Oh dress codes. I find that some people are either a stickler for sticking to a dress code or they will just try and remain in the vicinity of it. I’m the former. In fact, it’s the one thing I will always consider when I plan an outfit. My job often requires me to go from a casual launch one minute to a black tie event the next so to me dress codes are a way of guiding my outfit planning for the week. Even without a stated dress code my brain tends to go into that mode and I will allocate one to whatever event it is I’m going to as it helps provide me with some styling structure.
When it comes to deciding what I’ll be wearing the one thing I never do is start with a single accessory such as a hat or shoes. I know lots of women who will tend to work around a particular piece but it’s just one of those things that has never really worked for me. I tend to get in a better styling frame of mind when I can work with a solid base such as the dress I want to wear (in keeping with the dress code of course!) and then visualise the pieces that will work with it. Usually I find this gives me a more cohesive look and I’m able to pull together something a little easier.
I find that if I’ve got a dress code in mind it helps everything to fall into place and gives me some focus on the outfit I need to plan. For example if I’m going to a work lunch, I’ll generally stick to a particular section of my wardrobe—dresses, skirts, tailored pants and it having this in mind helps pulling an outfit together. If it’s a Sunday morning and I’m heading out for coffee, I’ll generally even have my unspoken dress code for that—it’s all about comfort, comfort, comfort! It’s a little tactic I’ve adopted for as long as I can remember and it really does help me avoid a wardrobe dilemma or two.
Which camp do you fall into? And how important are dress codes to you when it comes to styling your outfits?