After 2+ Years Of Freelancing, I Really Need To Get My Work Wardrobe Together

I’m so used to working in sweats that I'm having a hard time getting dressed in the morning.

Whenever we “spring forward” for daylight savings time, it really screws me up. I know it’s only measly one hour, but the switch makes me groggy for days afterward. And then there’s the bitterness of losing precious weekend time. I know we get it back in the fall, but I don’t care. I still like to complain.

Daylight savings is the last thing I need right now because I’m already somewhat of a train wreck in the morning. This is only week four of my new job at xoJane and I still haven’t gotten into an organized morning routine yet. How do you people with kids do it? I can barely get myself out the door and I’m just one person!

Before I landed this wonderful gig, I was self-employed as a freelance beauty writer for about 2 ½ years. Except for the occasional in-house assignment, I spent most of my time working from home and I could wear anything I damn well pleased. Sometimes I didn’t even shower until 4pm (if at all). Once or twice a week I would meet up with friends in the evening or I would venture out for beauty events and meetings during the day, but for those occasions, I could get away with dressing casually. Or I would recycle the same outfits so I didn’t really have to think about it.

Now, not only do I need to bathe regularly (boooo!), but I also have to look put-together for work everyday. I mean, the word “fashion” is in my title so I feel like I need to appear to know what I'm talking about. At least most of the time, anyway.

I don’t remember exactly what I used to wear to the office pre-freelance life, but my closet makes no sense to me right now. I’ve purged a lot, but I'm now realizing that I didn’t necessarily replace key items. I’m left with a lot of shirts, blouses and sweatshirts that I still like, but unfortunately a lot of my bottoms are too snug. I’m still paying the price for my epic holiday bingeing and the pounds just don’t come off as easily as they used to. Not that I've been working out. So, getting dressed has been a struggle. Sometimes I frantically grab various tried-and-true pieces and put them together in the morning. Other times I'll lay stuff out the night before, but when I try it on the morning, it’s all wrong. It's stressful! BUT, I did a little ASOS shopping over the weekend so that’ll help. I’m also going to lay off the crappy eating so that I can get back into my beloved jeans and mini skirts. And no more Girl Scout cookies. (Emily brought several boxes in last week and I love/hate her for it.)

One thing that’s saving me right now is my fondness for layering. I like to pair my favorite sleeveless dresses with sweaters or long-sleeved tops to make them cold-weather appropriate then I put on black tights and boots and I’m good to go. This little trick gives me more options and helps me get extra mileage out of the clothes I'm most comfortable in.

It’s really easy to layer with fit and flare dresses because you can put on a basic crew neck sweater or a sweatshirt and it looks like you’re wearing it with a flippy skirt. I’m also into putting collared shirts underneath sheath dresses like I did during my first week of work. A crisp white button down works every time, but you can also go with a printed top if your sheath is neutral. Even if your wardrobe is more together than mine, both of these ideas are good strategies for dressing when we're in-between seasons. You know, when you don't need a jacket, but it's still a little too chilly to step out with bare arms?

I found 13 cute sheath and fit and flare dresses that are totally layerable, but there's a world of possibilities outside these two styles. Let me know how you do it. And while you're at it, what are your biggest gripes about getting dressed for work?

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