WIW 09.26 & 27: Una's RATE/POP challenge

Since I'm right in the middle of the RATE/Polished continuum, my challenge was to do one outfit that's fully RATE and one that's fully Polished. Well, I must say it was harder than I expected! True to my 50-50 nature, even my clothing items don't squarely fall into one category or the other (due to material, cut, distressing, etc.). So I ended up with two looks that simply tip the scale on each side; I don't feel that either of these fully qualify for the spectrum end they're meant to represent -_-

  1. Monday, worn to work. RATE elements: drapey jersey top, lightly acid washed jeans with plenty of scrunch, distressed faux leather booties, nubby-knit oversized cardigan, slouchy bag, mismatched metals, unruly hair :)
  2. Tuesday (today), worn to work. Polished elements: crisp and structured fabric dress (also very fitted), shiny python embossed flats, silk scarf at the neck, matching warm metallic tones, semi-structured bag, hair is up and styled on purpose (this is as polished as I can get my hair myself, ladies).

Comments, critiques, thoughts and questions welcome.

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Ginny replied 9 years ago

    I think both are great you do RATE and polished Very well!! love the long sweater!!

  • rae replied 9 years ago

    This will tell you what team I'm on: I looked at #1 and thought, "Oh, that must be the polished outfit, because of the structured bag." Then I read that it's actually a slouchy bag. Oops. Silly RATE biases of mine.

    In any case, both outfits are great - love that gold necklace, and the twisty belt is awesome!

  • catgirl replied 9 years ago

    Nice job, Aida. You look 100% Team Aida! I'm with Rae... I think both of these are pretty polished, but the first definitely has RATE elements. Per Angie, I'm realizing RATE is as much about the wearer as the clothes. Maybe that's why I'm confused - I'm a RATE personality in a polished profession!

  • replied 9 years ago

    You look super cool. I guess I am biased because I love the polished dress and hair. You look awesome as your RATE self, too! :)

  • Aida replied 9 years ago

    Thanks Ginny!

    Rae and Una, you know the thing is I think I could have gone further along each side but then the outfit doesn't feel like "me" (not too surprising, I suppose). For #1, I could've swapped to slouchier boots, metallic very slouchy handbag, no tuck... For #2 ironing the dress would help, spending more time to get my hair sleeker, etc. I think to really get this challenge done right, I would end up with outfits I would feel uncomfortable being out in. Further reinforcement that I'm Team Middle I guess.

    Claire, thanks! I wouldn't consider my hair polished, it just flops and frizzes and does what it wants ;) Helps un-polish my polished items though.

  • Aida replied 9 years ago

    Hmm Una to your point about it being the wearer, in person I'm definitely less polished than comes across in my photos. Very laid back, don't think before talking, super klutzy, always flailing my arms, pretty loud, swear quite a bit, love being outdoors, etc. So any polished clothing is always offset by that and never seems as polished to me. Interesting to think about.

    (EDIT: Not to say that I'm entirely unpolished :) I do have good manners and am pretty sharp and educated (*toot toot*). And I DO have that half-brain that's an engineer....)

  • Angie replied 9 years ago

    I can't see past your 50/50 RATE/PO split, Aida - but just want to tell you that both outfits are smashing and that I love your style. I hope I'm not in the dog box :(

  • replied 9 years ago

    Sorry Aida, I was about to mention the ironing too. But it's who you are that breaths in all these outfits so I say, good for you! Also, i like how you accesorized #1 , and i love that necklace, but to me, it that much shiny gold speaks polished!

  • Aida replied 9 years ago

    Ahh Angie, of course not! I accept that I didn't really get far enough away from my 50-50 to call this challenge successful. Going to have to think about it and try again, though I have my doubts that I can pull it off using items in my closet :) And thank you ^^ What do you think of that long sweater, Angie? It's a vintage piece I've had for a long time, but also haven't worn it in a long time.

    Anya, good point on the shiny metals. I forgot about that one! I guess I'll have to buy an iron for my next polished attempt 0:)

  • catgirl replied 9 years ago

    Well, I am going to attempt 100% polished tomorrow - let the laughter begin!

    The nice thing is we're all good the way we are. It's just fun to see how hard it is to truly get it 100% one way or the other.

  • replied 9 years ago

    Both outfits appeal to my own 50/50 preference :) Maybe that's why I connect with your style. Fabulous!

  • Aida replied 9 years ago

    Una, it really IS a great example of how hard it is to go against who we are! I've been thinking about how to re-do this challenge all day and so far haven't been able to come up with anything for either side that still feels "me" enough. I think I need to ask you and Rae to come up with something for me for the RATE side of it ;)

    Sammi, /highfive fellow 50-50 member :D (And thank you!) EDIT: Been missing seeing your WIW posts, missy! I just know your fall style is awesome *nudge nudge*

  • catgirl replied 9 years ago

    Aida, do you have lace-up boots? I would say chunky or lace-up boots, gray skinnies, demi-tucked denim shirt (bonus points for not ironing!), a wide belt, some hardware-like jewelry, and a pompadour hairdo a la Amy Winehouse, may she RIP...

  • Aida replied 9 years ago

    Una, I don't have lace up boots and I don't think I have ANY chunky footwear (even my clogs aren't that chunky), but my black slouchy boots may work? As seen below in my Rae inspired summer outfit which, now that I look at it, is probably more RATE than 50-50. I'll give the outfit you describe a try for Thursday (tomorrow is already promised to a MaryK inspired outfit ^^)!

  • Angie replied 9 years ago

    I like the car coat sweater, Aida!

  • Lisa replied 9 years ago

    Neat outfits. What I like best, is that with both looks you shine. Rate, not rate, what I see here is how "in tune" you are with your style.

  • Jonesy replied 9 years ago

    You look fab in both, but I do tend to see middle ground here, especially with the first RATE attempt (looks pretty polished to my eye :). The second one that you posted with the shorts does look pretty RATE-errific to me though.

    And yes, may Amy Winehouse RIP.

  • Debora replied 9 years ago

    I must have missed the challenge, but just chiming in to say that both outfits look wonderful to me. You set the bar pretty high, Miss Aida!

  • Midwest Girl replied 9 years ago

    Aida - both outfits have flair, but I'm crazy about your polished look! I love how you accessorized this great-fitting LBD with the red belt and silk scarf--very chic.

  • Kat replied 9 years ago

    Aida, I think you look great in both outfits. I also really enjoy seeing how everyone interprets things that feel out of their comfort zone with intention and a plan. I think that's where the growth/broadening comes in. Seems like its an intelligent and thoughtful path to trying things that one wouldn't immediately gravitate to....which makes it both more likely to succeed in the horizon widening AND have a firm basis for identifying what or why some thing might not work (i.e. if you generally prefer polished metals, but intentionally try some hammered silver...it will work or not, but it will be easier to figure out why)

    ps, love that braided red belt in #2 and, as a long curly haired girl, I must commend you on your hairstyling skills. polished is tough and you pulled it off beautifully! :)

  • Carole replied 9 years ago

    You make RATE look great! Polished is pretty on you, too. I like how you pushed yourself into each style. Polished seems easier to do, I would have no idea how to do RATE.

  • cobaltblue replied 9 years ago

    Still 50/50, but I love both!

  • Aida replied 9 years ago

    Thanks for the comments ladies! Even though I managed to still be 50-50 RATE/PO in both outfits, I learned some good things :) I have further thinking to do on this subject, but I do plan to try this challenge again shortly. Re the belt in #2: It's a long skinny belt that I pulled through the buckle and then twisted around itself several times :)

    Angie, woo! I've been waffling about wearing the sweater (and THANK YOU for the name of its style, I've been wondering!). It does seem a bit tricky though, I haven't been able to come up with many outfit ideas that feel forward enough.

    Kat, well said! Even though I don't plan to change from my 50-50 styling, for me it's been very interesting to think about which items in my closet fall into one category or the other (or both). And thank you for the hair compliment :D

  • replied 9 years ago

    Thanks for the nudge Aida :) I've been traveling and then moving, but as soon as I'm settled in I hope to post some fall outfits!

  • Aida replied 9 years ago

    Ooh hope everything went smoothly for you, I find moving to be a pain :) Looking forward to seeing you again once everything is settled!

  • greenglove replied 9 years ago

    I LOVE that look with the shorts and boots. that T shirt is perfect. Very RATE and very cool!

  • Freckles replied 9 years ago

    I love how you've done this challenge and then disected it Aida.

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