Tuesday, March 20, 2012

5 Do's and Don'ts of Corporate Fashion

Before I begin, I would like to share this picture of Senator Kristen Gillibrand and Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour who both attended the Carolina Herrera Fall 2012 fashion show in NYC. I absolutely love what this picture has to offer.

Fashion and Politics at its best! Who ever said politics and fashion don’t mix?
5 Do’s and Don’ts of Corporate Fashion:

1.    First impressions are important: Job interview/first time meeting a prospective client.
Human Resources will not just be on the lookout for how well you speak, what school you attended or your work experience, but will also focus on how well you carry and represent yourself.  You always want a clean look and perhaps a touch of your style. Below are some recommendations I would like to suggest:
·      Black suit: jacket and pants/skirt with a white blouse or blue blouse.
·      Low inch heels
·      Hair pulled back whether it’s a low ponytail or bun. If your hair is down, make sure it is not covering your face.
·      Resume, contact information card and a legal pad.

2.    Dress the part
Believe it or not you not only gain respect by you job performance, who you know and what you know, but also by the way you dress. If there is a goal you are trying to achieve in your career—you should always have a goal—dress the part and own your goal. Own that title and promotion you have been working hard for and make it happen starting off with your work and your wardrobe! Be inspired and dress like the head department or iconic women in your industry that you admire.

Whether it’s casual Friday, a company party, the company’s summer picnic, or Monday DRESS THE PART. Do not slack off. When you receive that promotion and title you have longed waited for, you want to be remembered as the woman that earned that title and dressed the part—clean and professional. You represent yourself, your colleagues and team, and your work, so make your team proud and represent them with style ;).

Don’t be afraid to be yourself. You can always add a touch of your own style. For example, if you like colors you can always add some color to your wardrobe.  Below are pictures of an outfit I put together for work. As you can see, I added a touch of my own liking:

I’m wearing a black H&M Skirt with a white Ann Taylor Loft button down and Bolton’s silk scarf.

Notice the colors on the scarf—bright colors of Spring 2012. What’s best about the scarf? It may also be used as a headscarf!  Silk scarfs are IN!

Being creative with your work wardrobe can also read as being creative with your work. People like and enjoy working with others who are not afraid of thinking outside the box when appropriate.

3. Variety- Mix & Match
Believe it or not your collogues may remember what you wear to work and may become aware of how often you wear it. You do not want to become the lady that repeats her outfits, so have a variety of outfits to wear that provide you with the option to combine—mix and match.

I personally have two black slacks, two grays, and one tan; three black skirts, one green and one beige. I also have a variety of tops. Most of my tops match all my bottoms, and of course dresses as well—two black, one gray, one navy blue, and one red. And yes, I have a selection of good quality items all without spending a fortune!

As you begin your career (or even if you already began your career), you may have a budget. Don’t feel obligated to always buy pricey items or constantly shop. You may still purchase good quality clothes, which may usually run on the higher end of a price tag, at a more reasonable cost. How so?
·        Provide your e-mail or address to your favorite stores, this way you will be aware of when the sale dates are.
·        Buy colors that you know you will be able to mix and match.
·        Holiday Promos- usually around the holidays—Labor Day, Memorial Day, Christmas, President’s Day, etc.—stores tend to have incredible sales. Don’t miss out these opportunities to shop.
·        Shop Wisely- Do not buy a pricey item if you: 1. question yourself on whether or not you like it 2. you do not feel comfortable in it 3. it is not an item you may be able to mix and match.

Here are lists of some of my absolute favorite stores/brands that offer great deals:
Ann Taylor
Ann Taylor Loft
Aqua – Bloomingdale’s
Elie Tahari – Bloomingdale’s
J. Crew
NY Company
Tahari – Macy’s
United Colors of Benetton

Don’t be intimidated by the name brand, as store carriers may offer great promos!

Below are some pictures of reputable women who wear affordable clothes from stores that may be near you!

Kate and Pippa Middleton wearing Zara dresses
Michelle Obama wearing an Ann Taylor Spring 2012 Coat


Make-up done by Christina C MUA.  I was attending a wedding that evening
You may find Christina on Facebook and Twitter: http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=100002209845508

or search her under Christina Cascione Mua on Facebook.


4. Accessories, Hair, and Nails: Details Matter
Accessories: Simple classic jewelry. Keep it down to the minimum: two rings if necessary, studs...NO HOOPS, a watch, bracelet (along the lines of a tennis bracelet or a thin bangle), and an abstract necklace. However, feel free to add some style if you would like. You may want to wear a pearl necklace or small dangling earrings—just make sure nothing clashes.

Hair: Dirty hair is noticeable. If you do not have time to work with your hair, a sleek low ponytail or low bun will do. Otherwise, you may blow dry your hair or add curls to the ends. I do not recommend straightening your hair, as it is not healthy.

A picture suggesting a hair-do you may want to try for work

Nails: If you are the type of woman that tends to go for a manicure on a weekly or bi-weekly basis—like me—neutral colors work best: French manicure, light pink, light brown, or anything along the lines of pastel colors. Otherwise, a clear nail does the job.

5. Shoes:
Try to wear either flats or heels (3 inch heels max). You do not want to wear pumps, especially if you are wearing a skirt—save those for a girl’s night out. Besides, you do not want your feet to hurt at the end of your day. For comfort, I usually wear flats to work and then switch into either nicer work flats or heels.


Feel great about yourself!! When you feel great you look great! And guess what? Feeling great attracts great opportunities and ventures. It also shows that you are confident and people like working with those who are secure of who they are and what they know!

My next post will be on BE FIT BE HAPPY: Mind and body work together. Tips on how to be healthy!!

Written With love,

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