Q&A – Dress for Success on Stage PART 2

In any situation you have only 90 seconds to create a good first impression, according to Presentation Magazine. So as you stand in front of your audience you need to ensure you are giving the right signals. You need to“Dress for Success on Stage”.

In part one, I covered general guidelines for dressing for success on stage. This post covers specific answers to questions posed by some of Marriott’s executives during my visit last Monday.

Marissa Mayer president and CEO of Yahoo  Photo Credit

Question 1 – While we present, close-ups are being projected of us on the big screen yet the stage is far back. How do we balance this? What wardrobe choices can we make to avoid getting lost on stage or being too “in your face” on the big screen?

Brooks Jones, personal stylist manager at Nordstrom’s Tysons Corner, suggests bright colors since typically the background is dark or black. He also suggests sticking to solids unless it is the underpinnings (the shell or shirt that goes under your blazer).

If you decide to go with a pattern, try for a medium-sized one, and ideally one with blurred edges, a watercolor feel, or an abstract design, advises stylist and author Sally McGraw. See my example of  Marissa Mayer, Yahoo’s president and CEO, above?

Additionally, Presentation Magazine suggests finding out what color the background is and wearing a complementary color. For example, you do not want to wear a red dress on a purple background. Continue Reading →

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7 Secrets: Dress for Success on Stage

2015 is nearly here. Wow! And what comes with the new year? Planning and review. Which means conferences. And, with conferences, when you are a woman in leadership, that likely includes presentations.

In any situation, you have only 90 seconds to create a good first impression, according to Presentation Magazine. So as you stand in front of your audience, you need to ensure you are giving the right signals. You need to “Dress for Success on Stage”.

Last week I had the opportunity to visit Marriott’s headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland, and share my ideas on dressing for success on stage. It was so much fun checking out their amazing facilities. Thank you to the Marriott modern essential & extended stay brand management team for having me! You are a delightful and inspiring group.

The following tips are some ideas I shared. They are laid out in a general sense, so they are  applicable for every woman in leadership:

Emma Watson speaking on gender equality at the United Nations Sept 20, 2014 watch video

1. Stay Consistent With Your Corporate Brand.  Presentation Magazine suggests listing five adjectives that describe your company’s brand and seeing if your look matches that. For example, Innovative means up-to-date, and International means you might want to not dress head to toe in, as the author puts it, Marks & Spencer!

2. Prepare Three Looks. Ideally your presentation wardrobe consists of three looks according to this Forbes article. The three types are The Full Fig, which is your full blown presentation look. It’s likely a suit or dress but if it isn’t -it should be- or at least look expensive. The second look is the Upscale Casual look.

The Upscale Casual look is for conferences; for example, at a resort, where the audience is dressed more casually, with an emphasis on casual and comfortable. For men, it might be a sport coat, dress shirt, no tie, and high-end jeans or trousers. This translates to a casual Friday type look for women where you might wear quality jeans, blouse or shell, and fashion jacket, or an equivalent look.

The final look to prepare in your wardrobe is the Among-the-People look. This look is for when you are speaking to a very casual audience, and need to go “native”. This is the audience that may be wearing ripped jeans, and t-shirts. If you look too formal you risk not connecting with them. In this case you could choose a pair of high-end jeans, casual shirt, and fashion jacket, or any equivalent look such as a casual dress and cropped jacket.

Now let’s put it together:

3. Keep your look simple, clean and not too busy. Wear a color that flatters you. You are the expert and you want the focus to be on your message, not the outfit.If you are unsure of what color to wear go for blue. It looks good on nearly everyone. Continue Reading →

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10 Corporate Holiday Event Looks – Classic With a Twist

need a fantastic look for your corporate holiday events! Why? Your choice of outfit sends a positive or negative message about your personality outside of work. source

Many companies are embracing updated technology and updated business ideas including social media, and social responsibility in order to attract a younger, millennial customer. One way to show you are able to help your company move into the future is to align your personal style brand with your corporate brand. Your corporate holiday function is an opportunity to do this.

One major rule according to celebrity fashion stylist and editor Dawn Del Russo; go easy on the glitter and sparkles. Instead opt for classic looks. The holiday season may seem like the perfect time to go for your sparkly dress, but it probably isn’t. source

Here are ten classic look ideas with updated holiday twists:


1. Skirt and Sweater Combo– But no holiday sweaters, even if they are designer! Also try to avoid anything  that showcases holiday animals or characters to maintain your professional image. The CEO may not appreciate the humor and they can come across as tacky. (Unless you are the CEO!)

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Instant WIL Style Profile #2 – Amal Clooney

What brands are other women in leadership wearing? Wouldn’t it be helpful to know when you need to look amazing for your next company-wide presentation, annual conference, or crucial meeting? As an ongoing project, I look into it.

Meet Amal Clooney – superstar human rights lawyer and newest style icon. As news.com.au puts it, doing good work and being attractive are not mutually exclusive. Amal Clooney is feminine, stylish, and taken highly seriously.

According to the blog Amal Alamudden Style, Amal Clooney likes Akong London jewelry. She has been seen in at least one Camillo Bona Haute Couture sheath dress (only available in Europe), and a Donna Karan evening wear piece. Clooney wears Oscar De la Renta a-line dresses, and fit-and- flare dresses. Clooney is often seen wearing Prada brogues. Brogues are a flat (i.e. comfortable) menswear inspired shoe, in case you didn’t know!

Wishing you much fabulousness in the public eye until next time!

What is your favorite workwear brand?






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7 Fall 2014 Wall Street Worthy Accessory Trends

Accessories elevate your look from fabulous to unforgettable. Accessories tell your story and define your personal brand.

Accessories are especially useful when networking because they offer people a conversation starter. For example, if you are wearing an interesting ring, someone nearby can feel comfortable to say, “Hi, great ring!” and voila – you are in a conversation.  So be kind to others, and accessorize!

When accessorizing, matchy matchy is outdated. Aim to coordinate. Did you know that 25% of your wardrobe budget is the rule of thumb when purchasing accessories? For this reason, each piece should be versatile and complement several of your outfits.

Here are seven work friendly, look-elevating accessory trends for fall:


1. Gorgeous Gloves – short or long, just a gorgeous pair. Long gloves work well with cape coats, as shown above.

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6 Fall Wear-to-Work Trends



There must be a hundred trends stamped “fall 2014”!

The question is which trends work if you are women in leadership? Here are six ideas for you.  Try picking one or two suitable options based on  your field, and body type to update your work look instantly:


1. Statement Necklace – Add interest to any simple basic. Try wearing a statement necklace with your turtle neck as shown here.


2. Plaid- There are blazers, button down shirts, skirts, scarves, and more in plaid. Just pick a piece that works for you, and the statement you want to make!

3. Cape Coat- Olivia Pope, from the hit TV show Scandal, has certainly helped- if not singlehandedly created- the rise of the cape coat trendCape coats come in various lengths from hip length to full length, and look so sophisticated!

The taller you are the longer the coat can be. Longer coats, three-quarter length or longer, appear more formal than shorter ones.


4. Ankle pants- For the leanest line, wear pointed-toe heels with ankle pants. You could also try wearing booties. Booties look fantastic with ankle pants and keep you warm in colder months.


5. Culottes – or simply wide leg pants if you aren’t quite ready for full-on culottes!


6. Leopard Print – Either in clothes or accessories. You can’t go wrong with anything leopard print this fall: provided your industry, and personal brand fit the trend of course!

Which trend(s) would you incorporate into your work look?




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Welcome to my new blog!


New Year’s resolutions. I try to keep them. This year’s resolution: to start a blog about style for women in leadership (WIL). My regular job of actually styling clients, and studying have kept life pretty hectic. It’s no surprise that it has taken me ten months to fulfill that resolution.

Finally, here it is!

Besides art and fashion, I’ve had a lifelong passion for anything business-related. Wouldn’t it be great to see more women in leadership positions?

For women in leadership, the question is not only can I wear this to work? There is also the question of will this look get me to the next level? Do the clothes in my closet infuse me with confidence, represent my personal brand, and make me feel feminine?

This blog is a place to share as I research these topics and others, on women, style, and leadership.

My vision is to one day see 50% female representation on boards across America. Ambitious Attire is my (small) contribution.

Let’s create equal representation on boards and let’s look “haute” while doing it!

So here goes Ambitious Attire, what winners wear…



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Instant Style Profile #1- What Brands are Women in Leadership Wearing?


What brands are other women in leadership wearing? It would be helpful to know this when you are out shopping wouldn’t it?  So I’m looking into it.  Since you are busy, these posts will be short and, well – pretty instant!

Meet Sacha MascoloTarbuck– Global Creative Director at Toni & Guy:

According stylist.co.uk, Mascolo likes wearing Webster shoes, and  Victoria Beckham dresses. She also likes pieces by Giles Deacon and Alexander McQueen.

 That’s it for now!

What are your favorite work-wear brands?



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5 Fall Boot Styles- How to Wear Them

A client recently asked me to write about which fall boots go with what. There are so many types of boots and boot heights that the choices seem nearly infinite. This can be confusing when you are investing in boots for the season, or when you are standing in your closet trying to “create” yourself for work in the morning.

Here are five fall boots and how to wear them for work:

1. Peep Toe Booties– wear with ankle pants, dresses, and all skirts, but shorter ones – (knee or above) look best. This ankle- bone height is perfect for petites, short legs, and heavier women because it doesn’t cut you off at your ankles.


2. Booties – Booties are a good alternative to peep-toe booties if your industry is more conservative.  Wear with ankle pants, dresses, and all skirts – but shorter ones (knee or above) look best.


3. Knee High Boots – Work for every type of dress or skirt and all body types. You can’t go wrong. The only limitation might be if you have wide calves, in which case look for an extended calf version- try Aquatalia brand.  If you already own obligatory black, why not try a lighter color to add interest. Both camel and grey are popular this fall. The coat is fabulous by the way!

This is a good time for me to mention that having a great coat in a flattering fit and color for fall is the easiest way to look pulled together …every entrance and exit you make will be amazing!


4. Mid Calf Booties –Mid calf booties look great with longer skirts, such as midi skirts. They work well for people with thin legs or tall frames because they break up the line of your leg, making them appear more shapely and shorter. They also work well with culottes and ankle pants (shown above).


5. Riding Boots- A sophisticated pair can be a great go-to for a casual work look. If you pair them with spring dresses, riding boots will keep you warm through the rest of early fall. Black and brown are a wardrobe staple. Grey and camel are two other good choices.


Parting Tip-  According to DC style expert Naina Singla, gold details are on trend for the season. So if you see a pair of booties you like with gold trimmings- grab them!

How about you. Would you wear booties to work?



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