Poll: Do You Buy More Casual or Dressy Clothes?

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
4/25/2011 6:00 PM   :  75 comments   :  12,864 Views

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Back in the day, I was a real clotheshorse. I wore heels, dresses and skirts to work, I spent weekends shopping with friends, and I got a real thrill from new items for my wardrobe.

Over the years, my love of fashion has waned. I no longer like to shop and do most of it online. I actually put myself on a shopping "diet" as a New Year's resolution to be more aware of the material possessions I bring into my life.

These days, I wear casual clothes to the office most days, and I own only a few fancy dresses, business outfits and the like. Outside of the office, I like to look nice, but my wardrobe is jeans or leggings and sweaters in winter and sundresses in summer. I gave up high heels for comfortable shoes long ago, and my most recent clothing purchases were purple waterproof hiking sandals (from Keen) and an SPF 50 rashguard shirt (from Athleta) for an upcoming active vacation.

Experts tell us when we're dressed to move, we're more likely to get moving. I agree. I like wearing clothes that allow me to move freely in this world, and I'm quite fortunate to have a job and a life that allows for that.

"Dressing up" for a night out with my sweetie or a dinner with my girlfriends is more fun for me these days because I don't get to do it very often. That said, I also get a thrill from new workout clothes!

How about you? Have you changed how you dress since taking steps to improve your health?

Why do you prefer to dress the way you do? Are you obligated to dress up for your job? If so, how do you dress in your down time?

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Comments

  • 75
    I always have been fond of nice cloathes and like to dress nicely. I dress up for work and wear high heels but manage to give my feet and back a break with cute ballerina shoes. On the week-end, I mostly wear leggins, yoga cloathing by Lululemon for comfort and simplicity. I like to go window shopping to make a visual selection before I buy. When I do stumble upon a very exclusive item I will buy like a superb necklace found in Paris lately. I try to make choices that fit my mood for fashion but that will also last through time. - 4/30/2011   8:50:41 AM
  • 74
    I like business casual. I love sundresses and sandals. I caqn't walk in heels so I'm not a big shoe person. In fact my taste in shoes is not varied. I take my sister shopping with me to help me pick out shoes. I may be the only women in America who hates shoe shopping. However now that I'm loosing weight a nice pair of jeans with pumps and a nice blouse, makes me feel really good, I like the look in my full length mirror. Help me, I'm getting vain. - 4/29/2011   8:53:10 PM
  • SUSANGO123
    73
    I find that I am better at dressing more for going out than I use to. But, I still wear a lot of clothes that try to hide the trouble spots because of loose skin. In time hopefully, I will not be so self-conscious of my body and try something a little more revealing. - 4/29/2011   8:06:21 PM
  • 72
    When I worked in downtown LA, I dressed up every day (suits & heels). Since I walked from the train to my office, my shoes were comfortable and only had moderate heels. Now, it seems everything is casual--even in super nice restaurants people are wearing shorts, tank tops, and thongs.

    While I was overweight , I hated clothes. Everything made me look fat and dumpy. Though not to my goal, I am officially NOT overweight anymore, I now find I like wearing clothes again. Yeah, jeans and shorts for the weekends -- but I also wearing enjoy dresses again. However, for shoes, I still demand comfort first. - 4/29/2011   12:16:38 PM
  • 71
    I love to look at dressy clothes, but as a teacher, there isn't much call for it. However, since losing weight and starting to show curves again I am slowly being new clothes. I am buying both casual and dressy! - 4/29/2011   11:39:36 AM
  • 70
    I teach phys. ed so I always wear workout gear and casual clothes. Never really had a lot of dress up clothes. I have purchased a lot more clothes since joining Sparkpeople. It's just way more fun to shop now. - 4/28/2011   1:00:12 PM
  • 69
    Now that I have reached goal weight, my clothes have changed from knit, elastic waist pants and big, loose, sloppy T-shirts to Jeans (size 10!) and nice tops, some of which are form fitting. Never would I have worn tops like I am wearing now! Big was good, comfortable and safe. I now wear Cami's with lower cut necklines. Not sultry, but attractive. I do have some really nice jackets for Church and going out to dinner along with some lovely dress trousers. My shoes are still, and will always be, low heels or flats. I will say my clothing budget is going off the charts buying clothes that fit! Thank heaven for Coldwater Creek on line outlet store sales! - 4/27/2011   10:49:04 PM
  • DONB52
    68
    I gave up on dressy clothes years ago! Jeans, polo shirt and walking shoes or other casual shoes is the "uniform of the day" for me. - 4/27/2011   4:11:48 PM
  • 67
    casual, for work - 4/27/2011   1:25:19 PM
  • 66
    I love my jeans&tee and wear it frequently to work. My work is business casual but for a donation to charities that my employer supports, we get what are called "casual stickers" and I do that a lot because I don't like to dress up for work. On the weekends, however, I really enjoy dressing up to go out, including heels. I think as I lose more weight and can shop at more places, I will actually start buying more nice, dressier clothing but will always love my jeans&tee. - 4/27/2011   9:39:18 AM
  • 65
    I grew up in NYC in the fifty's and that meant you always dressed up and when you went out of the house you had your gloves and hat. Since I was in management since I was 17, I always dressed up.
    When I had children, I was casual at home, or for sport activities but otherwise still dressed up. This continued into the 80's.
    One day my boss came into the office and said I had to dress down, pants, boots etc no more skirts, heels etc. Why? My subcontractors were complaining that I was a distraction and everytime I went outside my jobsite office trailer, I stopped work. I was an on-site construction project manager.
    Since then I have only dressed comfortably. This comes with a down side, I know I don't even own any more heels, dresses or skirts and only a couple of dress pants or shirts. - 4/27/2011   8:45:00 AM
  • 64
    I like to wear comfortable clothing. Not sloppy,but casual that match. - 4/27/2011   5:17:48 AM
  • 63
    If you have read the children's story about the man who popped so much pop corn~pretty soon he found himself outside his home, on a mountain high pile of popcorn~eating like no other,(the title of this book, I have no clue) thus would be the case where my clothing is concerned! After downsizing, with the size of our home, like wise I down sized my wardrobe. Just like weight loss folks, if you aren't committed, it isn't going to remain at the same VICTORY NUMBER...yeahhh...tis the same with clothing too. It's been one year since moving into this "much smaller home," uh-ohhhh I'm back to the same amount of clothing as prior to our move(possibly more...! SHHHhhhh don't tell my hubby~pleaseeeee)!!!

    Dare I say I'm a trendy~casual dresser. For the most part this means jeans or leggings, with flashy or attention getting shirts/blouses, bracelets, ahhhh yesss RINGS (blingggyyy rings are the BEST)! When it comes to foot ware, Im a sneaker girl~casual flat sneakers with "personality," plaid, polka dots...paint splattered. Cute ~N~ Sassy at the same time :o). It was when I hit middle school age, when I was working seven days a week, and buying all of my own clothing as well as shoes, that my folks allowed fashion, without being "THE POLICE." Thus became who I am today~ and I like me....very much at that. Likewise I encourage the same thing with my daughter. She is cowgirl to the core. Countrified THROUGH AND THROUGH, and likes herself TOO,.....very much at that! :o) - 4/27/2011   3:14:59 AM
  • 62
    When I was young I wore LOTS of fancy dresses and high heels and cared so much about how I looked, but now that I'm 61, I couldn't care less about clothes. Guess that is one more reason why being slim is harder, as it was a REAL reason to work at being slim when I was young. I loved wearing tight skirts and knit sweaters. - 4/27/2011   12:38:56 AM
  • 61
    Skirts are comfy and can be dressy or casual. My exercise shirts are all pretty colors, high tech material and my exercise pants fit nice enough for running errands --- or really running. I'm usually dressed up in casual clothing! - 4/27/2011   12:36:29 AM
  • 60
    I have to wear a uniform for work, which frankly makes me look like a boy. So on my days off it's dresses and girly clothes for me! I may be a tad overdressed for running errands, but hey, looking pretty and polished makes me feel good. - 4/26/2011   10:58:46 PM
  • VANANDEL
    59
    Definitely more casual clothes! I don't enjoy shopping much, even though clothes fit me now. I'd rather be doing something more active! - 4/26/2011   10:46:59 PM
  • 58
    I really don't enjoy dressing up. I wear slacks and shirts to the office. I'm behind a desk and no one can usually see me from the waist down, so it really doesn't make much difference. - 4/26/2011   10:20:31 PM
  • 57
    While it's fine that people move toward more casual and comfortable dress in the workplace, one does not need to look sloppy or sacrifice looking neat and smart. When I work with people who are becoming administrators and educators, I choose to dress above what most expectations might be, leaving the bare feet or what may be perceived as "sexy" at home. In return, I feel well respected by the people I serve. - 4/26/2011   5:30:43 PM
  • 56
    Dressing "business casual" for my days in the office is helpful in establishing myself as a professional to be taken seriously. But it's an academic environment, so overdoing it would DIMINISH my credibility. My clothes often have a bohemian/peasant flair, which makes me happy.

    I haven't worn heels higher than 1.5" for years. I want to always wear clothes & shoes that would be comfortable to walk long distances in, or to run if that became necessary! I wear boots in winter, mary jane flats in spring/summer/fall, & sometimes sandals in summer.

    NEVER pantyhose. In cooler weather, if I wear a dress or skirt it's with leggings or tights underneath. In summer, it's bare legs with self-tanner. - 4/26/2011   2:29:46 PM
  • RUNESHADOW
    55
    I haven't made enough progress yet to need new clothes. My llifestyle requires comfy casual clothes for multiple appts and errands every week, and visiting young grandkids on Sundays.. Bum knee and bad back mean I live in athletic shoes... I need to find comfy shoes I can wear with panthose! It bothers me that I can't wear even 2" heels more than an hour.

    However, when I do drop more weight, I would like to get more dresses and skirts. My fiance passed away in 2004 and I miss dressing up for occasional nights out. I will keep working on improving my nutrition and exercise with SP and I am sure I will gain confidence and venture out more. - 4/26/2011   12:51:41 PM
  • 54
    I actually disagree with the hypothesis that as you get more active, you dress more casually. Putting aside the fact that I have to dress professionally for work, I find that putting a lot of effort into my clothing keeps me motivated to work out. I have always loved to shop and put outfits together. I went through a time in my life where I was "too busy" with work to really put any thought or effort into how I looked or dressed. This is the time period during which I gained the most weight. When I did feel like shopping, it was a chore because I had trouble fitting into things that I used to fit into, and I would become depressed. As I started losing weight, I started enjoying shopping again. The pleasure that I get from buying a really nice top or accessory (I still haven't lose enough weight for pants shopping to be fun) is a reflection of how I feel about myself. - 4/26/2011   12:28:47 PM
  • 53
    I teach art in the Virgin Islands - so my everyday school clothes are fairly casual. Tank top or short-sleeved top, capris or skirts, the occasional dress - and Birkenstock sandals. I have the occasional dressy event, but still, my dressy is usually what we call "island elegant" - a little sundress in linen or silk or cotton, and patent leather wedge sandals. We rarely go all out. And I haven't worn "business attire" in years - even to a district meeting or training, I'll wear my school clothes with a sweater or jacket. I don't even own a suit! - 4/26/2011   12:19:09 PM
  • 52
    I'm a clotheshorse and own everything. But recently my job went to 3 day workweek which impacts the number of days I dress up. I buy less accessories and not as fussy. I keep it simple so I can change to workout. - 4/26/2011   12:15:56 PM
  • 51
    For me it is casual about 99% of the time. I feel uncomfortable in dressy clothes, and some even give me actual pain or rashes. - 4/26/2011   11:54:11 AM
  • FIT-AGAIN
    50
    Since I'm a stay at home mom, almost everything I wear is casual. I feel very uncomfortable and constricted when I'm dressed up. - 4/26/2011   11:44:00 AM
  • 49
    I dress up only when forced to.....weddings and the like! I love casual clothes, jeans and soft shirts and blouses. Since I've lost weight and gotten smaller I LOVE workout clothes. My shoes are almost all suitable for running, walking or hiking. - 4/26/2011   11:25:35 AM
  • JEFFDVANBRUNT
    48
    This is really a bad poll. I picked an answer but truth is, my answer is false. The true answer for me is that A) I have no love of fashion, and could frankly care less B) I buy what a I need, so it is a mix.

    I am one that believes in the idea of "dressing for success." When I am working I dress up. Mentally, it puts me in the right frame of mind to excell at what I do. When I am not working, I am casual. So, I buy both, and that has not changed for years. Bottom line, bad poll., - 4/26/2011   11:22:49 AM
  • 47
    I only buy casual clothes any more. Dressing up seems to be overkill mostly. I need to be presentable for work, but it has to be comfortable. - 4/26/2011   10:51:18 AM
  • 46
    You are absolutely right! I dress up less now that I am exercising more. Thank God that I also now have a job that allows a more casual dress. - 4/26/2011   10:36:05 AM
  • LAURAWILLBEFIT
    45
    I wear mainly casual clothes!
    I don't dress up to often. - 4/26/2011   10:26:17 AM
  • 44
    Since I've been working from home I buy mostly casual and comfortable clothes. I only buy dressy clothes if I have a wedding to go to or a special occasion, which isn't too often.

    Years ago when I started my first job I bought my first dress, and early in my career when I worked in an office I bought mostly suits and dresses because I wore them every day for work. I wore high heel shoes daily back then, but now I buy mostly flats and lower heels because they're more comfortable to me. Now that I work from home I'm more comfortable in casual machine washable clothes which also saves money on new clothes and dry cleaning. - 4/26/2011   10:08:26 AM
  • 43
    I own exactly one dress. Pretty much everything else I own, I could work out in! I work in a child care, so I have learned not to dress nicely! I had a nice pair of khakis that now have Sharpie on them that won't come out. And I wore a white sweater one morning, only to have a kid with a bloody nose wipe it on me. Yeah...no nice clothes when you work with children! - 4/26/2011   10:07:12 AM
  • 42
    I seem to buy more casual clothes and make my more dressy clothes. It really depends on the cost too. Recently with my downsizing (of my body) I finally had to start shopping to replace everything that is too big and just looks sloppy. I've started sewing clothes again too since I am most likely pretty close to where I am going to be size wise.
    Shoes are a big thing - it is difficult right now to find dressier shoes that are not really high heels. I like to compromise between trendy and classic in both my clothes and shoes and shoes are a real challenge right now.
    We are casual at work but I still like to dress nice so mix it up. Also mix it up for church as we have the philosophy we're glad you're here and what you are wearing does not matter. My lifestyle is also not dressy - my husband owns one pair of dress pants so that tells you how often they are probably worn. - 4/26/2011   9:58:54 AM
  • 41
    Love the comment bout wearing 20% of the wardrobe 80% of the time. Certainly true for me! Very casual, and comfort is a huge priority.

    However - just bought 3 summer dresses and am actually looking for sandals with a little heel to them. But - the dresses are from Columbia Sportwear - pack tiny for travel, super comfortable cloth. - 4/26/2011   9:45:37 AM
  • 40
    I work in education and tend to wear "business casual". There is no way I can wear heels as I am on my feet all day. I live in the desert where temperatures can be extreme, especially in summer, so casual cotton skirts and capris with sandals are the order of the day. - 4/26/2011   9:44:10 AM
  • KRIMMI515
    39
    I 'dress up' for work, but since joining SP, I have been buying more casual clothes; exercise shorts, bathing suit, tank tops, shorts. I have not bought any dressy clothes in years. I have not ofund any dresses that I would really like to buy and I am still holding on to my dressy clothes that I used to wear for when I go out. - 4/26/2011   9:37:14 AM
  • 38
    We are now business casual, so need to give away my suits (there's a "women back to work" place that loves suit and clothing donations).
    I have a huge variety of clothing, but love my dresses and my workout clothes. I try to look good always, then I feel good. Of course it's mostly dress pants in winter, and dresses and skirts in the summer - I love the change of seasons and the change of clothes.
    Oh, and I have a drawer full of bathing suits - love them too. - 4/26/2011   9:20:41 AM
  • 37
    It's causal clothes all the way for me. Even though I lost the weight and could wear snazzier clothes, I'm grateful that I don't have to dress for work. I've always been more Oscar Madison than Felix Unger.

    I hate getting dressed up. I'm a perfectly contented bum !


    - 4/26/2011   9:18:08 AM
  • 36
    Because I work from home, nearly everything I've owned for the past 10 years is casual. OK, sloppy. Since losing a little weight, I'm actually purchasing more "dressy" clothes, simply because I haven't for so long. Still dressing casual - always ready for a workout - but the new purchases are dressy. - 4/26/2011   9:11:23 AM
  • 35
    I didn't spend any time, energy, or money on clothes before I lost weight. Now that I like how I look, I tend to go a bit overboard. But it's all casual, since I'm retired. - 4/26/2011   9:03:55 AM
  • MARGOTHD11
    34
    I have a mix of both, but I usually find myself going back to the old staples - jeans, t-shirts, or exercise clothes so that I can be comfy and walk more around town. - 4/26/2011   9:03:34 AM
  • 33
    I have to dress in business attire or business casual on my job, so I have had to buy more dressy clothes since my former wardrobe is too baggy. I do dress casual on the weekends and after work but haven't had to buy so many workout clothes. - 4/26/2011   8:56:19 AM
  • 32
    I'm a Registered Nurse and work in a busy ICU. Casual Scrubs are the only things I can wear. I have a ton in my wardrobe including some special ones for Holidays. I do have dressy clothes for church or special occasions though. - 4/26/2011   8:28:19 AM
  • 31
    90% of the time I'm wearing workout clothes and I am very grateful when I go to my other job and actually have to dress nice. - 4/26/2011   8:12:44 AM
  • EMMANYC
    30
    I live in NYC and work in financial services. Our dress code is "business casual" but it's a fairly dressy version of that concept and my office is on the same floor as the CEO's office, so I tend to dress at the higher end of "business casual". I mostly wear dresses and skirts, winter and summer, for work. Since losing weight, I also have splurged on exercise clothes and on dressy casual clothes like tunics (paired with leggings and interesting boots to show off my legs) and dressier Ts and tops that I pair with jeans. - 4/26/2011   7:54:54 AM
  • 29
    I've definitely been splurging on exercise clothes more than business attire lately. It keeps me motivated to feel like I look cute when I'm working out! - 4/26/2011   7:13:19 AM
  • 28
    I've always been more keen on buying casual items as opposed to dressy items. When I got a job late last year, I realized I had to buy nicer things (the job permits casual-wear, but asks that you dress nice when the big-wigs come to town) and went shopping-- most of the clothes I bought were casual! But, the could be paired with slacks or something to make a nice business-casual type outfit. - 4/26/2011   6:58:00 AM
  • JANISLOVESPIE
    27
    Both because I lost 35 pounds and 4 sizes last year (before SP) and had to get rid of almost all of my old wardrobe. My job permits me to dress casually, so that's how I voted. - 4/26/2011   6:50:03 AM
  • 26
    I think I am somewhere in the middle, since I'm a teacher. I dress professionally, with class, but I'm not doing business suits or cocktail dresses. I wish I had more reasons to dress up, actually -- Vermont is a place where faded baggy Levis are semi-formal, and I want to wear dresses when I go out.

    Sure, my trousers and heels don't encourage me to go for a run at a moment's notice, but they DO make me feel more confident in my body. And since they're more fitted than t-shirts and knit sundresses (which I love on a 90 degree day, don't get me wrong!), they actually motivate me to keep exercising and eating right so that they keep looking good! - 4/26/2011   5:38:58 AM

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