Style and comfort. Do you HAVE to choose?

In today’s fast-paced world, everyone wants to be comfortable in the outfits they choose.  In fact, comfort is the number one excuse people give for not making more of an effort to appear well-groomed, modern and stylish.  

But are style and comfort mutually exclusive?  Of course not!

Most people confuse style with fashion.  But style is not necessarily fashion, though fashion can be stylish.  

Let me explain further.  Fashion is dictated by designers and the fashion industry; the clothing we see on the runways and catwalks of the fashion houses.  Style, on the other hand, is how one expresses herself through clothing.

So, you, your vision and interpretation of fashion, your lifestyle and experience, and the emotion you add, all factor into your style and how you present your personal message to the world.  The individuality helps shape your identity.  And can comfort come into play in being stylish?  I absolutely think so!

Being stylish, does not necessarily mean having to walk in stiletto heels, choke yourself with ties, or even change the contents of your closet every season. To look sleek and snazzy, you don’t need to wear anything uncomfortable -  especially if it doesn’t match your lifestyle.

 

There is one rule, however.  Here it is: to feel comfortable, always dress for your lifestyle and personality.  Your clothing should represent YOU, as an extension of your identity.  Don’t try to be somebody else.  Anybody else.  For example, don’t buy cocktail dresses if you never go to the nightclub. Similarly, don’t buy suit separates if you have no use for them working from home!   Once you stick to this simple rule, you will be amazed to find that a style emerges that is not only comfortable, but comfortable on and for you.

 

Still, you don’t need to stick to one outfit type and rotate it daily, such as jeans and a t-shirt.  There are many variations of similar lifestyle apparel that can work for you.  If you are a young, stay-at-home mom, for instance, pay attention to the sport fashion (hoodies, bombers, slips), but dilute it with something more mild and feminine, like a comfortable wide or stretchable pencil skirt.  Combined with sneakers, the look will be super stylish, yet absolutely comfortable.

 

Or, if you are a software developer or other creative, add color to your wardrobe. Cool accessories (scarves, cool but comfortable shoes, interesting jewelry) are your everything!  Show off your creativity and cleverness through some accent pieces in your outfits that express who you are.


At a traditional office, combining style and comfort can be tricky, depending on the severity of the dress code. However, many companies have loosened the rules and have declared business casual as the dress code.   That doesn't mean flip-flops, though!  Keeping in mind that while you need to look professional and polished, you don’t need to resort to boring suits simply to keep with the corporate look.  Perhaps you can jazz up those suit separates with a pretty blouse or a colorful t-shirt.  Or, to break the monotony of the staid suit, use your creativity on the way to and from work: make your grandmother happy, let her knit you a long scarf, a funny cap or bulky sweater that are so in fashion right now!

Finally, for all of you: take off those jeans! Jeans used to be the go-to for comfortable clothing, but they are hardly the only comfortable clothing to choose from nowadays!  There are so many interesting clothes created by so many talented, young, yet not expensive designers.  Take the time to seek out new, different and stylish apparel offered in comfortable fits and fabrics.  Comfort no longer has to mean yoga pants and/or jeans.  There is so much to choose from!  

 

With comfort as the objective, let creativity be your guide.  Dare.  Experiment. Don’t be boring.  The way you dress is representative of who you are; part of your identity.  Let it work for you.

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