A Romantic-Classic-Ingenue Stay-At-Home Mom: Casual Solutions For A Formal Style Identity
A reader writes,
I loved your style calculator and found out that I am a Romantic-Classic-Ingenue. It fits me perfectly! But I am a stay at home mom with three small children and need to dress casually a lot of the time. I'm having a hard time finding casual looks that fit my current stage of life. Any ideas?
Gamine and Natural style identities and blends lend themselves easily to casual clothes; the others, not so much. But with a little creativity, you can dress comfortably while still projecting your style identity. Let's do this for Romantic-Classic-Ingenue:
I see bottoms as the biggest hurdle in adapting RCI to a casual look.
Romantic and Ingenue both call for dresses and skirts... but "casual" probably means dresses and skirts are out.
Let's assume we'll be wearing pants, then. That would probably be manifesting the Classic element, since Classics are better in pants than Rs and Is.
But, for a SAHM, slacks aren't practical either. S
o the key is choosing casual pants that are as Classic as possible: they should fit well, they should have straight legs, they shouldn't be particularly detailed, and they should be medium-weight.
If they're somewhat stiff and tailored, like khakis, that would be ideal . But if you absolutely must wear yoga pants, make sure they're heavier and as elegant-looking as you can find.
Alternately, tight pants that show the ankle would be R/I and could be quite comfortable. They should look cute and sexy, not boring; you could manifest the cuteness and sexiness with pattern and color.
If you are implementing C from the waist down, focus on R and I from the waist up. Try R shirts: emphasize your waist and show your cleavage, but in more in comfortable fabric.
Cs and Is both get simple flats, so go with those. Choose feminine colors and patterns.
Consider I earrings, since bigger R earrings might be impractical with kids. Accessorize as much as you practically can, to bring the feminine impact from the waist up.
Consider a headband (I) to keep your hair back, if it's straight. If you have curls, consider wearing them layered around your face. If you've managed to work in a lot of R or I in other parts of your ensemble, perhaps go with a simple chignon or low bun (C).
Patterns and prints would be an easy way to bring in C, R and I without sacrificing any comfort.
First published Feb. 2016.
2/9/2016 01:14:55 am
Thank you! This is super helpful.
2/12/2016 12:41:11 am
This was great! I'm wondering if you might have some pointers for ladies with the *opposite* problem: casual identities who need formal solutions. I'm a Romantic Natural who just started a new, dressier office job. At my old job, I could wear sweaters and chunky scarves and equestrian boots with ease (I live in a cold climate) but I'm not sure how to adapt my look now. I'm hoping to avoid the pearls and classic blazer route, which looks gorgeous on other style identities, but looks very Stepford Wife on me. Any help would be most welcome!
2/16/2016 10:46:50 am
Hi! Check out this post:
2/12/2016 08:23:20 pm
A lot of women consider skirts to be very comfortable and versatile. As long as you're not walking into them all the time. An R-C-I might not be a real hippie mama, but you get the idea.
2/16/2016 10:17:20 am
You're right. On a RCI, I'd want to see skirts no longer than midi, either with some structure (both C and I) or some sexy drape (R).
8/16/2017 06:20:10 am
And Rachel, I find midi the most unflattering skirt length, and I'm R-E-I-C... The 2 by far best lengths to me are knee-length or just above, or then ankle length (I know it's the E, maybe C too?). :)
8/16/2017 08:11:11 am
Just to clarify, I meant midi = calf-length (as strangely enough I've also seen knee-length advertised as midi) ;)
8/16/2017 06:12:09 am
Totally agree, Ann Elizabeth!
2/29/2016 11:35:08 pm
I really wish you'd consider doing a post on jeans. As a Bright Winter Romantic-Ethereal-Dramatic I've just about given up finding a pair of jeans that look good on me. I looked back thru all of my pictures from my 20's and 30's and couldn't find one picture that I looked good in a pair of jeans. I looked dumpy every time, exactly like the pictures of the woman in your post on the Romantic style who were in sweat pants.
3/1/2016 04:11:42 am
The not-so-great news is that some garments are more or less one style ID by definition. Jeans, for example: by definition, they are casual pants made of sturdy cotton, initially designed for laborers and still strictly casual, not formal. That's Natural (and perhaps some Gamine), right? So If you reframe your question as "What kind of casual, sturdy, practical cotton pants can a Romantic-Ethereal-Dramatic wear?", the answer would seem obvious: none!
3/1/2016 11:37:09 am
Thanks, Rachel. I kinda figured that I was going to be out of luck in the jeans department. I don't have any desire to wear them, but I volunteer at a youth camp in the summers and the required uniform is jeans and the camp T-shirt. The boxy t-shirt & jeans ensemble visually add about twenty pounds to my figure, and I'm not overweight. The pictures from last year's camp we're the worst I've ever looked in pictures and I'm trying to avoid a repeat. I've had no success finding tight, cropped jeans that have enough room for my Romantically proportioned booty. Something that I'm guessing a lot of Romantic style types struggle with.
3/1/2016 09:10:44 pm
Oops. I meant R/E for Romantic/Ethereal.
5/26/2016 01:17:06 pm
Hi Karen. I, too, am a Romantic (with Dramatic mixed in) and don't look great in jeans and a t-shirt, so I can feel your pain with the youth camp attire! My solution is to wear the smallest, tightest t-shirts I can so that my waist shows. That makes me look much thinner than I do in boxy t-shirts. Also, I either cut or roll the sleeves so that they're about three inches from my shoulder. That widens my top half to balance my hips and makes me look hourglass-y. Go get 'em at camp!
8/16/2017 06:11:09 am
I find the assumption that a stay-at-home-mum, or anyone else in a casual life situation, would automatically be wearing pants, very depressing... I'm a R-E-I-C myself and almost never wear pants, though I'm in a very casual life situation, too. The only kinds I wear are leggings with skirt, or classic feminine pants, both demanded by cold season rather than any other situation! (Which is to say, when it's warm enough I wear neither, but skirts and dresses only.)
8/17/2017 01:38:55 pm
It's awesome that you're able to make skirts and dresses work for you so easily! :-)
7/2/2019 07:17:50 am
Totally agree with this (what Rosetta wrote above)! :)
7/2/2019 08:45:15 am
Just to add that I'm some kind of blend of Romantic-Ingenue-Dramatic-Ethereal (not sure about percentages, but the first 2 are the most crucial essences for me), and prefer skirts & dresses too, by far. :)
7/1/2019 04:50:46 pm
I love the suggestions for pants. I'm REI so I cheat and wear bootcut jeans which are probably more EN. I live a casual lifestyle so when I do wear dresses they're more casual. I'd have to go through and type my dresses because I doubt they're REI. Some of my dresses may have some Romantic, though so I'm not completely off.
7/2/2019 02:55:20 pm
Who ever own this blog... would you please consider adding pins to REG board? - I was informed by a friend that my Shopping Guide is missing a section and your Pinterest account says you haven’t added to REG in over a year (almost 2 years). You’ve only been adding to the Ingenue and Classic boards recently ... (fingers crossed for an update of my R.E.G. resources!)
7/3/2019 01:50:20 am
Hmm, this post has me thinking about the androgynous-to-femme leaning half of the Ingenue realm.
7/5/2019 09:53:43 am
Agree with most of this! Agree with Sophie. Malina ENI I'd guess. I thought Holland had D at first but I actually think she may be NCI. Would guess DCI for Adut and RDI for Lupita.
7/6/2019 03:11:40 pm
Hi Kermit, I definitely didn't see classic in Adut at first. But besides her very full lips, I think her facial features are medium-sized, averagely-positioned, and somewhat restrained, the way we'd expect a classic's to be. She looks balanced and symmetrical to me. I think sometimes it can be hard to "see" Classic when people also have notable amounts of other essences. I could be wrong, but she seemed to look harmonious against the DCI board.
7/6/2019 01:00:03 pm
I'm intrigued, what is "androgynous-to-femme leaning half of the Ingenue realm"? As Ingenue is a purely feminine essence ;) Or does that mean blends with I as the minority essence?
7/6/2019 02:47:18 pm
Ingenue is childlike and less accepting of profuse detail than R or E. It can sometimes read androgynous, as it doesn’t speak to matured femininity or pronounced secondary sex characteristics. Ingenues are often petite and look androgynous to femme rather than possessing the overt femininity of a Romantic or the distinctive delicate femininity of an Ethereal. I’m one myself and can certainly look andro if not wearing the empire waists and cropped things that suit me best. And if I’ve not done my hair or whatever. I def can’t see Classic in Adut, Megan. Maybe a smidge of Ethereal? Def DI tho. Lupita looks very strange in Romantic garb to me, but maybe that’s just because we look very similar and I feel weird about R on myself? I don’t know. This is interesting!!
7/6/2019 09:00:30 pm
Hi Melina. I just meant people who are Ingenue and 50% or more feminine (essence wise). So not NGI blends, DNI blends, etc. Though I’m beginning to realize that, appearance wise, each person’s essence percentages play a large role in determining F/M levels as well. For example I’ve seen a DNI with ALOT of Ingenue (extreme baby face) and she looked equally or more feminine than a RDC who had a lot of DC with only a bit of Romantic. Another commenter recently mentioned that about Sherilyn Fenn. She’s a “Rachel verified” Romantic who -just by looking at her face- doesn’t seem particularly feminine (at best, she look 50 feminine /50 masculine). But her best outfits truly are ones that are predominantly feminine leaning (meaning, over 50% femininity). I believe she’s RD with C or E.
7/7/2019 06:19:45 am
Kermit & Tabitha, thanks ;) I have myself Romantic and Ingenue as my most important essences (and in addition probably D and/or E), and anything androgynous looks horrible on me, that's why I was wondering ;)
7/7/2019 09:05:50 am
Tabitha, I've just taken a look at these faces and here is my results: Sophie DEC, Malina EGI or RGI, Holland DRI, Adut DI or DIR. I made a judment first, then compared it with your comment and we have one opinion about Malina and Adut. Such a fun :D
7/6/2019 11:29:23 pm
Hi Kermit! I do agree with Megan that Classic is on track for Adut Akech. Only DI wasn’t enough for her IMO. Rachel has classified Gaye McDonald (the Jamaican model) as DC also. Though their features (eyes, lips, etc) are Dramatic, they are still Classic and proportionate relative to their face. DC is a harder combo to conceptualize, but it is still very much existent. I think those YouTube sisters, Duckie Thot and Nikki Perkins may also be DC. For sure Duckie. Rachel has also identified Keri Hilson as a Ethereal Classic and Ciara as Romantic Classic. Idris Elba is also a Classic.
7/7/2019 08:04:57 pm
Cool, I need to re-examine the way I view Classic, perhaps! Intriguing! I totally misconstrued something Rachel wrote in my Natural Ingenue style guide about Ingenue’s babyish features sometimes reading as a more moderate femininity (femme to androgynous maybe) so I need to take some time to examine the essence boards again! And yeah I totally got held up thinking I had Romance because of my full lips but actually it plus my button nose, dimples, and short height was reading much more Ingenue than R. Interesting experience playing to what I thought was R in audition rooms and reading more like a bubbly, giggly girl than the sexy bombshell lady I was going for. 😅 I’m really glad more dark-skinned, short natural-haired Ingenues are coming to the fore. I feel like Adut and Lupita kind of shake up the mainstream idea of dainty, girlish femininity, and I’m all for redefining beauty ideals!
8/4/2020 10:47:35 am
Usually, if I must wear casual bottoms, I stick with tight calf length yoga pants in black or white and pair it with flowing R or I tops that end just past my booty. Add R/I jewelry and sandals and I'm good to go. I don't even bother with shorts, as they are an epic fail on me. I look so much better in skirts and dresses and wear them as often as possible. Unfortunately, those of us with more formal style ID's are usually living very casual lives. It's a real struggle to dress true to your natural lines and yet still be able to accommodate your lifestyle.
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