’s status as a fashion icon), I love all the media attention Michelle’s fashion choices are receiving.

As American fashion struggles on in a time when flaunting economic status is a faux pas, it is refreshing to see America’s first lady taking the role seriously and dressing the part.

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Dressing Fun Not Young

Heidi Montag wearing Ed Hardy

Heidi Montag wearing Ed Hardy

I have a new obsession with Ed Hardy clothes. At first I thought they were poser clothes for people who want tattoos, but don’t have the commitment, pain tolerance – whatever – to get one.  Now I find the clothing line artistic, colorful, and just, well, fun!

So I scoured after-Christmas-sale-racks for Ed Hardy cloths, because for outfits I can’t wear to work, they are pricey! As I grabbed different colorful shirts (preferring the ones without skulls), I contemplated whether I was dressing my age. Especially when I’m in the racks among high school girls (where do they get the money to spend $200 on a sweat shirt jacket!?).

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Rock New Years Eve…From Your Couch!

Britney Spears New Years 2007 at Pure

Britney Spears New Years 2007 at Pure

One of my favorite things about shopping during the holiday season is all the fun sparkly cloths displayed in store windows.  I instantly start to think about New Years Eve plans that would give me an opportunity to wear something shiny

Then the holiday season progresses, my pockets get smaller, and my wish to wear a tight little number after eating for a week straight diminishes.   Not to mention the cold and messiness of winter.

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The Newest Trend is Books Starbuck

Paris Hilton, Jennifer Garner & Drew Barrymore accessorizing with their book/s of choice

Paris Hilton, Jennifer Garner & Drew Barrymore accessorizing with their book/s of choice

My mornings are always a little wild, starting with my walk/run to the El.  Either I will have to shove my way onto the Elevated traincar to stand jammed up against the wall, trying not to hit anyone with my oversized purse while still establishing a little personal space so I can maintain balance once the train starts moving…or I will walk in the doors and sit down.  This morning was an epic battle (I can’t even talk about the snow and messiness…). 

I shoved my way on, standing with my face practically in someone’s jacket who was standing in front of me.  This left me no room to read my current book of choice, Eclipse.  So I stood, with no distraction in hand, for the duration of my ride to the loop.

As I looked around, I noticed how many people were reading, or if they couldn’t find room in front of their face like me, holding a book.  Then I thought of the flurry of news reports there were regarding what celebrities were reading – Paris Hilton carrying self-help books after her release from prison (The Power of Now), Britney Spears with her Kabala books and then The Chronicals of Narnia, Drew Barrymore reading Skinny Legs and All, and Angelina reading What is the What?.   Not to mention all the celebrities writing books – Chelsea Handler, Madonna, Tori Spelling, and even Britney Spears’ mother. Continue reading

Fashion and Personality: The Perfect Winter Coat

Vicotoria Beckham (Posh) in her Winter Coat

Vicotoria Beckham looking Posh (as usual) in her Winter Coat

Britney Spears looking uncharacteristically posh

Britney Spears exemplifying that a posh coat does not make one posh (although she does look pretty cute)


My mornings follow a pretty consistent routine – give or take a few hits of the snooze button.  The only inconsistent part is the El (Elevated Train in Chicago which is like the subway in NY).  Sometimes I run up the stairs, hop right on, and take a seat.  Other times I stand on the platform for 20 minutes, shove my way into the El car with the doors almost closing on my bag, my head under someone’s armpit (I told this to a tall friend who laughed and said he was glad he was usually the armpit), as I struggle to find something to hold onto before the train jolts to a start.

The most entertaining thing on the El is the variety of people who are on the train with me.  El passengers are a mix of people who work downtown or go to school downtown.  I probably won’t be standing next to the partner of a law firm (s/he probably drives or takes a cab), but I could be wedged amongst the Janitor, Associate, and PhD student.

While I’m on the El (assuming it’s a day I have a square of space to negotiate, which is not always the case), I don’t always look around, but one type of person always catches my eye, especially during Chicago winters.  It’s the posh woman standing in her stylish knee high boots, fitted winter coat, beautiful well placed scarf, and Jackie-O sunglasses reading the Red Eye.

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