Dress it Down

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Here’s how it goes: you buy an item for a special occasion, perhaps it’s a statement necklace, fancy dress, high heels, or power blazer. The event comes and goes and your special item returns to your closet, and you’re left wondering, will I ever wear it again? The trap we fall into is we believe we need the exact same level of event to wear it again. This item has now been elevated to special or fancy events only because this was the intention you bought it with. This can only be solved with Show Pony Summer Series Method #2: Dress it Down!

Often our intention for why we buy an item becomes mixed up with the item’s purpose. If we bought a dress for a wedding, an interview, or a birthday, we become convinced that we can only wear that item for special occasions. Since it debuted at a fancy or important event, we convince ourselves this item is special, fancy or different and warrants something fancy to come out of the closet. 

My favourite thing to do with these items is to dress them down. Sure your dress may be fancy but paired with sneakers, a scarf, and a casual cardigan no one would know it’s fancy. If your item is a pair of heels, pair them with ripped jeans. Perhaps you have a power blazer that you can contrast with sneakers. A bonus to this strategy is it helps your brain adjust to the foreign concept of wearing something fancy for a regular occasion. When you pair your fancy dress with your favourite, go-to sneakers and scarf your brain takes comfort in the familiar items and focuses less on the new item. 

Alright, you’re convinced to try dressing it down, but where to start?

First, pick your item and make an intention to wear it soon after the event. The longer you wait, the harder it will be, if possible, wear it within a week.

Second, pull out your favourite everyday staples, the ones that make you feel great. Perhaps it’s your stud earrings, your scarf, your handbag, your sneaker/Blundstone’s.

Next, have fun experimenting, you aren’t going for a certain look, you’re playing, trying, contrasting, matching, and mixing.

Fourth, wear it out of the house. 

My most recent success with this was wearing a bridesmaid dress to work, one week after the wedding. It was not your typical bridesmaid’s dress, it was from a regular clothing store and a very neutral colour. However, even though this dress didn’t scream bridesmaid, it didn’t stop my brain from screaming its resistance when I went to wear it to work. This is fancy, this should be special, what are you doing? So, I gave my brain some comfort, I paired it with my workhorse scarf, a cardigan I had worn 190303 times, and my Birkenstocks. The result? An amazing new outfit. I learned how much I love this dress, how comfortable it is, and how it swishes while I walk. I sent a pic to the bride and she was inspired to wear one of her dresses as well.

Wearing my bridesmaid dress at work, one week after the wedding

Do you have a fancy item you want to wear in your everyday life? How could you dress it down to wear it more often and to more events? Happy mixing and matching!

Photo Credit Jen Newman Photography

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