Are you confused about all of the "rules" of Business Casual attire? No worries... you’re not alone!
There are often questions about what is appropriate and what is absolutely not. While I could go into much more detail about it, I think that it may be helpful just to list what is usually not acceptable for Business Casual. (Sometimes knowing what "not" to wear can help when you're trying to pull together that perfect outfit.)
Abide by this list of no- no 's and you will not only keep your business image intact on Business Casual Day, but you'll also avoid being 'Business Sloppy'! (Not good)
General Rules of what NOT to wear when the situation calls for Business Casual:
So does the list above coincide with your own?
They are popping up all over- on pants, skirts, and even pumps. So how do you wear this eye-catching trend effectively?
Here are my top 3 tips for prints and florals:
1. If it is an all-over pattern (like on a top),
let it be the "star" of your outfit! In other words, don't cause eye confusion by putting together too many patterned pieces. Pair your floral top with a more understated skirt, jeans, or trousers.
2. Create a balanced body by using the floral or print to draw attention away from a specific area. For example, if you are top heavy or have broad shoulders, wearing pattern on your bottom half draws the eye to that area-- and away from your top half-- creating a more balanced silhouette.
3. Don't overpower yourself with a pattern that's too big for you. The print should not only complement your frame, but your features, and personal coloring as well. If you are very petite with delicate features, a bold, bright, all-over pattern, may not be best suited for you. But a bold printed shoe would be just fine!
So, what are your tips for successfully wearing florals and prints?
We all have our definition of being "dressed up." To some it means putting on career wear and going to work. To others, dressed up is wearing cute heels with some dark wash jeans and a chic blazer. Whatever your defintion, we all know how it feels to have everything (hair, nails, make-up, etc.) all done up and feeling ready to go conquer the world!
What a feeling, right?
BUT... is it possible to have that same feeling when you are rushing the kids out of the house to make school on time, making a quick run to grocery store down the street, or even going to the gym to work out?
Good news! It is! After all, why shouldn't it be?
In this post (and the ones that follow), I will briefly talk about some simple things that you can do to look polished EVERYDAY!
Why is this important, you may ask? Well, let's say that your goal is get that job promotion everyone's been talking about. One day, you run into the bank ...and almost run smack into your boss's wife! You greet her hurriedly as you think "uh oh", while taking a quick glance at your hair rollers and black faded out tee in the mirrored window.
First impressions last.
I mean, who wants to be known as "the lady wearing the hair rollers?" And as in the above example, you never know who you could run into to!
Yes, I am an Image Professional, a Business Owner, and realize the importance and know-how behind personal style. But I am also a busy wife and Mom who has a very hectic schedule on most days!
In light of this, I wanted to write about some day- to- day tricks and tips that I use, because as an Image Professional, I am expected to look presentable at all times. You know, I have to "practice what I preach!
Admittedly, it can definitely be tough at times, even for me. Like you I have some days that I don't feel my best, my kids are whiny or I'm just running late, etc.
Despite this, I push through---mainly due to my ingrained passion for fashion and style, but mostly because I have prepared for those inevitable days beforehand! Besides, I never know when I come may face to face with my next client!!
If you've been following my posts or receive my newsletters, you should know that I try keep things simple. One of my mottos are: Complicated style is just not practical! So I will cover just one to two simple tips per post, so that you can "digest" it easier. Of course, I welcome your comments and your sharing some tips that you use. We are here to help each other!
In addition, since this is just a blog where time and space is limited, the BEST way to really "get" this advice, is to schedule your own personal consultation and style appointment that will be totally catered for you and your lifestyle. Everyone is different!
Now having said all that, let's get started!
Advice #1 -- Figure out what your weak areas tend to be when you are pressed for time. Is it hair or makeup? Or is just trying to figure out WHAT to wear a problem?
For me, I have formulated routines and outfits that I can do in a jiffy. One example is my personal "5 Minute Face". I don't want to show anyone my undereye circles first thing in the morning!
For hair that won't seem to behave sometimes, my hats come to the rescue. This works especially well in the winter when people are all wrapped up anyway! Not my husband's ball caps, but fedoras or cute knit caps that reflect my style personality.
Tip: Find great deals and stock up around late February during the Winter Clearance Sales.
Now for clothing. When I'm really pressed for time but don't want to LOOK that way, I reach for three key pieces: a great pair of jeans, an EASY fitted jacket or tee, and comfortable ballerina flats. That's it. There are 2-3 jeans that I know that I can grab in a snap that look presentable (no holes!) and fit comfortably.
My point is to always have a plan. And even when you are rushed or just don't feel like "dressing up", you will still be presenting yourself well.
My last bit of advice for this post is RELAX and don't put too much pressure on yourself. Once you have done your research and have your plan, remember that the goal is not to look "perfect" all the time. Even celebs, with their fleet of stylists and such, do not look show ready 24/7. After all, they're human!
Well, guys, that's all for now. But don't worry, we will be talking more about this--so stay tuned.
Meanwhile, I'm curious... What's your "pull it together" plan for those harried days?
When you hear the term "City Chic," what comes to mind? Is it knee-boots ("Pretty Woman" style)? A pencil skirt? Maybe you think of certain people like Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez, or perhaps even First Lady Michelle Obama.
"City Chic" can be defined as a "style personality." Yes- aside from your genetic persona, you also have a unique style personality! Yours is reflected in the way that you dress, accessorize your outfits, decorate your home, etc. Whether it is Natural, Sporty, Dramatic, Romantic, or anywhere in between, you should find out how to really maximize your style potential. As a Wardrobe Consultant, I love to help people discover how to do that!
While a City Chic gal has an altogether trendy and polished look that seems almost effortless, I do believe that there can be a little City Chic in all of us. Yes, ALL... no matter your size or your budget!
So even if you don't think that City Chic is your personal style, here are a few ways to make your style STAND OUT in a City Chic way:
1) With cooler temperatures fast approaching, find a great-fitting trench jacket. Trenches look great on any body type and is a must-have wardrobe staple. (For the most versatility, look for one with a zip-out liner). I have seen them range in color from very neutral to very bright and bold. So what's your fancy?
The lengths vary, as well. However, 3/4 or knee lengths work well with pants or skirts.
So, whether you are rocking them with platform heels or your most comfortable sneaker shoe, you will look modern with a hint of "chic." Hint: Look for heavier coats and jackets to go on sale around Columbus Day in October. :)
2) Think "monocromatic." Whether for your outfit or home decor, this is the easiest color scheme to create. For wardrobe, pairing different shades of a neutral color creates a look that is simple, but also so chic!
First, find out what your best neutrals are, based on your skintone. For example, if gray is one, you could wear dark gray pants with a lighter color gray top or tee, and then layer on an even lighter color gray vest-- or vice versa. You get the idea.
You will instantly look polished and pulled together--with very minimal effort!
3) A crisp white-collared shirt can be your best friend!
Wear it to work underneath a blazer, or with dress slacks or khakis, all depending on your workplace, of course.
Going out after work? The same shirt can go right to dinner too--with black pants, jeans, or your favorite long black skirt.
For optimal flatter and fit, look for one with just a little "stretch". This will help your shirt to maintain its shape, while giving you ease of movement at the same time. This is very important. Remember, not too loose, and definitely, not too tight! After all, chic, should always look and be COMFORTABLE! And the really good news about it? This simple item may already be in your closet.
So what are some other ways that you can channel your inner "City Chic-ness", based on your personal style?
I'd love to hear from you. Comment below!
So do you really want to know the key to maximizing your wardrobe or home decor budget? Use the power of ACCESSORIES!
A simple dress or shirt that you have had for years can be instantly transformed with the addition of a new belt, bold necklace or scarf.
A plain, neutral couch or chair in your basement can be brought back to life with a few colorful pillows and a throw.
Accessorizing is also a great way to allow your personal, unique style to shine through. And adding new accessories don't have to be expensive, either! Look for 50% days at your favorite stores and head for the accessories department. (That is usually how I add to my collection!)
For home decorating, shop at off-price retail stores, such as Home Goods, and TJMaxx. I have also found some AMAZING finds at thrift stores!
Have fun with accessories, but beware of collecting TOO much stuff that you don't have the room for OR won't coordinate with your existing wardrobe or decor! It may help to make a list of the the specific pieces or outfits that you need the accessories for. Then, you can buy with confidence, knowing that everything was bought with a purpose.
Before you know it, your wardrobe or home decor will be versatile and "working" for you, not the other way around!
Are you staying cool so far this summer?
For summer vacations, family bar-b-ques and everything else that has us out in the heat (whew!), here are some things that has helped me avoid summer heat fashion "meltdown":
- Wear fabrics that allow your skin to BREATHE! Natural fibers like cotton and linen will do the trick. They assist in the body's natural cooling process by allowing perspiration to escape AWAY from the body once it evaporates. Most synthetic fibers have the opposite effect. The result? Your body cannot cool properly and you will be more hot than you need to be! In this extreme heat, who wants that?
- Let "light" colors be your friend! Light colors reflect light while dark colors absorb light... remember that from Science class? So your favorite black tee or dress may not keep you the coolest during your outdoor outing!
-Use hats to help diffuse the heat. The skin on your face and neck are more delicate and should be well protected in direct sunlight. (You've heard of premature wrinkles, right? Well, some can come from too much sun exposure!) There are some very fashionable floppy and wide brim hats or visors that would serve the purpose nicely... even if you are not a "hat" person! Or just use a small umbrella to shield the sun. Oh, and please don't forget the sunglasses! (Suited for YOUR face shape, of course!)
-Last but not least, is my latest discovery: Portable neck fans!! These battery operated fans can hang from your neck, clip onto a belt loop or purse and help bring a refreshing "artificial" cool breeze your way when the air is hot and stagnant. I had one with me on my family's recent trip to Disney World and fell in LOVE with it. They are small, ine and virtually weightless, but pack a powerful punch. Nowadays, you will not catch me at too many summer outdoor events without one!
So, as you can see, the extreme heat does not have to cramp your "style." Now, what are some of YOUR personal style "keeping cool" secrets?
It's that time of year again, right? Graduation! Kids getting out of school for summer break... It's hard for me to believe that this YEAR is about half gone already. Wow.
Anyway, a big "CONGRATS" to all of the graduates and school children, too. YOU DID IT!
Now, if you are seeking a summer job or even a job after graduation, are you ready? What I mean is, do you have the appropriate interview attire? I have heard story after story whereas individuals have missed out on job opportunities simply because their "outside" was not the best representation of their "inside.' Don't let that be you (or your sons or daughters or anybody you know!)
The following is a clip highlighting a wardrobe workshop that I did recently for a fabulous group of young people. We had a great time discussing proper interview and audition attire, AND how to dress appropriately for your body type.
Here were a few tidbits:
-Avoid all the "too's. Too tight, too loose, too short, too low-cut. You get the idea.
-The small details like well-groomed hair, nails, and skin, DO MATTER.
-Dress according to the industry, but don't be afraid to let your personal "style" shine.
-Wear clothing that properly fit and flatter your body shape so that you will look AND feel confident. l mean, that's the whole purpose, right?
Of course, we really went in-depth and even had a bit of show and tell! As I end this blog post, I implore you to please BE READY! You deserve it!
I don't know about you, but all of this unseasonably warm weather often left me wondering, "What should I wear today?" My Mom used to always say, "Dress for the season, not the weather!" But that's getting harder and harder to do these days, right?
I think that it's time for us all to come to the realization that seasons are not as defined as they used to be!
So, from a wardrobe perspective, what do we do?
Well, I have a few tips for getting by until the true "dog days" of summer roll around. And hopefully by the time you finish reading this, you will be willing to share a few of your own!
First of all, I'm offering these tips not only for you to be your most comfortable in this weather, but also so that your closet doesn't suffer from "clutter anxiety."
You know how that can happen, right?
In addition to all of our cold weather clothing that's already in place, we start to pull out some our cute summer sandals (or buy MORE cute summer sandals!) and short sleeve tops, etc. Before we know it, all of our closet organization is out the window! :(
So that leads me to Tip #1:
Be sure that your clothing is well-organized in the first place! If I asked you the location of your 3/4 sleeve coral blouse with the ruffle down the front, could you go straight to it and pull it out?
Have layering pieces (like unlined jackets, light button-down sweaters, and cardigans) in your BEST NEUTRAL COLORS in your closet all year round. But don't overdo it now... just a few quality pieces should be enough. When you do this, you will have a that extra layer that is often needed for these chilly mornings and evenings. You will also look polished and pulled together-- without feeling too bulked up.
As you are shopping, keep an eye out for versatile pieces. Look for items that can easily transition from cool to hot weather with ease. For example, cardigans are sometimes sold with a coordinating tank or shell. There is your automatic layering piece! And you get a double bang for your buck if the cardigan can be worn over a sleeveless dress that you already have, etc... Get the idea? Make your wardrobe work double-duty!
Use the power of accessories! For example, scarves, tights, and leggings can instantly transform your outfit and give you that little extra warmth! Tie a scarf around your neck for the morning and take it off (or use it as a belt!) for the afternoon. Wear a shorter dress or skirt all year round with tights or leggings underneath in the cooler months. Remember, it's all about versatility!
Look for fabrics, patterns, and prints that can be worn from season to season. Obviously, you wouldn't wear your spring floral patterned dress when it's 30 degrees outside in the winter time, would you? So as you look for these transition pieces...and they may already exist in your wardrobe... make sure that the print or fabric will transition well, and won't look out of place!
So there they are. My top five tips for surviving this crazy, transitioning weather! With a little strategic planning, our wardrobe does not have to suffer AND we can still look fabulous! THAT'S ALWAYS THE GOAL!
Don't forget to share your personal tips below. Then get out and enjoy the weather!
Well, I'm back to blogging!
I hit a bit of a personal roadblock recently, but I survived! I'm sure that you have encountered such obstacles before, yourself. One important lesson that I learned, is to KEEP ON MOVING-- with your life, your family, your business, whatever that you have going on... things hardly ever are as bad as they appear to be!
So anyway, I was driving recently and noticed that my local Arby's restaurant was ongoing a renovation. A "facelift" of sorts. The funny thing about it, though, was that they were still open for business! They were making changes daily on the outside, but things kept right on ticking on the inside!
It reminded me of my business and how my goal with clients is to help them realize their fullest potential in their wardrobe and/or home. But at the same time, I want them to see that everything doesn't necessarily have to happen overnight! And in the mean time, life can (and will) go on, as usual.
Sometimes it truly is small changes that over time will have a great impact! For example, perhaps your goal is to be well-dressed and out the door in record time, before work in the mornings. A small change solution for right now may be to just arrange your closet with tops on one side and bottoms on the other. Or you may even take it a step further and go on to arrange those tops and bottoms by COLOR. Just those subtle changes alone, will help finding your clothes faster and easier. (Trust me, I know this to be true!)
So let me encourage you today! Don't be afraid to start "small." I know that change can sometimes be scary. But think about the long-term benefits--how good you will feel and how much more efficient you will be! Who doesn't want that?
So as spring rolls in, take time for yourself to make those small changes. I guarantee that you will not regret it!
And let me know what you did... I'm interested!
Well, folks, there is a new Goodwill store that has recently opened in my area. Thrift stores like Goodwill have really peaked my interest in the past few years. I like to shop "smart" AND land some great bargains in the process, of course!
But one thing that I've learned about thrift stores is that you have to have a lot of patience! There are usually some great finds inside, but you must know how to weed out the good from the bad. Otherwise, you will just end up with a lot of unnecessary "stuff." In my business, that's trouble!
Thankfully, my experiences with thrift stores in the past, have been pretty successful. I have found great home decor furnishings and accessories, as well as some fantastic clothing and shoes. But that was only when I had a plan!
So today, I went pretty early in the day, which is what I typically like to do, if possible. But even so, there were people EVERYWHERE! Remember what I said about patience, earlier?
Despite all of this, I still found some great stuff! My plan (this time!) was to scan the entire store. Sometimes, though, I will just plan to hit one section, like children's or home furnishings.
When I plan like this, ahead of time, my focus is narrowed from the moment I hit the door. Thrift stores with all of those rock-bottom prices can be very distracting! So stick to your plan and stay focused!
Another tip: If you see something that peaks your interest-- grab it and put it in your cart! If you leave it, thinking that you will come back, it may very well be gone when you come back! You may end up putting it back, but at least you wouldn't have lost something you really wanted--to another buyer. Remember, the lady behind you is looking to bag a bargain, too.
So what did I get for under $50? Well, in under a hour, I was able to find things from The Gap, Banana Republic, GUESS Jeans, Limited Too, Aldo, JCPenney, Lee Jeans-- great buys for my entire family. This included three pairs of genuine leather shoes! Check out one pair in the pic below.
Be sure to use the same tips about efficient clearance rack shopping (from my previous post) in thrift stores, as well. When you do, shopping just doesn't get much more "practical" than that!
The proud owner of my own wardrobe and home decor consulting company-- Practical Style and Spaces!