Casual, Hands-on Work Environment

One of my clients recently came to me with the question – “Well, I don’t really have to change my style, do I?  I mean – I wear very casual clothes to work, and I’m hands-on (and getting dirty) all day”.   This is often an objection to upgrading the wardrobe for SAHM, too.  “It’s just going to get dirty”.  “No one will see me”.  “It doesn’t matter”.

It’s not the “what you do” that makes your clothes not matter – it’s the “I spend almost no time doing this”.   So if your grubby clothes come out once every six months to paint the bathroom or because you have the flu … fine.  But if you’re wearing those clothes regularly?  Yes – it matters!!!

When we get dressed, we see ourselves, and we’re decorating ourselves into the person we think of when we think, “me”.  That means that *every* outfit matters.  If your daily work requires you to get grubby, you still need to pull things together.


  • Make a uniform.   Buy clothes that suit the work to be done, clothes that fit, in colors that flatter you.  These don’t have to be expensive clothes – if jeans (or shorts) and a t-shirt is what you’re wearing, fine.   You should like what you’re putting on.
  • DON’T wear clothing that you hate.
  • Mothers of small children often find peasant skirts useful.  They’re nice looking, comfortable, you can bend in them, and they block doorways neatly.
  • If you have really grubby work, don’t wear your work clothes anywhere but work.
  • Consider getting a *real* uniform – scrubs, coveralls, special aprons – something that communicates the task to be accomplished.  This will tell your subconscious that your work life and your “real self” aren’t the same person.
  • Dial up the style in your off-work hours – you’re not spending your wardrobe allowance on work-clothes, so you are perfectly set to spend a bit extra on great loungewear, cute clubbing clothes, or a nice hat to wear to church.
  • Accessorize!  If your work allows, earrings, a nice neat neck-scarf, something in your hair – any little touch will help you feel more like yourself… and more intentional.
  • Do something cute with your hair.
  • Groom well – a neat, pulled together look will go far in helping you own your style.


The Daily Accessory


  • Golden necklace
  • Golden butterfly barrettes
  • Golden earrings

The careful watcher will have noted that I have a lot of interesting rocks in my jewelry collection, but not a lot of basics.   Not being a “classic” type – this is my version of basic!

When Shoes Betray


credit: online world of wrestling

One of the great rules of fashion in the modern era is that shoes make the outfit.  That’s great for those women rocking the Jimmy Choos, but what about the rest of us?  Not everyone can (or should) run around in stilettos all the time.  Some of us can’t even manage a kitten heel.  Life happens, and our feet and knees sometimes say, “time for something comfy”.

Insofar as I’m concerned, one of the great overlooked markets in 2018 is supportive and/or orthopedic shoes that have some style to them.  I’m someone who struggles with my footwear, and I know there are a lot of women out there who do likewise.   The usual fashion advice, “Oh, you can just wear a ballet flat!” is ridiculous – ballet flats have no support at all.

There are thousand different shoe issues, and I’m not going to attempt to make specific shoe recommendations in a general article.   However, there are pathways to greater style … at least until the shoe manufacturers get a clue.

  • Find out what your rules are, and when (and if) they will change
    • Do you need a firm sole?  Ankle support?  A low heel?
    • Once you know the rules, be creative with them.  Maybe you have to have a flat shoe with ankle support that covers an orthotic insert.  Well, that could very well be a bootie, and there are cute booties to be had.  Maybe oxfords could work for you – there are cute oxfords to be had.
  • Talk to a professional – go to the store that specializes in supportive shoes, not the regular store.
    • These folks can often help you make shoes that fit the rules *really* work for you, and they know their product.  They’re also usually happy to make special orders.
    • Normal shoe-stores will be confused and just sell you anything that kind of works, and when you have a medical issue, “kind of” doesn’t cut it.
  • Create outfits around the shoe, not the other way ’round
    • If you’re stuck wearing combat boots (this happened to me) because that’s all you can find that fits the doctor’s orders (I didn’t know about step 2), you need to change your style around a bit to accommodate the combat boots.
    • This will frequently mean that you want to switch to pants or long skirts to blend your footwear in with your outfit, rather than the footwear being the star of the show.
  • Embrace attitude.
    • Sometimes you just have to Cybill Shepherd at the Oscars and wear your tennis shoes with a ballgown, chin up and smiling.
    • Cyndi’s wearing sensible shoes… she’s not free of style.  Be like Cyndi.
    • Bedazzle the darn things if it makes you smile.
  • Remember who YOU are.
    • Select shoes, when possible, that match your colors and your elements.
    • Whatever your style type is, if you’re being asked to wear shoes that bring you down, you’ll want to dial up the rest of your look.  Be you, just a little louder than you were before.

And finally – remember that your attitude is more important than what you have on your feet.

Sable Brown

Sable is an almost-black brown that can be worn primarily by Winters.

Like most just-barely colors, it’s not terribly common.


The Daily Accessory

2018-02-12 14.49.12

  • Leather Bracer w/Feather
  • Abalone Earrings
  • Pebble Bracelet (worn with bracer)


I was wearing a very basic outfit today, and so I had to add some bohemian to it in order to feel like “me”.

The Daily Accessory


  • Leather Bracer
  • Gold and Flat Stone Pendant on Gold Chain

The Daily Accessory


  • Freshwater pearl necklace
  • Enamel Bangles
  • Copper Hair Comb
  • Glass Ear Drops