September 17, 2012


frump // frum-p//
1. A girl or a woman regarded as dull, plain, or unfashionable
2. A person regarded as colorless and primly sedate

frump'y adj

While I was in graduate school, my friend and I made the unfortunate realization that some people dressed frumpily. Even more unfortunate - the realization that I too, have been guilty of dressing in frump-fashion (ie all through high school when I thought baggy tshirts and gym shorts were a-ok for daily public appearances).

I didn't understand what it meant to be comfortable in my own skin until college, and I definitely didn't understand how to dress in a way that represented who I was until then either. It was as if one day things magically clicked, and I suddenly realized that I actually had a little princess in me that really liked fun colors and geometric shapes and dresses. The idea that I could wear a cute top with my favorite jeans - and that that could be cool/fashionable/in style - blew my mind.

I had a minor glitch in my sudden realization of fashion when I found out that keeping up with the Jones could be was expensive. That's when I discovered the wonderful world of TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and Ross. I would go to the mall to see what was in style, then I would head to these stores and see if I could find anything (I found something every time #bestdayever). I really could spend an entire day there, going through every aisle and trying on the worlds largest collection of dresses just to find the one I really liked. Saving money and expressing myself through clothes - best. thing. ever.

My second minor glitch was when I entered the working world and realized I could no longer sport 'dressy' jeans and sandals everyday. Enter in: pencil skirts, work pants (why are they always made out of the worst material ever?), button-up shirts, blouses, cardigans and flats that make my feet sweaty. I struggled for a long time to find the right dress shirts, pants, and shoes. I found these really obnoxious probably-made-out-of-polyester bell-bottom-esque dress pants...they were hand-me-downs from J.Crew so I thought the brand name alone would save me.

Not so much. Zipper on the side of my pants -- what?

So I started a mission - to get inspired by other working individuals to see how they were dressing up for work and hopefully finding a happy medium for my own working style. Enter my saving grace Kendi Everyday. Her use of polka-dotted pencil skirts with stripped tshirts, or her lace skirt with a button-up struck a chord with me. I wanted to be I even did her 30 for 30 challenge a while back.

Years later, I think I've done my best Jocelyn version of Kendi's style. And to encourage myself to keep trying, I've started instagramming my outfits, a la #notfrumpy.

Top: shirt from Forever21, skinny braided belt from Marshalls
Middle Left: TOMs flats (bridal shower present), black pencil skirt from and top from TJ Maxx
Middle Right: sandals from Ross, black jeans from Marshalls, top from TJ Maxx
Bottom Left: cardigan from JCrew warehouse (!) out in VA, top from Marshalls, blue & green polka-dotted pencil skirt from Gap outlet
Bottom Right: cardigan from...(it's that old), flower silk-esque dress from Forever21

I've really enjoyed learning how to dress fun, while still staying professional. I just hope that I can keep this up!...or else I might go overboard and start looking like PSY #dressclassydancecheesy

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