I love to dress up, but I have nowhere to go…

I love to dress up, but I have nowhere to go…

Does anyone else have this dilemma? I really want to wear flowy, maxi skirts with a cute top tucked in like [this](https://goo.gl/images/pt9QVd), or outfits with interesting pants like [this](https://www.anthropologie.com/shop/lorena-paperbag-waisted-pants?color=066&size=M&inventoryCountry=US&countryCode=US&mrkgcl=694&mrkgadid=2020462930&cm_mmc=Google-Mobile-_-US+-+Shopping+-+Brand-_-Clothing+-+General-_-46898235&utm_medium=paid_search&utm_source=Google-Mobile&utm_content=46898235&utm_term=Clothing+-+General&adtype=pla&product_id=46898235&utm_campaign=US+-+Shopping+-+Brand&adpos=1o2&creative=114547712724&device=m&matchtype=&network=s&gclid=Cj0KCQjwjtLZBRDLARIsAKT6fXz6jCkLle3zXnmCfSj1Beo4xIW8P6ZE8Xs4x3us-LA28AjFApFT2YQaAkP2EALw_wcB), or even a nice midi wrap dress.

The problem is I live in a suburban city where most women wear whatever tee they can find on sale at Target with leggings (I mean I like it too, but yeah….), so wearing that stuff will look grossly out of place in an area where everyone is so casual. I also don’t really go anywhere except work, and I work in a male-dominated engineering company where the only people I see during the day are a couple of other coworkers and my boss. Heck, even when I go out to dinner or movies with friends, I notice that most will just wear a T-shirt with jeans and little/no makeup. So basically, I have nowhere to dress up, and it sucks because I have taken to dressing casual everywhere too even though I don’t want to. I dress casual because tbh, I am scared that I will be judged as “trying too hard” if I wear an outfit like the ones I mentioned in my first paragraph.

I find that I have been taking more unecessary shopping trips to the wealthier parts of town (like where millionares live) because people seem to “dress up” more there, and I get to dress up without looking out of place… Can anyone else relate to this? How have you gotten around this?

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Comments ( 67 )
  1. pygoscelis
    June 28, 2018 at 6:35 pm

    Do you live close enough to a city that has a ballet / symphony / museums that do evening events? I attend those primarily for the main events, but ngl I also enjoy the excuse to dress up. Like in San Francisco (nearest city with these events to me), you can get the cheap seats at the symphony or ballet for around $35 and it can be a fun night to get super dressed up for. Art museums will also often have cheap or free days that you could go to and in my experience people wear all sorts of things to those and no one looks out of place.

    The neighborhood I live in is pretty crunchy and casual and I work at a tech startup but personally I just wear my relatively fashion~ outfits anyway. You get used to being a little overdressed after a while and so will everyone else (well, ymmv for your particular workplace, but now idgaf about being overdressed for a grocery run on the weekend).

  2. undercovergenie
    June 28, 2018 at 6:37 pm

    listen to me: you don’t need to care what other people think. And as soon as you do they will love you for who you are and they will love your style. So dress as fancy as you feel like and let others thoughts be others problem. (is that good English? whatever, you know what I mean, greetings from Germany)

  3. butnobodycame123
    June 28, 2018 at 6:38 pm

    Perhaps you could also host “formal-ish” or “dressy” dinners, events, or gatherings? I remember that my favorite birthday dinners were the ones that everyone dressed nicely for.

  4. sugarsodasofa
    June 28, 2018 at 6:39 pm

    Interested in hearing about this! I honestly just kinda do it… Sure if it’s an in house day all day I’ll just wear a T-shirt dress. But if I hVe any kind of outing even just going to my boyfriends house all day- everyone who knows me knows I’ll be going in a niiice outfit. Sometimes I can get overly conscious though like on my birthday we were going to Walmart after a picnic movie etc and I was like honestly ashamed of what strangers would think of my outfit. It was just like a formal maxi like if I had dressed it up t could have looked like a homecoming type dress but I was literally RED thinking strangers would think I was thinking I was boogie or something

  5. theTipsyYogi
    June 28, 2018 at 6:45 pm

    My yoga teacher once told me that when he was younger his mom was very very conscious of the things she wore and how everything had their time and place. Even the china set. She would never bring them out unless it was for a very special dinner. However, when he was about 14 his mom got cancer and was very close to passing away. She recovered but he distinctly remember the day that she had embraced the idea of FUCK IT. She put on her most beautiful dress and busted out the china and they ate meatloaf on a regular tuesday. At that point he realized that she started to live. Like really live. So he always wears designer whatever the fuck he wants whenever the fuck he wants. Since he told me that story I’ve sort of adopted that. I used to try to dress like how everyone else would be. Like at my neices bday. Shorts and a nice top. This year I plan on wearing a beautiful dress because fuck it. I wanna do it. I will be the best looking mother fucker at that damn pool party anyone has ever seen!

  6. dreamingrain
    June 28, 2018 at 6:45 pm

    I think the best way to do this is to specifically make an event for it. My friends and I decided after watching Oceans 8, we’re going to do a Heist Day.
    1. Do an Escape Room
    2. Go to a Museum
    3. Each person picks what item they’d heist and everyone goes home to get ready and plot
    4. Everyone dresses up TO the NINES we go to a Champagne room
    5. We present our Heist/the TWIST of the Heist and then we all anonymously vote on best heist (can’t be our own) and winner get’s a prize (I’m thinking of going to a costume jewellry place or smth but like a fun prize)

    You’re welcome to Heist Party plans if you like – but all this to say – make your plans CONTINGENT on the fact that everyone is fancy. If you tell your friends “Oh, I’m going to wear some heels and a nice dress” you can bet they’ll change their outfit to accommodate the tone you’re setting.

    Go Forth and BE FANCY

    Edited for grammar

  7. lumenphosphor
    June 28, 2018 at 6:55 pm

    Hey I’ve sort of been here! I started to tone it down at my work place after getting a lot of (honestly positive but like not what I was looking for comments) about how FASHION I was (and I wasn’t)–I work in tech and not as a creative-type so I wanted my work to speak for itself.

    I therefore pour my dressing up energy into weekends. I love it, my partner (who was a tee and jeans kind of dude) weirdly loves it (he thinks he looks better dressed up too—which honestly great!—and so he gets to match my level of dressiness when we go out together) and everyone else either knew me in college (where I was always ‘dressed up’ or ‘put together’) or has gotten over it (aka my work friends–interestingly some of the female friends I made at work used to be quick to comment ‘oh wow *you’re* dressed up today’ and would kind of make me feel bad but then I was like ‘wahtever if they have a problem with it it’s on them’ and I think now they’re used to it?).

    [edit: got a wee bit rambly there didn’t I]

  8. mzel
    June 28, 2018 at 6:56 pm

    My first thought when I saw those is that they would be perfect for brunch with friends.

    Even if everyone else is in jeans, that’s fine! I live in a small city and some people are out in sweats, some are rocking summer dresses and great hair and makeup; it’s all good.

  9. aliquotiens
    June 28, 2018 at 6:59 pm

    I’ve just had to commit to being ‘the overdressed one’. After people see you in nice clothes, jewelry, lipstick etc a few times, they accept it as your usual look.

  10. Allison314
    June 28, 2018 at 7:03 pm

    I’m usually far more dressed up than my friends and coworkers, and have a more diverse wardrobe than many of them, but I enjoy the way I look, I like getting to dress up, and while I notice that I’m different from them, I don’t feel out of place. I often get compliments from them, and they have expressed appreciation for my clothes.

    If you’re just dressing down to fit in, how many people around you might be doing the same thing? Wearing your style confidently even when it doesn’t fit in not only shows the world you’re not ashamed to be who you are, you might also inspire some other people to do the same!

    But yeah, failing that, throw some fancy parties. Most of my friends are happy to have the chance to have a reason to dress up if it isn’t too often.

  11. chairmanm30w
    June 28, 2018 at 7:07 pm

    I have felt that way as well. In general, I have found that people don’t see it as “trying too hard” if you take things up a notch relative to what is typical. They either think nothing of it, or think you look cute!

    My husband is in STEM, and it does seem that folks in those fields are adamant about dressing down. Maybe try finding a happy middle ground? Like a quality blouse or button down with jeans?

    Finally, something I have been doing recently is attending straight up formal or themed events every now and then to really get my glam on. If you are within reasonable distance of a major city, maybe try looking for parties, galas, and events using Eventbrite, Facebook, etc. that encourage guests to dress up.

  12. IAmA-SexyLlama
    June 28, 2018 at 7:14 pm

    In general people don’t think badly of the person whos putting in the effort, if anything it inspires them to try harder. You know, “be the change you want to see” and all that good stuff

  13. witisnotmyforte89
    June 28, 2018 at 7:16 pm

    I have fallen prey to casual dress as well, but for different reasons. I do live in suburbia where the most dressed up anyone gets is like a sundress from Target, but I had fallen prey to too-casual clothes because I have 2 year old twin boys, and you can imagine the grime and gook that gets on you throughout a day, even if you try to be careful.

    Before that, I would dress however I wanted, whenever I wanted. If I wanted to wear a dress, I wore a dress. If I wanted to wear ratty old jeans, I wore ratty old jeans and worn out sneakers. Mostly, I dressed up rather than down. Really, I think you have to make you happy, rather than anyone else. Clothing is such an easy way to express who you are without saying a word. If you’re a little bit fancy pants, embrace it. Don’t let others drag you down. Who knows, if you start dressing up, you may inspire others in your community who have felt the same way as you.

  14. A-U-T-Omatic
    June 28, 2018 at 7:17 pm

    I like to dress up and so I do. I’m a stay at home mom and I almost never wear jeans and t shirt.

  15. pandahadnap
    June 28, 2018 at 7:23 pm

    I get this a lot too. The standard attire in my city is ill-fitting jeans and a tee-shirt or tank top. I wear dresses [like this](https://www.pinterest.com/pin/112097478209355163/?lp=true) everywhere, and I get comments *a lot*. Most of the time they are positive, but I’ve been teased and called “a good little christian girl” and people sometimes ask what I’m all dressed up for. It sucks, but as people get to know me, they stop noticing or caring. It’s just part of who I am.

    There’s also a big difference between “trying too hard” and just dressing well. It’s been discussed in this sub before. Basically, too many accessories can make it look like you’re trying too hard. But if you wear outfits that fit well and aren’t too “busy”, it will look like a cohesive, flattering outfit instead of an art display. I try to wear only one flashy thing at a time. If my dress has a loud pattern on it, I tone-down the jewelry. If my dress is simple, I wear sparkly earrings or a necklace (but not at the same time). But that’s just me.

    If dressing up makes you feel good, do it *with confidence*.

  16. lillyrose2489
    June 28, 2018 at 7:23 pm

    Specific to the work environment, don’t be afraid to dress up a little. I work for a company that is mostly engineers. My manager is female, and she wears really cute clothes all the time. If you know what you’re talking about, that will come through. I get why you might not want to waltz in day one with a dressy outfit, but if you have earned respect for your work already, I think you can get away with mixing it up a little with your attire!

    I also think that I’ve shown up to casual events in a dressier outfit and people generally don’t notice it like you think they will. Unless it’s like, a baseball game and you’re in a gown. You can dress up a bit more than others without it seeming weird. Everyone is too busy thinking about themselves, or they might notice you but start to feel a little jealous at how great you look!

  17. messrm00ny1
    June 28, 2018 at 7:27 pm

    Wow I feel so seen reading this hahaha. I moved to a small town to work as an engineer at a chemical company and I have felt the same exact thing you have. I’m still trying to figure it out so I’ll be following the comments for sure. I love dressing up in slightly more interesting outfits and all black architectural vibes definitely clashes with Southern small vibes for sure. For now,I’ve just sort of shrugged it off and have embraced always looking the odd one out. Just because people dress down doesn’t mean I have to drop myself down to that level.
    The only time I’ve intentionally dressed down and in the more typical local style was when I was doing shift work and supervising a group of operators because 1) anything I wear would be at risk of getting dirty or damaged and 2) help bridge the more superficial aspect of the divide between engineers-operators. I wanted to look like part of the crew since I know my typical look can make me seem more standoff-ish.
    When I’m desperate for being amongst other fashionably-minded people, I’ve got a few cities in relatively close driving distance so weekend trips for sure are a life-saver to get those pieces I want to try on before buying but can’t get in store where I live.
    As long as you’re comfortable in how you look and feel (and dressed appropriately for work of course) then it doesn’t matter what you wear to dinner with friends, etc.

  18. k2212
    June 28, 2018 at 7:31 pm

    I personally would dress up ‘for’ being home. I think people sometimes don’t think of/realize etc how having a beautiful routine at home, and using the best china really can make you feel good. YMMV of course, but I personally think it’s really fun to do that. I find after doing that for a long time, it feels normal to go out in less formal/dressed up outfits because at home they are the main thing all the time.

  19. saturnine1
    June 28, 2018 at 7:33 pm

    OP, how much does this stuff affect you? Do you feel it actually making your mood/motivation level worse? I know that may sound like a silly question to some people, but this sort of thing can really tinker with your mood, in my experience. For some people, dressing informally makes them feel listless or sloppy or bad about themselves.

    For me, dressing up is the physical expression of my commitment to give the world my very best whenever I go out the front door, and I do feel different in a bad way when I can’t dress up.

    (Let me be clear, I’m not saying people who don’t dress up don’t give the world their best–this is just what helps ME get in the right mindset.)

    I used to be able to paper over my inability to dress up (for some time, I lived in a town with a climate that was hostile to it) by following lots of the suggestions here–saying “fuck it” and dressing up when I could, even if no one else did; going to the nearest approximation of a city with its approximation of nice restaurants; and hosting events that had a slight expectation of formality. They worked for a little while.

    Unfortunately, about two years ago, I got back from a weekend trip in Nearest Approximation of a City and felt physically ill when I realized how much I was paying to experience a crappy copy of what I really sought.

    That’s when I realized that I either needed to go big or go home. For mostly unrelated reasons, I left the job that was anchoring me to that specific location, but instead of getting another ‘standard’ job, I went into freelancing. While I’m not currently making enough to live in the type of place I want to live in 100% of the time, I have the flexibility to experience the genuine article when I need it, which makes me just kind of flow better overall.

    So, I guess what I’m saying is that, depending on how much this affects you, OP, are you able to consider relocation?

  20. millennialmania
    June 28, 2018 at 7:41 pm

    I feeeeel your pain, OP! I’m a grad student/instructor, and I feel like everyone dressed so blah in academia. I try to wear a few “dressy” outfits a week regardless of whether or not I have a place or event—because it makes me feel good! I try to call up an old friend or take a weekend trip to visit friends and challenge myself to wear my favorite, cutest outfits on those occasions. I think a few people have said it as well, but if you can’t find an event to wear your desired looks, make one! Host a fancy brunch, if that’s your thing (potluck, so that it’s affordable for you) or see if any local restaurants do cheap wine/beer tasting. If you have a partner, maybe you could do a fancy dress/dinner night (you can do that with friends as well!). I also have found a few bars near my suburban college city where the drinks aren’t necessarily more expensive, but the clientele tend to dress up a *little* more. Good luck, and enjoy those flowy maxi skirts!

  21. prncsntle123
    June 28, 2018 at 7:43 pm

    Following because I have the same problem! I live in a smaller town and always feel over dressed.

    Honestly though, I’ve realized that I’d always rather be over-dressed than under-dressed so I usually dress up anyway.

  22. erenthae
    June 28, 2018 at 7:53 pm

    I wear my maxi skirts with band tees and trainers/sneakers. I try to pick out colours so they match slightly. Ie I have a pleated faded gold skirt that I wear with an ac/dc tee because it has a worn white beige shade and the red in the lettering really pop so I can wear bright lipstick. It’s being dressed up to do day to day errands

  23. deviltje
    June 28, 2018 at 7:56 pm

    These are perfect work clothes and you should start wearing them. They look professional abd it’s not your fault that everyone else dresses casual. You let them do their thing and they let you do your thing. If someone comments just say that you like this item and whether they think it’s unprofessional. If the answer is no, you can continue wearing it.

    If the answer is yes it may be better to stop wearing those thigh highs even though they make you feel a million dollars. Not that I’ve ever done that 😉

  24. yellowpolish
    June 28, 2018 at 7:56 pm

    I hear you, OP. The only place I really have to get “dressed up” for is work but only a few people actually interact with me. My appearance literally goes unseen. I still do my hair and makeup everyday, and wear simple jewelry and perfume. I do it for myself and wonder if people think I’m being “extra” just to sit in a cubicle all day.

    I’m single, don’t really go out, and my family doesn’t plan any special events other than a barbeque in the backyard a couple times a year. I do meet up with friends for sports/exercise, but I wear workout clothes for that stuff.

    Wow, this thread is making me realize I have almost no social life.

  25. micultra8
    June 28, 2018 at 7:57 pm

    You’ve gotten some fabu advice, so I’ll throw in a few cents’ worth: How can *you* know what “trying too hard” looks like for you, if you don’t try some outfits? I used to feel the same as you, and wanted to blend in a bit more, wistfully wishing I lived in a movie or tv show where I could dress up like crazy. As I got into the workforce and played with my wardrobe, I discovered I didn’t mind if people thought I looked all fancy, as long as I felt good, and knew that I wasn’t overdoing it for the occasion/surrounding. Remember a few key points:

    – If people are asking why you’re dressed fancy, it’s because they noticed you, and because your fancy dress might alert them to their own plain/casual outfit. So, any perceived criticism is a reflection of how they feel about their own appearance.

    – People are paying far less attention than you think they are. Start paying attention to how you think about other people, and realize it’s mostly curiosity or barely noticing….the same is true when people look at you.

    – Dressing well gets you noticed, sometimes for the wrong reasons (no I do NOT want to smile and go home with you, and I’m not your baby), but sometimes for great reasons (you might get a great project or work with a new customer because THEY remember “the snappy dresser”)

    – Accept that you are such a little cutie, and have a fun personality, and you might always stand out a little bit from other people. And that’s rarely a bad thing.

  26. putinsmainbitch
    June 28, 2018 at 8:01 pm

    I live in a crunchy bedroom community where the median age is in the 40s. I find that I am motivated to dress up a little more when I’m going to the ritzy mall that’s about an hour away lol.

  27. nuclearnat
    June 28, 2018 at 8:04 pm

    Somewhat going through this. I want to wear more adult, cute and casual clothes, but all my friends still dress super casual, like short shorts and a t-shirt. Which I like on certain days, but I don’t want it to be my full wardrobe and also don’t want to look super out of place.

  28. be1tran
    June 28, 2018 at 8:05 pm

    Gorgeous women have it rough…

    Edit: Why when I read this the poppy voice takes over my narration…

  29. itsallinthehandbag
    June 28, 2018 at 8:06 pm

    My advice buy and wear what you love. If you love it and feel great in it, doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. #makeyourownfancyparty

    On a more serious note, I used to feel like you did. I always like to dress a little fancy and would get the comments “you look so dressy/why you so dressed up” – this used to bother me too but now it doesn’t phase me. I think people make comments like that when they realize they should step up their own fashion game.

  30. Acme_Co
    June 28, 2018 at 8:17 pm

    I will occasionally just dress up at home. Certain Sunday’s will have me drinking wine, reading, and whatever else around the house in a ball gown. You don’t really need a good reason, if its fun 🙂

  31. Donjuan0626
    June 28, 2018 at 8:19 pm

    Treat yourself, I do it all the time! 🤷🏽‍♂️

  32. samelaanderson
    June 28, 2018 at 8:21 pm

    Last fall I was in Phoenix for a few days and and I ordered a Lyft to get to my client’s building. The guy that picked me up was wearing a silver suit complete with boutonniere and a matching fedora, and he was *killing* it. At 8:30 in the morning on a weekday that got up to 94º.

    “Do you always wear suits when you drive?”

    “I always wear suits.”

    It’s easier said than done, but just try it. Ease into it, see how you feel, brush off any envious looks or comments, and know that confidence is the key to making it work.

    Channel your inner Antoine.

  33. desertgold
    June 28, 2018 at 8:29 pm

    Friend of mine from DC gave me the best piece of advice whenever I got anxious about being too overdressed for something.”What’s the worst thing someone’s going to say? Wow where were YOU before you got here?”

  34. bunnymelt
    June 28, 2018 at 8:33 pm

    I live in a largish, stylish metropolis, specifically in the neighbourhood which is lauded for it’s fashionable inhabitants, and even still I totally feel your conundrum. Over 10 years ago, I was openly mocked in the laundromat for being dressed as what at least a couple of other patrons considered “too fancy“. Looking back, that probably just meant lipstick, but it hurt all the same. Even though that comment (“who dresses up to do their laundry?”) will never stop SUCKING, I have managed to rise above it and have a habit of throwing on a fur coat over a night slip and combat boots to go to the grocery store.

    Dress up, or dress down, as you see fit, at least during YOU time. As other commenters have pointed out, being prudent about your work attire may be beneficial, but even then, the image above hardly smacks as inappropriate. I wish you the best. Do you.

  35. mimidotsss
    June 28, 2018 at 8:44 pm

    I feel your pain. I live in Boston which is very fashion-challenged and constantly feel overdressed.

  36. gingerviolin
    June 28, 2018 at 8:49 pm

    I live in a a larger North American city, and attended an older and much distinguished university. The program I attended however, people are not against showing up in hoodies and sweatpants (not ComSci…).

    A few years ago, I was talking to a friend who owned a high-end thrift store, while I was shopping in her store for a recital dress. She is a huge advocate for dressing nicely (or “up”) just because, even if you have nothing “fancy” to go to or do. This really stuck with me, because while I loooooove a good pair of leggings and a baggy tshirt and pullover, it cannot be denied that a well dressed person turns heads, even if its just at the grocery store. It also makes me feel better about myself, knowing that I made an effort, instead of how other people see me.

    While people at school and now my job like to dress on the casual size, I prefer to dress well, preferably in a way that turns heads 😉 I try to remember that while we don’t want them to, first appearances often decide our opinion of a person, and a person I deal with on a daily basis at school or work may be someone who could offer me a job later in life.

  37. Jex1
    June 28, 2018 at 8:51 pm

    I work in a casual office in California, the heart of laid back style. I don’t even care. I rock my dresses and heels, pencil skirts, maxis, whatever. Life is too damn short to stifle yourself. You know what has happened? Not only do I get compliments all the time, other women dress up sometimes too and they always tell me how much they love dressing up and that I gave them the courage to dress up when they normally wouldn’t.

  38. elektra01
    June 28, 2018 at 9:16 pm

    My question for you is why do you care what other people are wearing? Just wear whatever you like. You’re dressing up for yourself, not others. If you wanna rock a maxi skirt to Target then go rock that outfit girl.

  39. typeswithherfingers
    June 28, 2018 at 9:17 pm

    You ever go people watching? Most people are dressed casually. (Jeans and a shirt, ho hum.) Some are super sloppy. (OMG that is not your size.) Some look like actual eyesores and you can’t believe they are out in public looking like that. (WTF. Pajamas?) Then there are the nicely dressed people. (Huh, that’s a cool outfit.) The ones you give the mental thumbs up to. (Hey! An actual fashionista!) The ones where every member of that family looks dressed to the nines. (What, are they all wearing Burberry? The kids too? At the mall? Who are these people!?)

    You can be any of those people that you want! If you want to be the mildly fancy one and impress people for no reason, just do it! People are going to think whatever they want about you. Nice people will think nice thoughts and negative people people will think negative thoughts. Your outfit probably won’t swing them from one side to the other.

  40. CicadaTallula
    June 28, 2018 at 9:17 pm

    I can’t speak for anyone else, but if a woman at my work/friend group had some really awesome fashion, I wouldn’t judge her as “trying too hard”, I’d wonder if maybe I wasn’t trying hard enough. Those who matter to you will support you.

  41. MissRed19
    June 28, 2018 at 9:18 pm

    I experienced this problem for a while as well. Lots of friends dressed either very casual or super punk. So lots of T-shirt jean combos, or band shirts and jeans. I used to dress exactly in this style and was so bored of it. I needed to update my wardrobe a few years ago and decided to try Stitch Fix. This changed everything for me I started getting super cute clothes. Maxi skirts, A line dresses, cute tops, and sweaters. These clothes made me feel so good that I decided to wear them wherever I could, because I loved the styles being sent to me. Now I should mention that while I was doing this I was working a warehouse job where most people adhered to T-shirt and shorts or T-shirt and jeans. We had no dress code and I just got switched departments to Quality Control. I wore those clothes to work, out for hang outs with friends, to my sisters wedding shower, to her bachelorette. I did this because I felt great in these clothes. My thoughts now are if it makes you feel good, find a reason to wear it any reason at all. Don’t adhere to simply dressing how everyone else dresses.

  42. NYGyaru
    June 28, 2018 at 9:24 pm

    *honest disclaimer… this is going to be rambling- I am tipsy*

    The older I get (I am 32), the less I care about what people think about how I am dressed. Is it comfortable, do I feel I look good, does it make me feel confident – cool then I am wearing it.

    I do look young for my age, which is part of the reason I dress more professionally than casual. At work (teacher) I [tend to] dress nicer than my peers. I like looking professional, I like my heels, I like how I feel when I dress professionally. I work with people who wear leggings and flip flops to work.
    On my own time though, I still like looking nice. Not for anyone other than myself. I love my heels and handbags. I love wearing bodycon dresses… I love doing my hair and makeup. I have gotten to the point where I just don’t care what others think sometimes.

    Also, on the flip side – I was in an emotionally and mentally abusive relationship for 2.5 years. I was with a man – who despite his physical attractiveness, despite the fact that he was successful job wise – he couldn’t get over the fact that I like getting dressed nice and doing my makeup and hair everyday. 2.5 years of mean, nasty comments on my looks and what I wear. A few years of having my crop tops ‘playfully’ tugged at and pulled down, a year of living with him and him passing my “woman cave” making comments about how he doesn’t know why I am doing my hair or makeup… or why I am trying to look good because we’re “just going to hang with his friends”… I stayed when I was told I look like a ‘fucking whore’ on NYE one year. I finally, after being broken up with this dude for 3+ months… realized it’s ok for me to look nice, I shouldn’t have to worry about others opinions on what I wear. I look nice for me and no one else… I look nice and wear what I want because it makes me feel good.

    Please, PLEASE don’t let anyone’s opinion of what you’re wearing matter. Dress how YOU want… dress how YOU feel most confident.

    *tipsy tangent over*

  43. BeOak
    June 28, 2018 at 9:27 pm

    I have a friend who is extremely fashionable and will wear to a kids play date, what I would wear to a very fancy night out. I admire the way she always looks put together.

    My best fried is her neighbour so they see each other daily and hang out. My best friend has started upping her dress up game and is looking phenomenal.

    Between the two of them, it’s made me want to up my game too. I’m an activewear everywhere kind of mom. I started getting some nicer tops/bottoms and shoes in preparation for going back to work after maternity leave and have started wearing them out everyday. I’m loving it. I’ve been such a yoga pants/jeans t-shirt person for so long I forgot how nice it is to dress up.

    You may just be the catalyst for change in your group too 🙂

    Why shouldn’t we dress in a way that makes us look and feel amazing no matter what the occasion?

  44. thatgirlwiththathing
    June 28, 2018 at 9:30 pm

    I dress fancy everywhere I can. I have a uniform at work and wear scrubs to school, so I wear nice clothes pretty much every time I leave the house. I get odd looks, but I don’t care.

  45. FrogusTheDogus
    June 28, 2018 at 9:35 pm

    If you have a vision and desire to explore your personal sense of style, it’s so sad to dampen that because others around you are not inspired. I know it sucks to feel like you’re being judged but at the end of the day they’re what, judging you for being more put together? For putting effort into something you love? They’re the messed up ones for judging – don’t let it affect you if you can help it. People who truly care about you and are worth having in your life will be supportive and happy for you, and appreciate you, for having your explorative sense of style. Don’t let those frumpy biatches get you down!

  46. galactic-narwhal
    June 28, 2018 at 9:39 pm

    1,000 times yes! I live in a rural town and work at an industrial facility and the struggle to not be able to dress up is real! I moved here from a smaller city where dressing up or down was acceptable and I used to wear the cutest dresses in summer. I now get the weirdest looks from everyone if I wear a dress around town and I would never wear one to work. I have transitioned from dresses to nice tops and jackets but it’s just not the same.

  47. LevyMevy
    June 28, 2018 at 9:52 pm

    Fucking same

  48. BunnyBunnyBuns
    June 28, 2018 at 9:53 pm

    I am always dressed up compared to my fellow PNW ladies. Eff it. I like how I look and feel and nobody has ever said anything negative about it. If anything, my stylish outfit looks better in comparison!

  49. -participating_
    June 28, 2018 at 10:01 pm

    Just do it! People will get used to it, and not only that, it’s likely that everyone who knows you will think of you as the ‘stylish one’.

    I don’t dress up much purely because I can’t afford the nice clothes I want, but I definitely dress up more than my uber casual friends and they always tell me their jealous of how ‘stylish’ and ‘nice’ I always look, it makes me feel great!

  50. beepblorp1
    June 28, 2018 at 10:01 pm

    The outfits you linked look casual to me. I think they’re appropriate for everyday. I suggest you wear whatever you want, wherever. At best, people will notice you and think you look nice. At worst, they’ll think you’re a tryhard, but who cares about nasty judgemental people like that? If they think that, it reflects poorly on their petty personalities, and not on your good style.

  51. chocolatelovepillows
    June 28, 2018 at 10:03 pm

    You’re over thinking it in my opinion. Wear what you want wherever you want. Do you… Life is too short to have a complex about such things. I’d go to rock concerts wearing bright red heels because that made me happy. If I want to wear a sparkly dress to the movies-hell yea. You get the picture… Do what makes you happy and don’t let others opinions doubt yourself!

  52. TurtleSayuri
    June 28, 2018 at 10:04 pm

    I would totally dress up to take myself to dinner and walk around downtown. Some times I do errands before/after interviews in a pencil skirt and nice blouse, some people make comments, but I ignore them. I was at the farmer’s market and someone was saying how I was a little too dressed up for it. Like uh thanks?

    I dress up a little nicer than work clothes when I’m going out with friends, even if it’s just dinner or a drink. We don’t really pay attention to each other’s clothing much.

  53. reusablethrowaway-
    June 28, 2018 at 10:18 pm

    Am I the only one who doesn’t even think those outfits look that dressy? Particularly the pants. The pleating on the skirt pushes it into dressier territory. Anyway, I definitely dress differently than other people. I’m not much of a jeans and t-shirt person. I don’t even think of what I wear as being dressy, but I get labeled that way sometimes by people (maybe because I wear dresses?). Anyway, I stopped caring about it a while ago. I find the comments annoying, but I don’t get them as much after people have known me a while. I think they adjust to the way I dress.

  54. dallai2
    June 28, 2018 at 10:18 pm

    I live in a really conservative place and ended up saying duck it. I wanna feel pretty and I dress like I want.
    I wear a lot of blazers, flowy dresses and classy chic clothing.
    It does attract some attention, and it’s more classy than most would wear on a daily basis here, but I feel great.
    The inspiration for this is that I once saw a girl with a lovely haircolor, a cape I newer found but looked soooo nice and fab glasses. She looked so great, and I want to try to be that inspiration for others as well.
    Wear what you want with your head high, and those who want to pick on it is just jealous 🙂

  55. Lady-yogi
    June 28, 2018 at 10:19 pm

    I can relate. My office place is supposedly “business casual” but very heavy on the casual end of the spectrum, and I work from home 2-3 days a week. And my leisure activities are pretty much all casual, and outside of the work commute, I walk/bike/metro so footwear is usually limited. But I’ll never be a tee shirt, jeans, and athletic shoes kind of girl. There is nothing at all wrong with that casual look, but I really enjoy playing with my style and I love experimenting with different silhouettes, colors, textures, feminine details, etc. So it can be challenging to find a balance between standing out too much but still having fun with fashion.

    My closet used to be full of really wonderful “dressy” pieces that never got worn, and I never felt like I had enough clothes to chose from in day to day life. I’ve learned to compromise with myself so my wardrobe is a better match for my lifestyle. When shopping, I’m much more realistic now and steer myself towards clothes I can wear on any typical day, and only buy “fancy” things when I have a specific occasion I know I’ll wear them for (like an upcoming industry conference).

    At work, I’ve just accepted being one of the maybe 3 people who look like they put in effort. I still wear jeans a lot, but paired with silk blouses and jackets. On date nights, I get to wear more of my skirts and dresses but usually with flats. Of course if it’s a special occasion like birthday anniversary, then I just tell my husband we’re taking uber so I can wear the heels 🙂

  56. WafflingToast
    June 28, 2018 at 10:19 pm

    A bridging step you can take is to elevate your usual go-to items. If you’re usually in jeans and t-shirt to go out, upgrade to well fitting jeans and a nice blouse.

    Accessories also have an affect on the outfit. You can comfortably wear that wrap dress and still fit in with your friends on movie night – just wear no heel sandals, natural makeup and simple jewelry instead of high heels, full makeup and statement jewelry.

  57. siamthailand
    June 28, 2018 at 10:24 pm

    Wear it.

  58. raethetrippyprincess
    June 28, 2018 at 10:42 pm

    When you get dressed up your friends will probably start upping their game honestly. I’ve never cared if I’m more dressed up if I feel like I look good – confidence!!

  59. tinnyminny
    June 28, 2018 at 10:52 pm

    “Baby’s all dressed up with nowhere to go” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRV5GgtRrU8

  60. Aliciasuxxx
    June 28, 2018 at 10:52 pm

    I go through the same thing! I have killer style but live in a small rural town. The fashion is very behind- I get stares for even wearing casual sun dresses! . they still have video stores here if that says anything. Honestly it just pushes me to go out to the city even if it’s far away. I save my outfits for special occasion. Hopefully I won’t be in this situation forever

  61. TarquinOliverNimrod
    June 28, 2018 at 10:57 pm

    I look like I’m going somewhere special when I go out to run errands and go to the grocery store and I love it. Dress how you like whenever you’d like. If you wanna look immaculate to just go renew your license then DO IT.

  62. tbusy
    June 28, 2018 at 11:16 pm

    I think the outfits that you linked to can look great even in a casual setting. I have some pants similar to the pink anthropology ones and I wear them like they’re going out of style with a simple little black tea shirt tucked in…and a similar dressed down look with skirts. I have a toddler which means my hangouts are the library and grocery store 😉 it makes me feel good though to wear happy clothes

  63. Coonhound420
    June 28, 2018 at 11:47 pm

    I have this problem too. I’m a nanny and outside of work I don’t go out a lot. I love fashion and I’m pretty girly. Because of my job, I’m usually in comfy clothes. Winter is sweaters and leggings and summer has been shorts and tees. It’s actually been a little easier in the summer to dress up. I wear long dresses, skirts, fun tops, and cute shorts. It might not fit my work environment, since I’m chasing two kids all day, but I make it work and I don’t care otherwise! Also the little girl I watch LOVES when I come in wearing a dress, skirt, or jumpsuit!

  64. luxorange
    June 28, 2018 at 11:54 pm

    Do you care what other people think? If yes, consider this. When you are dressed up, people who don’t know you will think you just came from somewhere dressier, or that you’re going somewhere dressy next. People who do know you will (hopefully) respect what you’re doing.

    Work can obviously be different, for that it might help to start integrating the new clothes slowly, if you don’t want comments from people. A piece here and there, or a day here and there of nice clothes, slowly until it’s that style all the time.

    One more thought: is looking out of place bad if you like the way you look? If there are safety issues, or harassment, I totally get it. Generally I would rather look a little out of place and overdressed than sloppy and fitting in with the crowd.

    TLDR: just do it, and eventually it won’t be “dressing up” anymore. Good luck!

  65. le-albatross
    June 29, 2018 at 12:06 am

    Girl, I work from home in a similar suburb. I know how you feel. To fight it I have two strategies.

    One, I usually put on clothes that I love in the morning, along with hair and makeup, just to impress my dog.

    Two, I have a severe case of fuck-its when I do have to go to the office or out and about. Wear a vintage fur cape to a regular-ass dinner in December? Wear a beautiful long maxi just to go get a wax? Wear a favorite skirt just to see girlfriends who I know will be in T-shirt’s? Wear fine boots to work, where the boys pay no attention? Yesssss to all of the above and it makes me so happy. Truly no one looks at you as hard as you think they do. You do you honey.

  66. ashley2092
    June 29, 2018 at 12:07 am

    It seems like you are trying too hard not to be who you want to be. I am dressy at work all the time and I don’t care what people think. I like the way I feel in cute outfits. I used to feel the same way you do, then I worked at a clothing store forcing me to where the things I always wanted to but was always too nervous to. I then quickly learned that people admired my outfits they didn’t think it was weird. Embrace it and it will totally boost your confidence! That skirt is so cute, I have a light pink one that I just wore the other day!

  67. achy_breaky_heart
    June 29, 2018 at 12:18 am

    Honestly just do it. I work from home and have a three year old who is also at home and have every reason to live in leggings but I love to dress up so I do. It makes me feel more confident and my days are better when I do. I’m not dressing up for anyone other than myself and it makes me really happy to take the time to make myself feel put together.

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