Who Do You Dress For?

……..let’s see, guys, friends, work colleagues, family and not to mention the weekday lunch crowd (predominately suits), the cute barista at the local cafe and of course Me!

You be unaware that when you utter or shout the words ‘I have nothing to wear’ this usually comes from the realisation that you don’t have the ideal outfit for your “target audience”. After many years of working in the retail fashion industry, I have become quite accustom to knowing what outfit will work well in different social environments and what outfit will work GREAT. I often used to ask my customers about the occasion or event they were attending, this way I could help them dress for their target audience.

When luncheoning with the girls I usually opt for, print pants, loose relaxed top, flats and minimal make-up. However if I’m attending a sunday session with guys, then it certainly calls for some wedges, bright lipstick and a slightly more fitted top. Not that I’m trying to look like Brandi Glanville from (The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills) on a coffee date, I just prefer a look that with edge and one with a POP factor! I am a firm believer in the power of dressing and have experienced first hand just how much it can influence people’s opinion of you. 

The term ‘wardrobe staples’ often refers to key investment pieces in your wardrobe that equip you for any and every occasion, cocktail party/wedding/fashion launch ect. The moment you put one of these staples pieces on, a certain identity is created, think about the blazer for a second. Within seconds of wearing a blazer, you can very quickly present an image of importance and gives the impression to others that you quite possibly, belong to the corporate world. We have the luxury of choices in fashion to create these looks and sell them so easily without anyone questioning it.

Inspirational fashion IT items that we see in magazines and pieces straight of the runways of Paris fashion week,  instantly provides us with a burning desire to own that particular item or replicate a look that we loved. This is the power of fashion, it’s fast, thrilling and makes the heart skip a beat! Of course we know the majority of what we see on the international runways, isn’t always the most practical, but that never stops a true Rachel Zoe, die-hard lover of fashion from wearing what she wants!

I was no naive girl, last winter when I purchased a pair of over the knee stiletto boots from Kookai. I knew these had the potential to be dangerous yet was such a thrilling purchase at the time, I couldn’t resist! But you see, a smart fashionista always has a plan of how she is going to wear the ‘impractical’ item she just purchased. My backup plan included teaming the boots over a pair of black skinny jeans (which was 90% of the time) to make them more practical, don’t get me wrong I still received plenty of comments and just the right amount of attention!

Dressing a particular way will not change your circumstances or the events that are going to unfold in the working week, it does however give you a sense of control, unlike the curveballs life throws at us. Reflecting on my past work/career life, I specifically remember this incredibly difficult Manager (don’t we all), I would literally tailor my outfit to what she would prefer. I figured when I was on the receiving end of yet another rant session, I would at least force the Manager to look directly at the eye-catching detail on my monochrome dress, all in some vein hope that it would divert her attention away from the week’s poor sales figures.

For so many fashion lovers, we use our clothes as protective armour which equips us for anything and everything! We are prepared for the unknown, ready for a chance encounter with an important person and smile enthusiastically when thinking about the future.

“Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak”. — Rachel Zoe



  1. It’s so true. I have so many clothes but I struggled tonight to find something to wear to a gallery exhibit. It had to be “arty” but still me but fun and weather appropriate! I ended up with an old faithful favourite, haha! We need to stop caring what other people think.


  2. So true that clothing is an armour. I like to be able to spend the time thinking about I am wearing when I am getting dressed so I can promptly forget about it completely once I leave the house, feeling comfortable and confident. So, in essence I dress for that- for myself.

    I used to dress very colourfully, but felt so over the top- that I gathered attention without wanting it, neutrals and black and white suit me fine now. I can hide, if I want to.

    The hardest part is to dress for a ‘fashion event’ in Perth where many of the ‘fashionistas’ dress so OTT that I can not stand it and want to wear jeans or black on purpose as a reaction against them. (Also in black I won’t be photographed for social pages, which is just never good! No one actually likes being posed hand on hip by a social photographer. Gross!)
    A really interesting article, thank you for sharing your thoughts Natalie.

    xx Jenelle


    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Jenelle,

      Firstly I am so glad you liked the post and took the time to read it. It means a lot to me, especially coming from Inspiring Wit!

      No wonder why your called Inspiring Wit! I think you have the formula down to perfection for dressing for ‘yourself’. On another note, I can’t believe you used to dress in bold colours, wow! I absolutely love your blog and the super minimalism look & style, its just so hard to imagine you wearing bright colours. I seriously wish I could do minimalism all the time, somehow I feel it would make getting dressed easier…:)

      Oh I can defiantly relate to the whole OTT outfits, I tend dress more ‘uniform’ (which is my theme for this coming weeks fashion post) because it works so well and while I may own too many black pieces, they always look ‘new’. Which brings me to my next point, thank you for the black tip- I had no idea it would prevent you from getting a photo! I completely sympathise with you there.! (Unfair how Victoria Beckham can wear black all the time)

      Thank you again for dropping by the blog, can’t wait to read your next post!

      P.S. I really enjoyed your articles about networking at events, I too get in a bad habit of staying with people I know- no matter what the event is, so many excellent and practical tips for working the room. (I bookmarked that post)


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