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Archive for category Fashion

Mixing Textures and Patterns

Corporette
October 19 2011

Question
With all of the new tweed, boucle, flannel/textured skirts in my fall closet thanks to early sales…can one wear a textured or patterned jacket on top? In other words, are the skirts treated as solids or patterns? I see so much mixing of patterns on the runways and in ads, but for the office? If a solid jacket, could the jacket and the top/blouse/sweater underneath be an entirely different color or should the top portion be tonal?

Answer

What a great question, particularly since I’ve been wanting to talk about mixing patterns with patterns for a long time on Corporette and just haven’t had a chance. First, I think textures shouldn’t be thought of so much as a “pattern,” but thought of in terms of volume. For example — if you’re trying to pair a thick tweed skirt (let’s say, for now, in a solid color), your consideration for the top should probably be a much lighter knit — think a close-fitting silk sweater, or even a tucked-in or fitted blouse. Similarly, if you’re wearing a boucle sweater, you might want to pair it with a slender pant, or a pencil skirt. IMHO, it seems like it’s a very rare outfit where a voluminous top works with a voluminous bottom — or vice versa, where a close-fitting sweater truly looks great with a pencil skirt.

Now — can you mix patterns with patterns? For my $.02, this is something that every fashionista should aspire to. If you think about it, men do it all the time — how many pinstriped suits paired with printed ties do you see on a daily basis? For women it can be trickier, and I’ve kind of been compiling examples of times I thought it worked well –for example, The Sartorialist shot a woman (detail shot above) wearing a plaid jacket, a dotted sweater, and a ribbed sweater, and I thought overall it looked amazing.  Similarly, here’s another Sartorialist link to a woman wearing two graphic prints together.  Similarly, here’s a shot Perez Hilton posted of Victoria Beckham wearing a plaid with pinstripes…  While it can be tricky, I think these are some helpful guidelines…

  • Stay in the same color family.  For example, try pairing a black and gray houndstooth skirt with black tights with a vertical ribbing.
  • Have the second pattern be only a small component, proportionally, of your outfit — try layering a floral blouse beneath a solid-colored sweater vest, topped with a pinstriped blazer.
  • Balance the size of the prints — this comes back to volume.  Two huge prints, worn together, are going to be a dramatic look — if one print is bigger (a wider floral, or a large swoopy abstract) it may be better paired with a smaller, tighter pattern (a houndstooth, a windowpane, even some animal prints).
  • Ask yourself if it would work in a tie/suit combo for a man.  This works particularly well with preppier patterns — try pairing a patterned grosgrain belt with a skirt or dress in a suiting material.


More Articles on Dressing For Success

Professional Clothes for Women: What You Can Learn From Michelle Obama and Samantha Cameron
Sparkle and Shine: Dressing for the Office Holiday Party

Staying Business-Ready in Unpredictable Weather

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How do you start wearing prints?

Corporette
April 10 2012

Question
I’m wondering if you can do a post on incorporating prints into one’s wardrobe. I looked at my closet the other day and realized that about 90% of the clothes I wear are solid colors. I seem to always gravitate toward very saturated bold colors, but never to prints. I guess I sometimes feel that wearing prints looks loud” or will make me stand out too much at work. I know how to use prints with accessories (shoes, scarves) but I’d like to specifically see a post on buying clothes with prints.

 

Answer

1) Start with the stuff men wear — small, even, repeating patterns in pastel colors.  Look at a site like Brooks Brothers or Thomas Pink and you’ll see that it is absolutely filled with patterns and prints.  Windowpanes, houndstooth, check, stripes, gingham… men wear those to conservative offices all the time.  So, step one: buy a blouse with an even, repeating pattern on it (probably in a pastel color), and start wearing that with one of your solid suits. As you get more confident and comfortable wearing those small patterns, add color to your outfits.  Start with complimentary colors first — if you’re wearing a light blue checkered blouse, pair it with a dark blue cardigan.

2) Start to have fun with smaller, bolder punches of pattern.  Back to men’s clothes — look at ties and you’ll see things like paisley, polka dots, more stripes, and even small embroidered animals.  Proportionally, the tie is a really small component of the man’s outfit — but remember that it’s up front and center where you can see it, so it certainly isn’t hidden.  For women, I think the corollary is scarves, belts, and even entire blouses layered beneath sweaters or blazers so not a lot is sticking out.  Again I’d start with small patterns, but be bold — look again to prints that men wear, and see what strikes your fancy.  As you start to get more confident wearing these small punches of pattern, pick a color in the pattern to highlight — e.g., the light blue in this paisley would be complimented by a blue cardigan.

3) Move to more feminine prints.  There are some prints that are primarily worn by women such as florals, animal prints, and more.  Even though women’s prints go through more of a trend cycle than the other prints we’ve mentioned above, these are still classic prints, and you shouldn’t be shy about investing in some of the pieces of you like them — a leopard blouse or belt will certainly be worn numerous times over the course of your career.  Depending on your confidence level here, I’d start small — leave the print a small proportion of your outfit, and look for smaller, tighter patterns as opposed to very large patterns.  (For example, your blouse could have 3 flowers on it, or 300.)

4) Get bolder, proportionally, with prints.  If you’ve successfully experimented with all of the above, it’s time to get even bolder still. If you’ve been hiding your patterns beneath blazers or cardigans to keep them proportionally small, go big — wear the blouse on its own.  Then, look for a bigger piece to purchase that will make pattern an even bigger part of your outfit, such as a patterned dress, skirt, or blazer.  If a striped blazer feels too crazy and loud, consider buying a piece where stripes are created by texture (e.g., corduroy) rather than the printed fabric. If a leaf-printed blouse seems too crazy, try wearing a blouse with a burnout pattern so it’s color-on-color.  As your better determine what prints you like, which are flattering on you, and how you like to wear them, branch into larger prints.

You know you’ve graduated when you’re wondering how to mix prints!

More Articles on Dressing For Success

Professional Clothes for Women: What You Can Learn From Michelle Obama and Samantha Cameron
Sparkle and Shine: Dressing for the Office Holiday Party

Staying Business-Ready in Unpredictable Weather

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I love high heels – but my feet don’t. Should I give them up?

Globe & Mail
Dr. Sheila Wijayasinghe, July 19 2011

The question

I love my pretty shoes, but my feet hurt more and more often now that I’ve hit 35. Should I never wear heels again?

The answer

We all have shoes that look great but leave our feet sore and uncomfortable after wearing them.

Your concern is important: high heels and any improperly fitted shoes can cause real health problems such as deformed toes, heel pain, bunions, ingrown nails and corns. A specific concern with high heels is that with prolonged use, they can lead to a shortening of the Achilles tendon (the tendon that connects the calf muscle to the heel bone).

Over time, the shortening of the tendon can make it hard for the heel to fully touch the ground and can lead to heel pain and difficulty wearing flat shoes.

If your feet hurt, they’re telling you something. While you don’t need to get rid of all of your heels, change your shoe habits with a few of these tips:

1. Wear the right fit: While this may seem obvious, it can be tricky to find shoes that fit properly. When you’re trying on shoes, keep in mind that foot shape and size can change over years so your size 5 years ago may be different today. Also, purchase your shoes later in the day when your size may be larger due to normal swelling and fit your shoes while standing up as your feet lengthen slightly when standing. Don’t forget to fit both feet and choose your size based on your larger foot. When shoe stores tell you that the shoe will stretch to fit your foot, use caution as this is not always the case and tight-fitting shoes can lead to discomfort.

2. Higher is not always better: Heels that are higher than 2 inches can interfere with balance and posture which can trigger not only foot and heel pain but also knee, hip and back problems. According to the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society, women should wear shoes with a height of no more than two and a quarter inches. They also recommend that shoes at these heights should be worn no more than two or three hours each day.

3. Find comfortable heels: There are newer styles of heels that have cushioned soles, which will help with shock absorption and arch support. Also, wedge heels are better than stilletos, as they help to spread out pressure points and give better support to the entire foot.

4. Stretch after wear: After wearing heels, even if for 2-3 hours, gently stretch your Achilles tendon to help decrease the risk of the tendon shortening.

 

More Articles on Executive Image

3 Executive Presence Tips from Time and Harvard Business Review
Choosing the Right Image Consultant

Do you have “CEO” Executive Presence?

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Looks count, on reflection

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Sydney Morning Herald
Samantha Selinger-Morris, March 29 2012

It’s a fact that appearances can influence our chances of success; enter the presentation pros.

Cicero, the Roman philosopher, might have thought the eyes were the window to the soul but then he never met Ashleigh Sharman.

Had he, he might have weighed up the value of our peepers versus the truth-telling properties of a baggy pair of trousers or an ill-fitting vest.

“It’s almost like you’re a shrink,” says Sharman, a freelance personal shopper and style consultant, about her work helping clients – primarily women “in their late 20s to late 40s” – cull unflattering items from their wardrobe and buy clothing that makes them feel more confident.

“A lot of people who come to you for this service have a lot of body issues, a lot of anxiety,” she says. “They may have some self-esteem issues and [the service] is about working through those, too.”

Women who’ve been out of the workforce to raise their children and want to stop feeling “frumpy”? Newly single women who want change but feel confused about what to buy? A transgender client who’s finally completed his gender reassignment and wants to look more feminine?

Sharman’s helped them all.

And they’re not the only ones now paying for advice we used to seek from our mothers.

Chris Rewell, of Chris Rewell Image Consultants, has provided “image training” – teaching people what colours and clothing styles suit them, advising them on their body shape and taking them on shopping tours – for everyone from government commissioners wanting a bit of extra polish, to a deep-sea diver who felt clueless about how to dress femininely while not at work and ordinary professionals wanting to dress for career advancement.

It’s a far cry from when she started her company in 1982.

“People would say, ‘You’re a what?’” Rewell says. “I’d say, ‘I’m an image consultant’, [and get the response] ‘What do you do, people’s houses? Businesses?’”

Part of the reason for the growth in her business, she says, is that there is now a wider cultural appreciation for how our appearance can influence important areas of our life, such as career success and our ability to find a romantic partner.

“We know it’s real,” says Rewell of the impact that our “non-verbal communication” has on people. “We are a package. If you went to Tiffany’s and bought a beautiful bracelet and they gave it to you in a brown paper bag and string, would you think it was as valuable?”

Confronting? Maybe. But more and more people are willing to face up to this reality now that highbrow writers such as Malcolm Gladwell, author of Blink and The Tipping Point, have begun tackling the topic. (Gladwell has written about how having an afro hairdo has prompted him to be stopped more frequently by police than when he wore his hair short.)

Indeed, Rewell is even being sought out by a growing number of female workers who have employers who would “like to put them through to management, but [who are] dressing unbelievably inappropriately”.

One woman who worked at an engineering firm, for instance, was up for a $40,000 pay rise and a promotion that would involve her working more closely with the company’s clients – primarily suit-wearing men. But when Rewell arrived at her home to do a clothing audit, all she found were lots of “little strappy tops, very very short skirts and very high heels. The minute I walked in, it looked like a wardrobe of fantastic clothing for raging and nightclubbing.”

Why, one wonders, are some people still so clueless about social mores that would seem to be obvious?

We all have ”second agendas” with how we dress, Rewell says. The short-skirted woman, she says, “was looking for a partner and felt she had a much higher probability if she dressed provocatively. She really wasn’t valuing the other parts for herself.”

Many others who seek out personal shoppers, though, are simply sick and tired of fossicking through closets that are packed with clothing – just none they particularly want to wear.

“I was a compulsive shopper, so I’d see something I liked, but I wouldn’t be too happy with the colour and then just buy it anyway,” says Gail Holmes, a manager of a nutritional company, of her habits before seeking out Rewell’s service.

“I wanted a professional and honest opinion regarding clothes that suited me. Because we know that family and friends don’t always … they aren’t always the best judge.”

Now she knows that “reddy browns” and pastel colours, which she used to buy, don’t flatter her colouring, and that, as a shorter person, she needs to have all her jackets tailored to have them fit well.

“People think, ‘Oh my god, personal stylists are so expensive,”’ – Rewell, for instance, charges $200 to teach people how to organise their wardrobes and about $2000 for a shopping tour and closet clean – ”but at the end of the day, you save so much money; money you’re spending on clothing that doesn’t suit you, on clothing you end up giving away to friends or St Vinnies,” Holmes says.

This is one of the reasons Westfield shopping centres across Australia began offering personal shoppers in 2005, says the director of marketing for the company, John Batistich.

“Many women want to make better choices, less mistakes,” says Batistich, who adds that this motivation is driving clothing sales. He gets reports from stylists that women are spending “anywhere from $400 to thousands of dollars” on clothing in the centres after a two-hour styling session.

It’s no wonder other shops have taken note, with Rundle Mall, a pedestrian shopping arcade in the heart of Adelaide, now offering the service, along with Sydney stores such as Gorman.

With any luck, the shoppers they serve will be as happy as Holmes now is.

“People will now say [to me], ‘Gee, you don’t look so pale. Are you well? You’re looking well.’”

 

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Should I remove extra buttons on my dress shirt’s cuff?

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Globe and Mail
Russell Smith, March 17

The question

My shirts come with two cuff buttons. I have sturdy wrists and so I only use the inside button, to create a roomier cuff. But this leaves the outer button visible. Is that cool or should I remove it?

The answer

I am always impressed when I hear from someone more obsessive than me. To be honest, I have never noticed a visible shirt-cuff button and felt one way or another about it. Then I went and looked at my shirts and I realized that the cuffs might indeed look a little sleeker without an extra useless visible button. (This is like the Peanuts cartoon in which Linus tells Lucy he’s aware of his tongue, to which Lucy scoffs; then we see her alone in the next frame looking worried – she’s become aware of her tongue.)

It started to seem rational: After all, we do, as a general principle, try to conceal all our other straps and stays (suspenders, zippers, the cheap metal sliders on bow ties). But if I do remove the buttons that have long been there (and doubtless long ironed-over), they will leave a visible outline on the shirt, which will be even more noticeable. So I don’t think it’s worth it. My solution: Avoid buttons altogether.

There is no cheaper luxury than heavy French cuffs; they make the dullest suit feel powerful.

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Men Are Spending More On Suits As The Recovery Ramps Up

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Business Insider
Naomi Mannino

If you weren’t part of the “mancession” yourself, you probably know a man who was or is still affected by the economic downturn of the past few years. Reportedly, the downturn hit men especially hard with unemployment.

A CNBC.com article yesterday, however, mentioned that menswear apparel sales were beginning to rebound because men were finally getting back to work and needing the clothes to go with it.

“The competitive landscape for employment is tough,” Durand Guion, the Macy’s men’s fashion director, said in the article. “People perceive that they are getting a leg up by being dressier.” He also explained that work styles are a little more formal now than last decade’s dressed-down “casual Fridays.”

Is it true? Do you have a better chance at nabbing a job and doing better once you get it depending on what you wear? Women have believed this for a long time, but I decided to get an expert opinion.

“It’s much better to be a little overdressed than underdressed,” says Judi Perkins, a Connecticut-based career coach and founder of Find the Perfect Job. ”A well-tailored suit is never out of place. It affects, often unconsciously, how people perceive you: your skills, your demeanor, your communication skills and your competence in general.”

She further explains that it changes how you feel about yourself also, especially if you’re feeling discouraged from being unemployed for a long time. ”You’ll feel more put-together, more accomplished in a well-tailored suit or new outfit,” Perkins says. ”Dressing up and spending a little on yourself  gives you back a feeling of self-respect, of feeling deserving.”

So the verdict is in: Make room in your budget for a new suit, shoes and maybe some accessories to go with it. “I do believe that a well-dressed man with an air of competence and confidence could nail a position over a guy wearing Dockers and a sports coat,” Perkins says, ”even if the guy with the suit isn’t quite as qualified. The suit makes a strong psychological impression in the wearer’s favor.”

Here are Perkins’ smart-spending shopping tips for the well-dressed man.

  • Take advantage of specialty menswear stores and department store promotions such as BOGOs (buy-one-get-one) and 2-for-1 deals, one-days sales and dollars-off coupons.
  • Take your wife or significant other with you, if you’re embarrassed about whipping out coupons.
  • Make use of the tailor so clothes fit impeccably.
  • Upgrade any scuffed shoes, outdated tie styles and stained or worn items.

Do you think clothes make the man? Have you upgraded your attire recently or landed a new job?

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Holiday office party fashion: Think velvet, shimmer and (a little) bling

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Globe and Mail
Deirdre Kelly , November 26 2011

As fun and festive as it can be, the office holiday party is also a potential minefield, as sticky a proposition as a Christmas pudding. One drink too many and you might be telling the boss what you really think; on the other hand, talk shop all night and you risk becoming known as the office bore.

Besides the burden of knowing how to behave, you also need to know what to wear: A dress showing off too much cleavage will start tongues wagging as much as a face full of stubble and a rumpled pair of jeans.

“Don’t be fooled by the word party,” says Toronto fashion designer Rosemarie Umetsu, who doesn’t discourage letting your hair down and having fun, but encourages doing so with calculated panache. “Look at it as a great opportunity to do some positive networking and PR for yourself. Highlight your ability to exhibit poise, good judgment and great taste. Most importantly, present yourself with confidence.”

Regarding attire, both workplace culture and the invitation will suggest appropriate party wear, but it’s always a good idea to err on the side of elegance, which will stand you in good stead if or most likely when you start doing the Twist with your workmates.

“Check with co-workers and then dress slightly above average,” suggests Kerry Patterson, the popular U.S.-based business consultant and co-author of 2002’s Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High, a New York Times bestseller. “You don’t want to be the slob, but you also don’t want to be the goofball in the tuxedo.”

Adding to the sartorial challenge this season is the fact that, as economic uncertainty continues to cloud many industries, some holiday parties are likely to take place in-house and immediately following business hours, so a quick trip home to change for the occasion might not be feasible. This makes dressing for the office party tricky, concedes Luisa Rino, a Vancouver style consultant.

“It’s a bit awkward to roll out the fox-fur stole and sequin dress when the laser copier is just three feet away,” Rino says. “My advice is to dress up just a little more for work on the day of the party. Think of it as the opposite of casual Friday. A full sequin dress might be a bit overboard for daytime dressing, but the luxury-casual trend of a sequin skirt paired with a cozy oversized cashmere sweater is perfect for the office and dressy enough for an afterwork soiree.”

Lloyd Boston, style editor for NBC’s Today and host of the popular Closet Cases on HGTV, recommends transitional dressing on the day of the party. “Why not add some flair to your daytime style to make the shift into party mode feel special? It doesn’t have to represent a huge change,” says Boston, who is also a style consultant for Jones New York.

“Desk-to-dinner is simpler than ever with the right accessories and layering pieces. A shimmery cardigan atop a crisp white shirt, a metallic belt worn over a simple black double V-neck sheath dress or swapping out your black work pumps for an animal print shoe are some of the ways to easily achieve this.”

Toronto stylist Erin Nadler suggests wearing basic black on the day of the fete and then punching it up with accessories at the end of the day. “Holiday dressing does not have to be complicated; accessories can instantly change an outfit without breaking the bank,” says the president of Better Styled, a personal shopping business. “Nothing says holiday like colour and texture. Reds, winter whites, plums and lush greens are always a hit; fur and velvet also scream holiday luxury.”

Attention, she adds, should also be paid to makeup: “Never wear glitter on your eyes if you’re wearing a sparkly top – that’s just way too much bling. A smoky eye is much more sophisticated.”

For men, Nadler continues, appropriately festive clothes combos include “a crisp dress shirt layered with a stunning V-neck sweater – something they could bring to work with them.” Alternatively, “what about a cashmere half-zip sweater layered underneath a velvet dinner jacket? That look says instant party.”

Grooming is also key: Men should shave on the morning of the party, while women might consider treating themselves to a professional manicure to look polished and on-trend.

What not to wear? Rino advises staying away from denim, which has “permeated almost every aspect of fashion, but the evening event should still remain somewhat sacred territory.”

That doesn’t mean overdoing it, however. “If you’re asking yourself, ‘Is this too much?’ it probably is,” Umetsu says. “Understated glamour is always the best rule of thumb.”

 

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A few tricks can take work out of workplace attire

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Las Vegas Review Journal
Kristyn Schiavone, October 9 2011

For recent graduates, looking for a job and entering the workforce is stressful enough without the added task of recycling student group T-shirts for blazers and dress pants.

However, research shows that in an interview, your appearance is just as important as what’s on your resume when you walk in the door.

“Only 7 percent of a first impression is spoken word,” says Michelle T. Sterling, founder of Global Image Group, an international image consulting firm.

Most experts agree that exactly what you are wearing is not as important as looking prepared and professional. Sterling says this generation’s job seekers are very relaxed, so they need to be careful about projecting a polished look.

What to wear

Generally speaking, offices have become more casual, so the rules for proper business attire have changed over the years. Some clothing items that used to be taboo, such as jeans, open-toe shoes and even shorts, are now perfectly acceptable in some offices.

Interview attire, however, should still be somewhat formal, no matter what the culture of the office.

“I think the mistake that a lot of young people make is that if the company is casual, they go very casual (for the interview),” says Nancy Plummer, Chicago.-based image consultant and owner of Fine Threads. “Stick with traditional until you get the job.”

For young men and women, Plummer advocates what she calls a “classic yet contemporary” look. Choose basic pieces in a neutral color (black, navy, gray khaki), such as a shift dress for ladies and dress pants and a jacket for men. Then add color and personality with accessories. Ladies can add a bright shoe or belt, while men can add a contemporary touch with a patterned tie or colored shirt.

Lisa Orndorff, manager of employee relations and training for the Society of Human Resource Management, recognizes that many young job applicants don’t have the money for lots of fancy business clothes and says it’s not necessary for young people to show up in a $3,000 tailored suit to a job interview. It’s about putting your best foot forward to the company, whatever that best foot may be.

“That could just mean you buy an iron and iron your oxford shirt and khakis,” Orndorff says. “Showing up in a wrinkled shirt — you can fix that.”

She says that after you get the job, pay close attention to what others are wearing during your first week at work.

And while it may be a casual environment, leave your Dollar Store flip-flops, ripped jeans and T-shirts describing the details of your Cancun vacation at home.

Good news for ladies, though: In most offices, hosiery is out, and peep-toe pumps are also acceptable, even for the initial interview.

Building your wardrobe

Dropping big bucks on a new wardrobe can be tough to swallow, especially if you are a broke college graduate who doesn’t have a job yet. But image consulting experts say that you can purchase office-appropriate pieces in a relatively painless, even thrifty, manner.

Even if you are going for a traditional office job that requires you to wear a suit, Sterling says it doesn’t have to be pricey, and it doesn’t have to look like you borrowed it from mom or dad.

“If you’re going for something fashion-forward, brands like Tahari are very professional, and you can find them at Macy’s,” Sterling says. For both men and women, she recommends stores like H&M and Zara.

Every wardrobe, Sterling says, is based around basics and classics that fit perfectly. Fit is critical and makes an inexpensive piece look just as nice.

Once you land that job, don’t think it’s necessary to buy a month’s worth of clothes. Plummer’s “cluster concept” allows you to buy seven to 10 pieces of relatively good quality that can be combined to create 30-40 office outfits.

For ladies, this might be one dress, two jackets, three bottoms and four tops that can all be worn together in different ways and reaccessorized to create an entirely new look. For men, it might be three suits and six shirts that can be mixed and matched.

In a casual office that allows jeans, Plummer says she recommends sticking with dark denim for both men and women, as it has a less casual look. For men, pairing jeans with a loafer instead of a sneaker is usually the way to go.

Sometimes makeup gets a bad rap in the workplace because it can go over the top, but Sterling says that for ladies makeup is an important part of looking polished, not like you just rolled out of bed and came to work. She recommends Bobbi Brown’s 10-step Beauty Tutorial, available at bobbibrowncosmetics.com, using neutral or nude shades.

And remember, no matter whether your workplace is formal or casual, showing too much of anything is never a good idea.

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Dressing up in denim

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Glam: Canoe Lifestyles
Heather Toskan

The basic blues that form the backbone of just about everyone’s casual day and weekend wear can also take you to work and out on the town.

Whether you prefer skinny or wide-legged jeans, prepare to jump into dark and clean cut styles, as the distressed and washed out look faded with summer’s last spark.

“Fashion trends trickle down from the runways, and this fall we’re seeing plenty of fashion-forward flares and bohemian retro looks inspired by the styles of the seventies,” says Michael Silver, the president and ‘chief denimologist’ of Silver Jeans Co., a company that started in Winnipeg several decades ago and currently retails a range of regular and extended sized jeans in nine countries.

Super flares and wide legged trouser pants may provide welcome relief for those who are tiring of the skinny jeans look, although that trend is hardly over.

Skinnies still form the basis of many looks, with most likely to be updated by dressier finishes, fabrications and colour. Sleek sateen and resin coated leather-look finishes, as well as densely pigmented colours also put a fresh face on skinnies. Relaxed cuts offer slightly roomier options.

Coloured denim, more often seen in spring, also makes a bold impact this fall.

“Scarlet jeans were seen on a number of designer runways, with Parisian designer Isabel Marant spearheading the trend,” says Lauren Applebaum, a national brand manager for Hudson Jeans.

Coloured jeans also make statements in more muted shades such as khaki, grey and plum. Velvet jeans will also be in stores as the holiday season approaches, especially in flares and trouser cuts.

“Fashion forward flares feature a mid or high rise and a trimmer fit through the thigh before belling out just below the knee. This produces a body flattering line that also elongates the legs,” says Silver.

Trouser cut jeans have a similarly figure flattering effect, as a wider hem line makes hips seem smaller by comparison.

“Our wide, straight-legged jeans also feature a longer rise which elongates the torso and helps create a sculpted body line,” says Hudson’s Applebaum.

Wear trouser cut and flared pants with tie-neck blouses, vests and jackets. High heels or ankle boots help form dressier looks that look just as good at work as they do out on the town, paired with camisoles and sequined tanks.

Pair your flares or trouser-cut denims with patterned sweater vests and Fair Isle sweaters over button-down shirts, and switch to chunky platform shoes or boots to make more casual impressions.

To tap into fall’s boho chic trend, try out denim with peasant blouses, layered necklaces, shaggy fur vests, scarves and platform wedges.

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SUCCEED WITH STYLE: Substance vs. Style

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Golocalprov.com
Margaret Batting, October 05 2011

Substance versus style is a long-standing debate. Many claim you are either one or the other. Combining the two is out of the question. I’ve found that many people believe if they are too focused on their appearance, others will think they are superficial. They believe delivering the results is all that matters. In my experience working for Fortune 500 companies,

I have discovered that combining the two actually brings success. On many occasions, I would hear a high-level executive express concern about a rising star in the organization. They would be excited about the candidate’s potential but concerned about their executive presence. Theybelieved that to be successful you needed to have substance to get the job done and deliver results but you also needed to look the part to be taken seriously. I read a story recently where a young woman had made a job change to a new company. She was hired as a director and decided it was time for her appearance and image to match that position.

She started her new role wearing suits and jackets instead of casual pants and button-down shirts. Almost immediately, she noticed a difference in how she and her work were being treated. Her ideas were being accepted on her first presentation instead of on the third or fourth as was common in her previous company. She attributed the change to the difference in her image. She looked confident, credible and serious about her role as a higher-level executive.

If you want to move forward in your career faster or have your ideas accepted sooner, follow these tips.
1. Ask a trusted colleague what their first impression of you was when they saw you present for the first time. An objective perspective is critical in determining what you need to modify or change.

2. If your working environment is extremely casual, be the one who kicks it up a notch or two. Add an unconstructed jacket, a higher heal or a stylish dress. You can be casual, comfortable and professional at the same time.

3. Focus on quality fabrics. Invest in tropical wools. They can be worn almost all year round and they always look good.

4. Details counts. Make sure your clothes are free of stains, fraying or loose buttons.

5. Press your clothes and make sure your shoes are well kept.

6. Don’t arrive at the office with wet hair. Nothing says unprofessional and unprepared like wet, un-styled hair. The first thing that comes to mind for me is time management issues with laziness.

7. Don’t be afraid to look the part. Just because your peers choose to dress like it’s the weekend, it doesn’t mean you have to too. In the office, you always want to look like you’re ready for business.

8. If you are a designer, then look creative. Mix patterns and textures and try unexpected color combinations. Keep it professional but make it interesting.

9. If your business is retail or fashion, look like you are on top of the trends.

10. Even if you work in a call-center, you should dress professionally. Just because the customers can’t see you, it doesn’t mean others in the organization don’t notice you. If you want to move forward in your company you should look like you are serious about your job.

 

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