Personal Style: Blurring The Lines
Thank you to Lookmatic for sponsoring today’s post.
Before we lived in Manhattan, I used to imagine the people who lived there always dressed up before they left the house. Similar to the standards in some parts of Italy, I guessed that city dwellers had a life that demanded round-the-clock fashion. Partly, I was right. Depending on what part of the city you visit and when, most people can be found wearing business casual attire at all hours of the day.
My own style changed when we moved there, even as someone who spent her days with babies instead of business executives. I wasn’t going to meetings every afternoon, but city life taught me a little about the dress-to-impress mentality. I quite liked the feeling of putting effort and care into looking professional, no matter if I was going to a blogging event or picking up my kids from school-both of which I did most days of the week. Putting even a little extra effort into my appearance improved my motivation levels as well as my confidence. I noticed that I was treated differently if I was dressed professionally, even if I was pushing a double stroller or had a baby tied on me in a sling. The lines are blurred in the city in a lot of ways, and wardrobe is definitely one of them.
Things in Santa Cruz are much different. It’s a college town, and a notoriously laid-back city. It’s where surfing on the mainland was essentially born and the home of the uber-liberal University of Santa Cruz. The dress code for locals, even business professionals, includes flip flops and Ray Bans.
I bought a pair of Birkenstocks the second month we lived here, and they perfectly suit our lifestyle, which consists of daily visits to the beach and our local farmers market. My business-casual, stylish inclinations have hardly been seen since we moved out of New York City, and I’ve noticed a difference in my attitude. My blazers that I used to rotate several times a week haven’t been worn in months, and the same goes for my black heels and several pairs of slacks.
I’m adopting a more relaxed mentality, and while everything has been affected-mostly for the better-because of that, I’m learning to adapt and apply new routines and efforts to maintain energized and motivated. Simple changes to my lifestyle and even appearance have affected me positively, including limiting sugar in my diet and adding in more physical activity. I’m taking baby steps by leaving out the sugar in my morning coffee and running around the playground with Beau during elementary school drop-off and pick-up. Instead of wearing ripped jeans and a sweatshirt, I’ve taken to actually putting together an outfit and even wearing glasses-a surprising and fun addition to my repertoire.
I also cut 6″ off of my hair. You know how they say that a woman dramatically changes her hair before a mega life change? Well.
There’s something about eyeglasses that brings everything down to business-in a great way mentally and a fun and creative way fashionably. I’ve recently embraced the latest trend of wearing glasses, and it’s been a really fun and simple inclusion in my daily routine. For some, glasses mean winding down and reading a book before bed, or a work-from-home day at the computer. I’ve had a lot of fun adding different styles of glasses for all kinds of occasions; From a Skype conference call, to meetings in the city, and from kindergarten pickup to a run to the grocery store.
I had a great time choosing six different styles of eyewear online from Lookmatic and being able to try them on at home before choosing a pair and sending the rest back. It’s much easier and more practical to try something so personal and particular while in the comfort of my own home, rather than in front of a toe-tapping sales clerk. The prices are all $95 and up, making it a more relaxed decision than preparing for a much heavier financial commitment. Plus it adds a whimsical sort of edge to a typically mundane part of life. Wearing eyeglasses can be fun and invigorating for those of us that enjoy and embrace how our style motivates us.
The hard part has proven to picking one of the five pairs that they sent. I actually loved all of the Lookmatic glasses for different reasons, and applied them in different ways. I wore the basic frames to my children’s pagent at church, the rose-colored frames to a lunch with friends, the chunky thick pair grocery shopping between conference calls, and the sunglasses to the park with Beau before picking up the big kids at school.
My lifestyle is quite different now than it was living in a sleepless, hectic city, but I haven’t let my location define me. I’m still a work-at-home mother to three children and a puppy, and I still have a lot of fun with my personal style. It’s easier to fall prey to the fashion empires in New York City, but I’ve been able to carve out and cultivate a nice balance while living in Surf City, too.
Style is actually a really fun and motivating part of my life, and I’ve been thrilled to find ways to embrace it in different ways no matter what the culture or my personal situation dictates.
This post was sponsored by Lookmatic. All opinions are my own.
oh jess. you are such a doll. love hearing about your style change, of course, still super stylish. the glasses suit you well. and love how you played up the pictures, having fun with them.
I adore the rose-coloured glasses!
I agree that moving from a big city to a small town on the West Coast changes you – I did it, moving from Toronto to a small mountain town by Whistler, BC.
I did the same, traded Manolos for Birkenstocks and Hunter rainboots.
However, it still is nice to have outfits and feel put together, just a little more relaxed.
The new look suits you well 🙂
Love this! I wear glasses again after many years with perfect vision (Hello, 45!). I aspire to have a wardrobe of glasses for different occasions but can’t commit to the investment. Glad to know that there are options out there!
It’s so true that wearing glasses can change your outlook on the day. Back when I was teaching at UF, I always wore glasses to class. Now that I’m chasing Crazies full time, they don’t come out as much. But when they do, I’m like a whole new person:)
Hi Jessica! We are Californians living in NYC (obsessed with it!) and rasing our son here. I’ve been following your blog/insta since theo and beau’s pics came out! I can’t help but constantly go back and forth on where is a better place to raise kids, nyc or CA and if we should move back. 🙁 Seeing as you have just done both, I would love to hear your honest opinion in a post…I’m sure they are both amazing in different ways…but I do wonder if you miss NYC and if you guys would have also been happy staying? 🙂
Very cute! I love the idea of ordering a bunch of frames you can try on and then picking the ones you like. With 4 kids it is SO hard to take the time to shop for myself anywhere but online, but the hassle of returns can be a pain.
Love your haircut! I’m dying to chop off all my hair but I’m waiting until spring so my neck doesn’t freeze!
Oh you cut your hair!! I feel so behind on everything since I haven’t been over here in a while. Anyways, I love the new cut. And isn’t it amazing how our environment changes us?
Where/who cuts your hair?
I love this blog. You are such a genuine person. But the glasses thing cracks me up. I love it that you embrace that as a way to change up your look and make yourself more pretty, not less. But I’m making an educated guess that you don’t have a heavy duty prescription. They’re not so fun to wear all the time when you can’t see your alarm clock without them instead of just choosing to put them on at that moment. Not to mention, you’ve been in Santa Cruz during some really dry winters. If you stay long enough to see a really wet winter here (this will be year #24 in San Jose for me), those fashion accessories will stay in the drawer. We’ve had years where it rains for weeks at a time…..not drizzle like Seattle, either. Serious downpours, which always made me glad I wore contacs.
Jessica thank you for sharing your transitions. You look cute in glasses! After having my two youngest children I went through a terribly frumpy stage. It was horrible, I was overweight, I dressed in sweats and looked hideous. I look back at pictures and wonder why didn’t someone send the fashion police to my house. ha! Then I lost the weight and went through my dressing up stage. Living on the East Coast I found I could really dress up a lot. High heels, short skirts and too I found people treated me so much better. That was super fun, I looked and felt so great about myself. Now I live in Colorado and it is sooo casual. I try to dress up more than naught as I agree it makes me feel better about myself. I work from home and people will ask me “you look so nice what are doing today?” uhmmm sitting at my computer upstairs. ha ha! But then there are days you will find me in my yoga clothes at 3pm and I still haven’t done yoga. Oh well I am work in progress… xo