Outfit of the day

Here is my challenge for today: take something that you might consider too dressy for everyday, and make it a work outfit.  In this case, I wanted to wear my Rooibos dress.  First of all, I absolutely adore this dress.    I’m actually planning to make a summer version out of stretch sateen.   But… this dress reads a little dressy to me (and once again, I insist that it is emerald green!  My camera will not photograph this color accurately.)   The problem with this dress is that it’s sleeveless and slightly low in the back, and I don’t usually show either area to teach (well, I will wear sleeveless sometimes, but not with the lowered back.)  And it’s a wee bit short – I prefer right at the knee or slightly below.  I have skinny legs.

First I did what I do with anything too short: I wear it with flats.  I never do short with heels, because then my legs are even skinnier looking, and I feel like it’s too flashy for work.  I would wear black tights if the weather were colder, but it’s 65 degrees today – perfect for a lightweight wool sheath dress, but not for tights.  Then I had to figure out how to cover the shoulders and back without covering my favorite part of the dress, the pockets.  That calls for a cropped sweater or shrug.  Apparently fashion has moved on to really long sweaters instead, but I still love my short coverups – sometimes I want to see my dress!  This sweaters is dark purple, and I got it at Target several years ago.  I like the ties (I am actually planning to make Buttercup by Kim Hargreaves, which is a similar tie style.)  I like purple with green, but I realize that’s not a combo for everyone.  It helps if the colors are the same intensity, which these are (ie not a light purple with a dark green etc.)

I’m a teacher, and a musician, neither of which are super conservative.  I can totally get away with jeans to teach, but I feel like it makes me seem young, which I am trying to avoid (I know I look younger than my age, and I don’t like to be questioned about my qualifications because of that… it’s also why I think this skirt is too short.)

When I make this dress again I’m going to make it 2 or 3 inches longer.  But that’s good news for petite ladies – this dress is too short for me in the smallest size, and I’m not crazy tall (I’m about 5’7″.)

Do you have any items you never wear because you feel they might be too dressy for daytime?  Any suggestions for dressing them down?  I know I am guilty of making lots of dressy dresses and then having to figure out how to wear them everyday.  I’m not going to stop with the dresses, so I might as well get some tips!