Tag Archives: Casual

Choosing The Power Outfit

Ah, the power outfit. Did it begin with the suit of armor that Joan of Arc so bravely, and rather unflatteringly, wore to do battle in the 1400’s, or was it the traditional business suit, immortalized by Coco Chanel and the suffragettes of the 1920’s? Or perhaps it was the famous red bathing suit worn by Farrah Fawcett on her 1976 pinup poster, or the shoulder pads and white sneakers worn by Melanie Griffith in her 1990’s portrayal of business woman Tess McGill.

Whatever the interpretation, it is undeniable that behind every good woman there must be a good power outfit. Let’s look at what you should be considering when you choose yours.

Woman working at desk

International Standard Business Attire
Sometimes, the professional world calls for a strictly professional look. Standard business attire generally refers to tailored dresses and skirts paired with blouses and jackets. When in doubt, this dress code is always safest.

Business Casual
Business casual is a little more open to interpretation. For some companies, Capri pants may be fine in the office, but they may not send the right message for certain business meetings. Here are some tips for sending the right messages.

Tailored clothing
Clothing always looks more polished when its been properly tailored. That means investing in a few interchangeable high quality pieces, as opposed to a lot of poor quality outfits.

Patterns and Colors
Conservative colors are standard business attire for man and women alike. Dark grey and navy are powerful neutrals, and women can also wear black, provided the clothing is professional. (No LBDs, ladies).

Woman in purple outfit

Avoid Extreme Colors and Patterns
Although your polka dot dress may be the height of fashion, it may not impress business executives. You need to appear solid and so does your clothing. If patterns are your thing, choose plaids that appear solid from a distance and avoid wide stripes that make a bold statement.

Pants and Suits
When it comes to pants, think Marlene Deitrich in the tailored pantsuit of the 1930’s, with a crease. Twill, khaki and corduroy will make a good impression, as will suits made from wool and wool blends, but try to avoid denim and heavy cotton, which tend to give a less professional appearance. Also, avoid synthetic fabrics like rayon and polyester that tend to wrinkle. Pants should be pressed and hems should cover the ankle, but not drape to the floor. Tight pants are also a business no no.

Skirts and Dresses
When it comes to dresses, the most important criteria is length. If you see too much thigh when you sit in a chair, the skirt is too short. If the skirt features a slit, it should be centered and in the back and should not rise above the back of the knee. Skirts should not impede mobility and, if you cannot walk comfortably in it, you probably don’t want to wear it to a business meeting.

Woman in black power outfit

Sweater and Shirts
Cleavage is a big no no for business. Go for a tailored blouse which coordinates with your outfit and avoid see- through materials.

Undergarments
Bras and panties should not show through clothing. if your panty line shows, consider wearing something looser, or adding a slip.

Shoes
The classic woman’s business shoe has been, and still is, a closed toe pump. Avoid stilettos. clunky heels, and flats. Do not sacrifice comfort, as it is important to walk confidently. Shoe color should match your purse.

How do you dress for power? Let us know what you wore to your most successful meetings! We want to know!

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Chic, Casual Wardrobe Basics

Have you heard? Barbie’s gone casual chic. It should be no surprise. After all, if anyone has more clothes than all the Kardashians put together, it’s Barbie. Barbie’s casual chic 2-pack is standard Barbie fare. She’s got some black and pink leggings printed with electric guitars and a Barbie Rockers jersey, as well as a tie dyed denim shorts set. The only anomaly? The pack comes with a pair of patent leather lace up Lady Gaga boots with three centimeter heels. (scaled down, of course) Who is this woman’s stylist? While you can spend all day debating the propriety of Barbie dolls in S and M heels, it may be more productive for you to cultivate your own casual chic collection. Let’s talk about the comfortable basics no woman’s wardrobe should be without.

The White Cotton T
Crew neck or V neck, you need a white T shirt. Whether you’re layering or making a statement look, the white T shirt is an absolute casual essential.

Woman in sweater
Crewneck Sweater
If you want to stay comfortable cozy in the cooler months, a lightweight knit is the way to go. Wear it over a collared blouse for a preppy look or as a sexy topper for jeans or a pencil skirt.

Skinny Jeans
Whether it’s Paris Hilton or Adam Levine, the importance of a great fitting pair of skinny jeans can never be overestimated. High rise styles help to lengthen and slim legs in classic blue or black.

Black Pumps
As any dyed in the wool fashionista will tell you, if there is anything no wardrobe should be without, it’s a pair of classic black pumps. They go with everything from jeans to business suits to cocktail dresses and can be suited to any occasion.

Bright Colored Cross Body Bag
Want to add some pep to your look? Grab a colorful cross-body. Smaller than a tote and larger than a clutch, these bags are just the right size to do some serious shopping while still being able to fit down the aisle.

White Button Down
You’ve got your crew neck sweater, now you’ve got the collared shirt to put under it. Do a crisp classic look in all white or put it under a blazer for some professional polish.

Woman in pencil skirt
Pencil Skirt
Slenderizing and slinky, the pencil skirt can be great for the office or for the weekends. Paired with a silk camp or t-shirt and go retro, glam or preppy.

Cropped Moto Jacket
Add a bit of tough to your sexy. The moto jacket is an ageless fashion piece that can be worn with jeans or over a silky slip dress, it’s worth the splurge.

Menswear Look Watch
Women know the sexy look and feel of wearing men’s clothing, why not a men’s watch. It can be a great fashion piece for basics and can also be layered with a chain bracelet and bangle.

Wrap Dress
No need to coordinate an outfit. If you’ve got a wrap dress, it’s all grab, wrap and go. Plus, it makes for a flattering silhouette,

What’s your casual chic go to? Let us know what you think every woman needs to put in her wardrobe! We love to hear from you.

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Athleisure Is Not Business Casual

Business women in workplace

It seemed to have begun with the movie “Flashdance” in the 80’s; the movement to combine workout clothes with streetwear. Remember the leg warmers? How about those off-the-shoulder sweats and headbands? At the time, it seemed like the optimal solution in combining the elements of comfort with fashion. At least we could feel good and look good at the same time. As the trend evolved, the clothing did as well with designers constantly coming up with ways to make their clothes even more flattering to the female body. The clothes began to feature built in support, and the patterns and materials became more attractive. More and more, this “athleisure” became a staple of the average woman’s wardrobe. It might even be safe to say that many women preferred these clothes to more formal wear, feeling they better complemented her body and enabled her to move more freely. The growing popularity of these clothes began to bring up questions about propriety. While they might be appropriate for the grocery store or picking the kids up from school, were women crossing a line by wearing these clothes to the office?

“Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman,” Coco Chanel
One can hardly deny that Coco Chanel may have the last word in fashion. Well, then that decides it right? If you want to give a professional look, no athleisure, right? But maybe we should define shabby before we draw any conclusions. A Bloomberg Business article described $400 couture yoga pants and another told of sweatpants going for upwards of $800. These clothes are constructed impeccably with strong seams and quality fabrics and, of course sport designer labels. Does this make them acceptable office wear?

Not Acceptable
Kara Martin Snyder, a lifestyle strategist from Massachusetts, reported wearing workout pants as a CPA for a New York tech startup. She reports, “Occasionally, people confused me for an intern….” Mae Demdam, a digital analyst from Sydney says, “leggings are slim fit and they hug thighs, which aren’t appropriate to the workplace…. I mean, imagine if guys wore that to work.” Demdam added that she preferred clingy pants, which while relaxed, were sexy and appropriate. Fashion publicist Samantha Slaven-Bick admits to wearing assessor pants to work, but says she would “want my employees to dress a little nicer” and “feels a little self-conscious when others around me are more dressed up.” Slaven-Bick also claims that dressing up makes her feel “more productive at work.”

Acceptable
Stylist, Monaco believes it is all in the delivery. He believes that pairing the right pants with office appropriate wear such as a blazer and heels would convey, “a certain air of cool confidence,” but adds the best rule of thumb for determining whether or not athletic pants are ok for work is to, “simply look around. Is everyone else in suits and day dresses? Probably not a good idea. Jeans and t-shirts? Might be ok.”

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