Wearing different hats: How to maintain one’s identity.

* This post has nothing to do with wearing hats, specifically.

There comes a time in one’s life when everything seems to take a 180 degree turn- whether it’s a new job, an unexpected lifestyle change, a big move to a new place, etc. Even before that, there are many small changes that we go through; however, they never seem to be as apparent or recognized until said life change. I feel as if I’m using the word ‘change’ very loosely.

Let’s clarify: when I say change, what I mean is we change certain parts of ourselves to fit a particular situation. This being a fashion blog, I’m discussing how clothes can change an individual: work/school uniforms, business casual dress for the office (if one has ended up in an office), and that little black dress for a night on the town.

Society, in general, requires us to “wear many different hats”- having the skills (and/or the look) to do whatever it is one may need/want to do. Of all of these ‘hats’, it becomes apparent that there’s only one that fits just right: the real you.

How in the hell can one incorporate this into everything else?

For me, I’m in no way a business casual kind of person; yet, my previous and current jobs have either required me to wear such attire. Of course, this isn’t a life-or-death issue, but it does give a feeling of misrepresentation. So, after reading over the guidelines for dress for my current employer, I finally realized how to avoid this internal conflict of mine: subtlety and styling.

Make a mental template of the basics- button down shirt, polo shirt, dress pants, nice leather shoes, etc.- and add small elements to it, such as a necklace, pins, a cardigan, and so on. It also helps to think about how one wears the items. For example, I don’t like that dress pants are very loose at the bottom and have a tendency to drag on the floor, so what I like to do is cuff the bottom of my pants. It’s hard to describe the look, but it is interesting enough that it takes the boredom away from the outfit.

If one doesn’t want to feel like a drone at work or school, take into consideration how you style the outfit and what one wants it to say. It’s all about making that hat fit just right.

Question: how do you add a personal touch to a mandated outfit?

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