I work as a freelance writer and content strategist. Most know me as the blogger behind the personal finance blog, L Bee and the Money Tree. Primarily working from home allows me a lot of freedom with my wardrobe, but I also run an company for my writing/strategy gigs. So I do dress professionally on occasion when meeting with clients.
Lauren’s easygoing yet polished style.
Dressing professionally hasn’t always been first nature for me. During my first job after college, I was reprimanded for wearing jeggings to work on casual Friday. Even though you can wear jeans, you still have to look polished. It was embarrassing to have a “stern conversation” with my boss about my clothing, but it also communicated that I wasn’t very competent.
What I eventually learned is that less is more. I became a lot happier (and a lot better dressed) when I stopped focusing on quantity and more on quality and how each of my clothes pairs with the others. Women want to consume a lot of “fast fashion” and have lots of different items to wear and mix and match, although it’s been proven that you only wear 20% of your closet regularly.
Even though I was wearing only “black and white,” I felt very confident with this look (I usually gravitate toward brighter colors). I had just finished reading the book “Divergent” in which one of the factions exclusively wore black and white clothing, and thought it was ironic that was what I’d chosen for the day. The photo is serious, but I like to think it’s a little sassy too. Especially with my big “diva” glasses.
I consider style to be how you set yourself apart from the rest. There are lots of different clothing stores, but really only a few styles of clothing. How you wear it and your attitude are what differentiates you from everyone else.
Women have to pay a lot more money to keep up appearances than men do. Being easily objectified based on appearance can be a handicap in a financial sense.
I think women undervalue themselves in business and in life because we don’t want to be perceived a certain way, but once I started placing a greater value on my time, my self esteem increased and so did my business.
(Note from Heidi: I feel you Lauren. For the average woman, it can be an uphill climb trying to keep up with ‘trends’ . I say focus on creating style, and only buying pieces you know you can wear with your current clothes and for at least 3 seasons, if not more.)
Do you mix and match, or focus your wardrobe on quality items?
Lauren Bowling blogs at the personal finance site L Bee and the Money Tree. She is an expert on post-college finances and spends her free time renovating her home and enjoying good wine. Lauren is a freelance writer and content strategist who also runs an LLC by the name of Beehive Content.