Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Easy Transitions

I've written before that my personal style, when I have full freedom to express it, rides the line between casual and formal. My lifestyle doesn't call for a whole lot of formal attire, but I like to dress up the casual pieces I wear in order to stand out and put my best foot forwards. This usually means something like jeans with a shirt and tie, patterned dress shirts instead of plain white or blue, or desert boots and chinos matched with a sport coat and tie.

Another reason I love to wear this kind of style, is that when you are balancing that line, it's easy to tip it in one direction or the other with just a few small changes. For example, yesterday I had a full day of work at the law firm, followed by the quickest of trips home before heading to a Deer Tick concert back downtown.

A few things to note: For those of you who don't know (but I'm sure most of you can imagine), the dress code at the law firm is definitely not casual. The specific firm I work for is much less strict than most, but jeans are not an option, collared shirts are required, and I personally wear a tie every day. Now, also for those of you who don't know, Deer Tick concerts can get just a wee bit rowdy. And I fucking love Deer Tick, so I'm not going to sit on the sidelines and quietly nod my head while John McCauley and co rock out onstage.

Therefore, yesterday's progression of events required some quick wardrobe changes. Here, the KEY word is 'quick.' Check out the before and after pictures, to see just how quick I was able to move from office to rock concert:

Here is the original office attire:

The transition really only took a few changes. First, I ditched the blazer, especially as I anticipated it to get a little warm in the crowded venue.

Before (Work Attire)
After (Concert Attire)
I did decide to stick with the tie. The concert was at a weirdly nice venue, considering how rough-edged Deer Tick can be, so I wanted to keep a little bit of class. I did lose the tie clip though, and unbuttoned my top button for a little looser of a look.

Next, I switched out the shiny black Allen Edmonds for my Clark's, which are much more durable and not quite as stiff (even though I think my AE's are pretty damn comfortable themselves). Most importantly, I won't care if (I mean WHEN) someone steps on my shoes.
Before (Work Attire)

After (Concert Attire)
Along with this, I also swapped the black dress belt for a more casual brown one that I've had for forever.

Before (Work Attire)

After (Concert Attire)
The final product was rock-ready, but still sharp (even if I look a bit dweebish in this picture...):

The great thing is, I could have taken this even farther without having to do much more. Swap out the grey chinos for a pair of jeans; rock a slim tee instead of the button-up; go tie-less, but keep the jacket. It really lets me judge the occasion and dress accordingly without having to stress out about having another entire outfit laundered, ironed, and ready to throw on in the 15 minutes I have at home. The changes are all minor, it's in no way a new outfit, but it's specifically adapted to the situation at hand.

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