Dressing Up and Dressing Down

Posted: June 16, 2011 at 9:26 am

One of the things I enjoy most about our annual beach trip comes with the chance to dress up for dinner a few nights out of the week. As a stay at home mom, who bums around in workout clothes all day long, I don’t often get myself all gussied up. I do enjoy doing so from time to time and vacation gives me just the opportunity.


Last night I pulled out one of my all time favorite dresses. I got it from J.Crew 4 or 5 years ago, but it has such a classic style that I still love it. I zipped it up and instantly felt a boost of confidence. Rocking a dress doesn’t happen often for me. Although, I must admit – as nice as it feels to dress up, it makes me appreciate dressing down all the more. I always can’t wait to get back home and into some comfortable digs!

I guess low-key suits my style better. In fact, I find myself choosing low-key over done-up quite often. Take Peter & my couples dinner from G-Pa this week. Every year G-Pa gives each married couple $100 to use how they want towards a dinner out together. Every year Peter and I go back and forth on how to use the money. Go all out one a dinner for two at a nice style restaurant we would not typically go on our own? Or hit up a favorite, albeit more casual, place and pocket the cash? What do you think we did?


We hit up the old favorite! We both love love love good pizza. Genovese’s Italian close to our condo delivers with good pizza, so we chose to go there for our dinner since we get a fix on nicer places during our family outings other times during the week.

We decided to start with an eggplant rollatini for an appetizer.  It had eggplant rolled with romano and ricotta cheeses, topped with a marinara.


It was just okay. We remembered after the fact that Genovese’s doesn’t have great Italian food - just great pizza. For our main dish, we ordered a pizza with light cheese, whole wheat crust, spinach, onions, olives, mushrooms, and pepperoni.


I gobbled up two large slices and saved the rest because I started feeling full. Yet we all know a separate compartment exists in the stomach for dessert. Despite both of us filling up decently on good pizza, we found ourselves hitting up a frozen yogurt joint to finish off the night.


I loaded up my cup. They know how to get you with those extra-large cups! I easily got suckered in to piling up my cup. I started with a reasonable portion of white chocolate and cheesecake yogurt flavors. Then, too many toppings appealed to me and I kept adding more and more on to my yogurt, leaving with a loaded bowl. I couldn’t leave behind brownie bits, cookie dough, peanut butter chips, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch toppings!


I have never seen any of those at a yogurt place before!! And they totally made my yogurt. I managed to eat the whole thing. It’s a gift. Our dressed down, low-key dinner date couldn’t have made me happier. Any date that includes frozen yogurt and chilling with my wonderful husband works for me – dressed down in all its glory.

  • What is your style? Do you like going more high-end or low-key?

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39 Comments to “Dressing Up and Dressing Down”
  1. Low key for me! High end is a rare treat, and that’s okay. Glad you’re having fun!

  2. I absolutely love dressing up. It makes me feel great!

    But admittedly I do like to come home and slip on leggings and a long shirt and my cozy socks for bummin’ 😉

  3. I love dressing up for dinner!! So fun 🙂

  4. You rocked that dress! I’m more of a low key girl myself but there are times where I love dressing up.

  5. Purdy lady! That food looks nummy num nummy! 😛

  6. jobo says:

    You look fabulous! I can relate to liking to dress up…since I work from home, I don’t tend to dress up much either, so I look forward to it on weekends and such. and summer clothes are SO much cuter to dress up in, aren’t they??

  7. You look incredible! I’m a low key gal all the way. I like the ease of just enjoying good food and good company in a relaxing atmosphere.

  8. Too bad the Eggplant Rollatini wasn’t great, that is one of my favorite foods!

    I am definitely dressed down more often. I like dressing up, but I hate how long it takes me to get ready!

  9. I am usually a low key style dresser but I absolutely LOVE dressing up! I need a good excuse now 🙁 I have a dress from 5 years ago that I’m in love with & it recently started fitting beautifully again! Congratulations on yours 🙂 You look fabulous.

  10. I feel the same way. I work in a very casual place and sometimes from home so unless I’m at a client I never dress up. Sometimes I look longingly at my dresses in the closet wishing I had a place to wear them to but then anytime I have something dressy on I’m thinking about how soon I can get home and into sweats!

  11. At school I go more for the comfort on a day to day basis: work out clothes for bumming around the house and just jeans, sneakers, and a sweatshirt for my classes! I get all gussied up for special events or dates though, and it always makes it even more special because it’s not something I do on a day to day basis.

  12. Aww, cute dress! I’m definitely more low key; and like you, if something fits and I like it, I’m keepin’ it for a while. 🙂

  13. Tina you always look fabulous but that dress is super stunning on you 🙂 I am definitely more low-key…I love beach-y styles the most !

  14. You look awesome! I generally prefer low-key, but it is a lot of fun to get all dolled up for special occasions 🙂

  15. Allison says:

    I totally know what you mean! I wear gym clothes all day since i work 5-12 and then workout and then (hopefully) nap so i always get super dressed up even if i’m just going to the food store or walmart:) it really boosts your mood but i am always happy to get home and throw on something comfy!

    And im totally jealous of that yogurt bowl! There are a few yogurt places around me but none of them have any none dairy options:(

  16. Aww that looks so fun! 🙂 And the pizza looks fabulous!

    I actually like doing the high-end thing because I don’t get to very often. I, like you, spend all week in workout clothes/swimsuit (I’m a lifeguard and work at a health club) so even though I’m not very good at looking cute and dressing up, I like to try! 😉 It’s always fun to do something different.

  17. It all depends — normally we go to a low key place, but every once in a while it is so nice to go to a super pricey restaurant (that obviously only happens very rarely since we’re penny pinchers!)

    You look great in that dress — I love halter tops like that.

  18. Sarah says:

    I”m definitely more of a low key girl. That yogurt looks soo good. That happens to me every time I go to Red Mango. The cups are massive and before I know I’m paying for $6 yogurt! Delicious each time though.

  19. Lindsey says:

    I do the 9-5 thang’ during the week, so I spend a lot of time in business casual attire. I actually really like my heels, a-line skirts and fancy blouses. But come Friday night, I want sneakers and jeans and nothing else.

    I usually leave the house in the morning in my ‘big girl’ clothes and come home in my gi from karate or stanky running clothes. I can say that my wardbrode is about 60% work, 30% workout close and a very dull 10% of casual stuff.

    Looks like your having a great vacation! Thanks for bring us along.

  20. Joanna B says:

    It’s always fun to read what other people like to do for fun.

    I’m more a high-end girl. I love clothes, dresses, make-up and heels. I actually feel more comfortable in dresses and although I wear jeans, I feel frumpy in them. I love a good night on the town and dinner at trendy spot in the city. I even like to have cute matching workout gear.

  21. I consider myself to be low-key but every now and again it feels great to get all dolled up for a night out. 🙂

    P.S. – That pizza looks amazing!!!! yum!

  22. Maren says:

    I would chose going to an old favorite too. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

  23. Dorry says:

    I’m the same way – I love to dress up every now and then, but what I love even more is taking off the dressy clothes, washing my face, and getting into something super comfortable. 🙂

  24. Camille says:

    I love getting dressed up and going out for dinner dates (I have one this weekend!)…but I’m a full time yoga teacher and am always in workout clothes. And- I agree with you- it feels nice to come back and be in your bum around clothes. So glad you guys are having fun!

  25. I definitely love to get dressed up on the weekends, but it doesn’t always happen. I have 3 weddings coming up so I’m looking forward to get all dressed up!

    I’d have to say I’m in between. Sometimes I love going to a fancy Italian restaurant in the city, but usually we keep it low key and head out for sushi or something simple!

  26. I love dressing up too – but it feels oh so good to get back into the comfies once I get home! 🙂

  27. You look BEAUTIFUL in that dress! Rock it!!!! 😀

    I actually prefer dressing down. While it is nice to get dressed up, I don’t like having attention on me. It makes me nervous!

  28. Shayla says:

    I love getting gussied up on a night on the town with my hubby but it’s usually to our fav routine restaurants….I love the “idea” of going to a high-end restaurant, but whenever we do it’s always too stuffy for us and we end up paying way too much money on ok food….I love just staying with the familiar b/c I know we’ll be satisfied, both in our bellies and wallets 🙂

  29. I love both. I love when we are going out and I can get dressed up, but I also love the fact that I have the option of lounging around in my workout clothes! There are days when I just don’t feel like getting dressed! Haha!

  30. vivoir says:

    For some things I do enjoy high-end (my hairdresser is known within the whole county for being a little, um, pricey and indulgent, I think nothing of paying for premium skincare or quality sportswear) but for others, I can’t deal with the feeling of extravagence (I can’t buy myself coffees out, lunches out, an item of clothing I see and really, really like)

    I think it’s a confidence thing. I don’t like to ‘treat’ myself on everyday things, or material possessions that I view to be superfluous. For me, training and looking after my body are prime. Thus ‘OK’ to spend on. Luxury food for me makes me feel guilty that I’m ‘treating’ myself with something that needn’t be so indulgent, likewise with clothes that won’t have any real function other than looking pretty

    Strange I know!

  31. I’m definitely a low key girl, only for special occasions I’ll get all glammed up. My husband and I feel guilty spending money at a high end restaurant, especially now that we have 3 kids. I’d rather spend money on good quality food and make a nice dinner at home for the entire family to enjoy. My hubby and I are big time home bodies! But it does feel good to dress up and get out for a date night! Glad you had a good time and I love your dress, the style and color is very flattering! 🙂

  32. Karen says:

    I am definitely a low-key person! I feel more comfortable and familiar in low-key settings. If I’m going to enjoy a rare night out I want to be able to be kick back and relax. I have been to very few really fancy dinners and every time that I go I feel like I’m pretending to be someone I’m not. Is that weird?

  33. I love to dress up, but then I also LOVE coming up and getting comfy — which I suppose most people can relate to. 🙂 I’m probably happiest in a summer dress and flip flops, so something in between 🙂

  34. Mandy says:

    Mmmmmm that pizza and frozen yogurt made my mouth water 🙂

  35. You look so pretty!! And that is SO sweet of your g-pa!

  36. I use everything as an excuse to dress up! Dinner out with the hubs? That calls for a dress. Day trip to a winery? That calls for a dress and some killer heels. Wednesday afternoon? That calls for a dress.

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