Business Casual: Professional Attire

Jan Verhoeff

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Lanky and lean, I noticed my favorite clothing was slinky, skin hugging knit fabrics with a loose flowing jacket or vest overlay, and slippers that skimmed my feet like a whisper. I wasn’t built like that. My attire was different.

My wardrobe gathered on a hook outside the closet, while I assessed each piece for wearability, color, design, comfort, and style. With a 45 year old figure lacking the perfection of youth, and announcing the blessings of many years of active lifestyle, flaunting wrinkles and a few extra pounds, I was determined to find a style I liked that looked good on me.

Over the years I had shunned the elastic waist slacks that beckoned me now, and over blouses were something my grandmother might have worn, had she worn slacks of any kind. There were none in my closet. Fitted slacks with belted waistlines, didn’t feel comfortable anymore and I wanted something with style.

What I found:

* Fitted slacks with elastic side waists, pockets, and no belted styles, that suited my newer figure without cinching above my blossoming rear-end.

* Blouses with slit sides and loosely belted styles that skimmed elegantly over my skirts and slacks indicating my center-point without announcing it to the world.

* Longer vests that skim over my figure outlining curves, and emphasizing the length that adds height and grace.

* Lightweight jackets that skim my arms, and add length and warmth, without cumbersome bulk.

* Fitted jacketed dresses and slack suits with smooth lines, easy fitting styles, and great colors.

* Accessories that I used to shun for lack of time to worry about such things – now add miracle attention to the neck of my suits, style to my simple dresses, and color to my dark clothing staples.

My attire at home was still more prone to being jeans and sweatshirts or over sized Tee’s that are just comfy to wear. But at the office, I have a whole selection of great clothes to wear with style and comfort.

I bought a few classic staples, but the majority of my new wardrobe came from clothing I already had, but hadn’t looked through in a while.

Maybe you have a closet full of clothes you don’t wear, but would if you sorted through them to see what was actually available. An afternoon on the weekend will clean out most closets. Sorting through the closet accomplishes two things, it increases your wearable wardrobe and clears out your unwanted clothes for others to wear. Spend an afternoon and donate your findings to good will.

Copyright © 2005 – Jan Verhoeff

Jan Verhoeff recycles her extra clothing by giving to others. Sharing with friends, and giving to those who need it more, results in more space for the new things you want in your life. A real benefit of giving away what you no longer need is having space. You might want to offer your excess to those who need to replace what they lost at


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