Is there not something fabulous about going home from the office, choosing a lavish outfit to slip into then going out? Is it not completely necessary to freshen up between your daily errands and a dinner date? The concept of a multi-occasional wardrobe is good in theory but much like a 90's kitten heel in reality – a good idea at the time but laughable when you realise what you've done.
We hear a lot about the "busy woman" staple wardrobe pieces. Think a suit jacket to take you from the desk to the bar, just add a statement necklace. Or undo the top two buttons of a crisp blouse and team with a killer pair of stilettoes and it's no longer office wear. It's all fashionista textbook theory and all very doable but does such theory mean women should literally wear their office attire to dinner?
I got thinking about this when invited to a race day recently – all of 15 hours prior. Needless to say, I had to dig to the depths of my wardrobe to find an outfit – no amount of express shipping will get a Net-A-Porter package to me that quickly. The dilemma I was faced with was real. Nearly every piece, except perhaps some yoga pants and an evening gown, I had, at some stage, worn to the office. I just couldn't bring myself to wear my "work wardrobe" out. It takes away the thrill of dressing up, the buzz of a special piece you don't get to wear often or the excitement of that LBD. Although faced with this practical nightmare of a situation, I realised I might be making a mistake. Instead of dressing basic pieces up to wear out, I had been dressing fabulous pieces down to wear to work. I'm either not doing the clothes justice or constantly overdressed at the office? I fear I'm the girl who wears full makeup to the gym (only because I go straight from the office) or that colleague who looks like they're trying too hard to look good. How embarrassing.
All the great and influential of our industry understand our pain. Oscar Wilde who said "you can never be overdressed or overeducated," or Karl Lagerfeld's infamous, "don't dress to kill, dress to survive". But Oscar and Karl, what if we're so overdressed we're shaming the clothes or dressing to survive but on a date? Nobody dresses to survive on a date.
With this in mind, and knowing I'm not alone, I raise a debate to our readers. Is it better to dress the special pieces down or the basic pieces up? Share your opinions with us at...