May 072008

rsz_me_and_my_hero1.jpg I skipped posting for Teen-style Tuesday in order to spend time with my parents, who were in town to attend the annual Semi-Casual banquet (my older daughter was one of the special honorees this year).  Mom took this picture.

About my outfit:

At the last minute, in order to more accurately repeat the contrast in my own coloring, thereby creating a more flattering ensemble, I selected the brown gingham check camp shirt. 

It’s also the humor in this outfit.  What’s so funny, you ask?  When I was small, back in the day when brown was the “in” color, my sister and I had gingham dresses.  Mine was brown.  Trouble was, I always thought that brown dress meant I was boring; which faulty thinking became known as the “brown dress syndrome”.  As an adult, though, I realized that my mom always liked brown, therefore choosing to dress me in it could not be bad. 

Wearing brown checks reminds me that I am way over the “brown dress syndrome”, the whole thing was childish thinking in the first place.  What about you?  Have you uncovered any remnants of childish thinking in your own wardrobe choices? 

  15 Responses to “Semi-Casual And The Personal Color Palette”

  1. My 15yo son has an end-of-the-year sports banquet, dress is “dressy casual.” Buffet dinner which is costing family members $30 each (only one parent will be going).

    What would be appropriate for him and for a parent? We haven’t decided which of us is going. Do sports banquets have their own (lower) dress codes? It’s just that I never see these kids in anything but spandex and worn-out t-shirts (the sport is crew, aka rowing) so it’s hard to imagine them in dressy casual.

    Would a polo shirt for men be tucked in or not for “dressy casual?”

  2. Great photo — love the glamorous pose! Funny you should mention the gingham dresses. I NEVER wear navy blue (the color of my dress), ever. I wonder if I have childish thinking without realizing it?

  3. You look super chic ! I love absolutely everything about the outfit.
    Hmmm… As I child I used to believe that black makes you look old… well, that’s true for kids, but then it was some time before I started wearing black as an adult.

  4. I am naturally drawn to girly stuff – lace, bows, calico, the schoolgirl look etc. Now that I’m in my 40s, I have to slow down and make a conscious effort to think ” is this too little girl?” before I buy something. Simple, clean, womanly – this must be my mantra. Though it does make me sad that I may never wear my beloved saddle shoes again!

    Love the way you’re wearing shorts in this photo. The gingham blouse really makes the outfit, and the white jacket is modern and looks great with your hair.

    My eldest is graduating high school this spring and we have numerous events to attend in the next month, I’m ready!

  5. You look marvelous, Rebecca!

    My childish thinking: Brown Shoes are for Boys. My brother wore brown buckle shoes, and I had to wear his hand-me-downs as my “play shoes” until I was about 12. I think the first time I bought a pair of brown shoes for myself, I must have been 25. Now I wear them almost all the time–but no buckles for me! 🙂

  6. Childish thinking in dress. That’s me, or at least it used to be. While all my friends were wearing the cute little girl clothes, and later, the newest teen trend, my mother & grandmother were dressing me in tailored shirt dresses, plain skirts, and button down blouses. Neutral colors, not the wild rainbow colors and printed t-shirts I so wanted. My mom didn’t really have much to say when I complained, but Grandma explained that some clothes don’t really suit some people.

    As soon as I was 16 and had a job, I started to buy the fad clothing. Lots of it, because none of it really looked the way I thought it should. My closet & dresser were overflowing with things I’d only worn once or twice. The things I wore almost daily were the pieces which fell in the “classic” style. Wish I could say I figured out quickly Mom & Grandma were right, but that took almost 10 years. Ugh.

    Looking back now, there are only a few dresses I really remember fondly over 30+ years. Not a single one of them are the trendy fad dresses. It’s all the boring stuff – the pink sleeveless shirt dress with a peter pan collar (age 8), the white drop waist dress with navy piping (10), the brown safari shirt dress I bought when I was 20 – which had both Mom & Grandma saying “you look gorgeous”…

  7. I think my aversion to anything ‘girly’ is a remnant of tomboyish childish thinking. (I do wear skirts and stuff, but absolutely no whiff of pink, lace, or ruffles). There’s some validity to that–ultra-feminine is definitely not my style and pink does not look very good on me–but I could probably relax it a little. DOB commented on a hand-me-down maternity shirt that I was wearing around the house that he thought it looked really cute–a little bit of lace trim and definitely too cutesy for my normal taste. Maybe I should warm up to including some subtle girly touches.

  8. Rebecca,
    I’m a long time reader and have revolutionized my own personal appearance from the information you’ve provided on your blog. I have recently finished grad school at the young age of 47 and started work as a professional library consultant.
    I am doing a workshop on community outreach for the libraries in our system, and part of that workshop is personal style when doing public speaking. I remember you had a link out to a video series, but now I am unable to find it. The message was the woman’s power triangle – how the face should be the focal point (always!) and the triangle is formed by the head and shoulders. In the video the fashion consultants tucked up sleeves, hem, added the correct jewelry, and the victim’s appearance was entirely transformed. Could you please repeat the link or send it to me? The video was so powerful. I would like to share it with the workshop participants.


  9. Beth, you should try navy sometime. I really love it.

  10. Rebecca, you look great. I love how the outfit came together for you. I used to hate brown, too. I had a brown “Polly Flinders” dress in the very early 80’s that my mom made me wear. Now I love it (matches my eyes and hair)!

  11. Jennifer – I’ve been looking up dressy casual and I’ll give you some of my favorite descriptions, plus my own opinion. 🙂
    * dressy casual is business casual for social occasions
    * dressy casual means no jeans
    * nice jeans and a collared shirt (for men)
    * wear what you want, except such things as wifebeaters and flip-flops (or spandex and worn out t-shirts

    I suggest your son could get by with nice jeans and a collared shirt, either tucked in or not, worn with clean athletic shoes. (Subject to personal idiom) men over about 30 should probably tuck their shirt in, a polo would be fine. If your husband doesn’t mind twill pants, such as khakis, that might be the way to go. My husband is wearing a collarless (band collar) shirt in the picture. Another option for a man would be a short sleeved sport shirt, maybe even one with a fun pattern.

    If you go, any of your everyday clothes will probably work for dressy casual. 🙂

    Because the event has to do with young people and sports, it will no-doubt be more to the “casual” and less to the “dressy” than, say, an art gallery opening. It would be fun to hear back from you concerning how people were dressed.

    Beth – you don’t think there’s a connection between your dress being navy checks and you not liking to wear navy, do you?

    Gail – I’m sorry. I don’t recall ever seeing a video like that. I’m going to look for it now, though, it sounds great! Congratulations on your achievements and I hope the workshop goes really well. If I find the video, I will post it here and email you.

  12. Rebecca,

    thanks! that’s pretty much what I was thinking… “clean athletic shoes” are an oxymoron around here so Jason may have to wear dress shoes which he already has. I’ll definitely report back as this is our first sports banquet.

  13. YOU look fabulous!! How are you? maybe we could have coffee again soon!
    happy spring!

  14. Your outfit is adorable!

    I also never liked brown until recently. I’m 48 yrs old and I always thought brown was boring. But in the last couple of years the fashion has been mixing brown with colors I love like turquoise, robin’s egg blue, pink, etc. Now I’ve begun to like brown and have added it to my wardrobe.

    I’m not a small, petite woman…just the opposite, but I like feminine, girly things. I don’t know if it’s an opposite reaction. I always wanted to be a small, petite girly girl and yet I was always tall, big feet, etc. I’ve grown into those feet too! I had the figure and height of a fashion model until about 10 years ago. So do I like all the ruffles, ribbons, pink, lace and girly stuff because I didn’t look like that type of girl? And, yet I felt like that type of girl inside? I don’t know. Now, I’m too old for it. Ah, such is life.

    Now I’m 48, gained weight, tall,having hot flashes out the wazoo and am disabled so I have to dress age appropriate, something that can be ripped off when I’m melting, and is easy to keep and put on. Fashion is low on the list! I haven’t worn high heels since I was 22 yrs old! They killed my feet and I’m too tall.

  15. […] the slippers. Next, a pair of mid-high wedge heels which I think look the worst of all the looks (although I previously wore those shoes with longer shorts and thought they looked okay). Then, the ubiquitous Chacos, of course. And last, but not least, these cream-colored slip-ons, […]

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