We all have a style uniform, don’t we? A particular style of outfit that you pull on day-in-day-out without really thinking about it. For me, it’s comfy jeans combined with a jumper in winter and the same jeans rolled up with a t-shirt in the summer. I reach for my skinny jeans instinctively every morning because I know they work with whatever top I want to wear and whatever footwear is needed to tackle the weather outside. Perhaps you have favourite pair of jeans too, or a coat you can’t be without, or a piece of clothing you love so much you buy it in bulk and you have it in every colour?We’re all guilty of sticking to what’s comfortable, but the team at George want to challenge us to mix up your #styleYOUniform by setting you a challenge: one week, no jeans. “It can’t be done!” I hear you cry. We’ll I took up the challenge last week and I wanted to share how I got on with my little ‘experiment’. After wearing blue jeans practically every day for a year (except special occasions) I wanted to at least try to shed my style uniform and mix it up with some new outfit choices. Plus, I wanted to do it with just four items of clothing – being thrifty and making the most of my wardrobe is my kinda thing..!
Considering that the weather is warming up I wanted to try uncovering my legs and slipping into some dresses and skirts for the week. There was a time, only a couple of years ago, when I would wear dresses all the time. A dress was my #styleYOUniform because it was so easy to wear – you only needed to make on choice in the morning: with or without tights. So feels a little strange to me to be ‘going back in time’ to my uni days by wearing a dress all week. Even so, the ease of getting ready with a dress was still there and I just added a couple of other items to make sure I had enough to rework my outfits to get me through a whole week. I think this would be great if you were going on holiday – just imagine how much room you’d have in your suitcase if you only packed these few items! The first outfit is a Monday ‘back to work’ outfit. A day of meetings calls for a smart tailored blazer and fitted skirt. I wore my white cardigan buttoned up beneath the blazer, but a crisp white shirt would look equally neat for a day in the office. My tasselled shoes in a neutral colour have a mid-height chunky heel so they are comfortable enough for a full day’s work. I removed the long strap from my shoulder bag to use it as a handbag, and turned it so that the non-tasselled side was showing for a smarter look. It’s big enough to hold notebooks, my laptop and all the business essentials I need to carry with me. All in all, a very successful, smart look for a hard day’s work.The second outfit is a ‘daytime date’ look. I wore the dress as a skirt, with the cardigan buttoned up over the top as a jumper. I dressed up this more casual look with a pretty necklace that my bestie gave me for my birthday and my tasselled heels. Again, I took off the long strap from my handbag and carried it tassel-side-out to add a touch of playfulness. Love the ditsy print of this dress and it’s definitely a cute look for a date.The third outfit is a ‘sightseeing’ look. Whether I’m holidaying abroad or enjoying a staycation at home, this look is ideal for a relaxed day out. I’ve used the dress on it’s own for this casual day trip because it’s loose and floaty enough to keep me cool when the sun comes out. I wanted to keep the outfit wearable for long days of sightseeing, so I dressed it down with some soft grey pumps for added comfort. Clipping the long strap onto the handbag turned it into a satchel, so I could keep my hands free for taking photos. Plenty of room for a packed lunch in that bag too!My fourth look is a ‘lunch with family’ outfit. The smart skirt looks much more relaxed with the white cardi over the top but is still neat enough for meeting your grandma for afternoon tea. To keep things casual I’ve added pumps and the sunglasses – yes, it will be a sunny day at the weekend! I kept the long strap clipped onto the handbag but wore it with the plain side out to add a little more smartness to this lunchtime outfit.My fifth outfit is suitable for ‘a day at the races’ or any event that calls for a slightly more formal outfit. I’ve used the dress as a starting point for this look, because it’s a really well-structured dress with a gorgeous floaty skirt, which would make it great for weddings or a sunny day at the races. I smartened it up with the blazer and I loved mixing up the prints! The dark navy stripe brings out the darker part of the ditsy pattern, and my white vintage clutch bag pulls out the white flowers. Of course, a special occasion calls for heels, but they need to be a pair that I can walk in all day, so my chunky shoes are ideal.And even though that’s my 5-day week covered, I wanted to create a sixth outfit – the ‘night out with the girls’ look. I actually feel rather smug that I thought to use the dress as a blouse – what a thrifty way to get the most out of a piece of clothing! I tucked it into the burgundy skirt and added heels for a little extra height on my night out. Of course, you need a little sparkle for evenings on the town, so I added my glitzy cuff and tucked my vintage clutch bag under my arm. Feeling pretty cool and rather pleased with my thriftiness.
In fact, I’m sure there are even more ways I could wear these pieces – perhaps the dress could be worn with the white cardi open, as a lightweight jacket for summer. Teaming a pink jumper with the dress would pick out the pink flowers in the pattern – or you could even go for an orange cardi if you’re feeling bold! Of course, the jacket would look great with my trusty blue jeans too so both the blazer and the simple white cardi will be used again after my one week, no jeans challenge is over. Actually, I’ll be wearing the dress a lot too – I love it and have remember how nice it is to wear dresses again, thanks to this challenge.
What do you think of these looks? I hope they’ve inspired you to take on your own one week, no jeans challenge so please let me know if you give it a go. And I want to know how you would style up a dress to make it work for an entire week? Please leave your ideas below or tweet me @Cassiefairy using the hashtag #styleYOUniform – I’d love to see what you come up with! If you particularly like my outfits please check out the StyleYOUniform page where you can vote for me as your favourite ‘summer work style’, thank you so much!