- May 20, 2020
It’s tough being an adult. So tough, in fact, it’s hard to tell exactly when one becomes an adult. Is it when you’re living on your own? Turn 30? Buy a house? Become a boss? Get married? Become a parent? All the above? Whether you’ve hit all of these markers or just one, chances are
It’s tough being an adult. So tough, in fact, it’s hard to tell exactly when one becomes an adult. Is it when you’re living on your own? Turn 30? Buy a house? Become a boss? Get married? Become a parent? All the above? Whether you’ve hit all of these markers or just one, chances are you may not always dress like a grown up. Nowadays, many of us can get away with wearing jeans, t-shirts, and comfortable shoes for the majority of our activities, especially if you have a more casual workplace. However, some occasions require a person to come dressed as an adult. Also, there may be times you want to present a more polished version of yourself. Here are a few tricks and tips to dressing like a grown up.
To ease into adult dressing, try topping off your standard jeans-and-tee with a cardigan, which can be just as comfortable as a sweatshirt or hoodie. Cardigans are great for spring, as they can be worn under a coat for chilly days, or on their own as the weather warms up. Cardigans also come in a variety of silhouettes from merino wool button-ups, to long open-front dusters with pockets. For a truly grown up knitwear, go for a cardigan with a bit of structure, that will skim your figure, not just hang off your shoulders. And don’t be afraid of color. Sure, a grey or black cardi can go with just about anything, but a bright red or color block sweater can show off your fun side even when you’re doing some serious adulting.
If you want to mean business, a blazer is the best way to show you are an adult boss-lady! Like cardigans, a well-cut blazer goes great with dark-wash jeans and a simple white T-shirt. Blazers are quite on trend here for spring, coming in some lovely pastel shades, like powder blue and pale pink. Also, trending are oversized plaid blazers. For full-on adult sophistication, I recommend a wool version with a well-defined shoulder in either navy or black. Personally, I prefer a two button closure with a notched lapel and vented back. However, a collar-less boxy cut can be just as effective for the grown-up look. You’ll want to steer clear of pieces with too many bells and whistles. If the blazer you’re considering has things like zippered pockets, oversized lapels, is made of denim or sweatshirt material, or has ruched sleeves, then it’s not the blazer of an adult. Also, be wary of animal prints: They are popular right now but can come across tacky if not done well.
Another easy swap for a more adult appearance is wearing a turtleneck instead of a t-shirt. A black, grey, or white turtleneck presents a much more polished version of yourself. Even with jeans and comfortable shoes, a fitted turtleneck can look quite chic, especially layered under a classic cardigan or tailored blazer. A turtleneck sweater can be worn on its own, or over your go-to tee for more warmth and coverage. The key is to keep it simple. Mock-turtlenecks, sleeveless turtlenecks, tunic turtlenecks, poncho turtlenecks, or sheer turtlenecks bring too many variant elements into play. Straight-forward silhouettes will serve you best.
Moving on down from turtlenecks, consider exchanging your skinny jeans for cropped black trousers. Just about every style advice article, book, and feature will list black pants as one of the must-haves for every woman’s closet, and I totally agree. However, there are numerous ways to interpret “black pants.” What I’m suggesting for a polished adult look are stretch-woven flat-front trousers with an ankle-length hem and slant pockets. This silhouette is flattering on a variety of body types, can be worn with just about any shoe, and lends itself to both casual or formal settings. You can sport this type of trouser with a t-shirt, jean jacket, and sneakers for the weekend, just as easily as you can with a turtleneck, blazer, and flats for work. For a night on the town, strap on some heels and a sleeveless blouse and you’re good to go. The options really are endless, and you’ll always look more grown up in a trouser than a jean.
Lastly, for a more adult shoe try a slingback. Personally, I wear loafers, flats, or low-heeled boots in my day-to-day life. However, on days when I want extra height and a bit of grown-up polish, I slip into a closed-toed sling-back, which is a more comfortable option than standard pumps. For an added bonus, with warm weather ahead, a slingback provides a tad more ventilation. If you’re not too steady on a pointy heel, go with a square lower heel, or a wedge style slingback.
If you want a head-to-toe adult outfit, depending on the color combination, you can wear all of the above items as one look. Or, if you just want to appear a bit more grown up, swap out one or two pieces from your casual fare with these more polished alternatives. Happy adulting!