Looser Dress Codes Tighter Pants

“Are these pants too tight?” That is what my client- a millennial woman in leadership- asked me the other day.

We were working on her closet. She was trying on a pair of fitted ankle pants she loved to wear.  Her conservative company is forward thinking. They are embracing millennial ideas into their historically conservative company, in order to connect with younger consumers.

It got me thinking.

One important thing for millennials is style, and self expression through style. But what are the new professional boundaries? How tight can your pants be and still be  acceptable at work for a woman in leadership?

I looked into it:

In Corporette‘s blog post The Perfect Pants Fit, Kat suggests being able to pinch at least an inch of fabric at your thigh.  For that reason, Kat also believes skinny jeans are not appropriate for the office. Corporette is a style blog and forum largely for lawyers, so their offices are typically ultra conservative.

 

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5 Amazing Spring 2015 Handbags For Women in Leadership

Having a great handbag can make your day.

But it has to be practical and functional when you are a woman in leadership.

It has to be easily accessible, fit a small laptop or iPad, perhaps a file or two, and your other daily essentials. I did a little research and here are my five favorite WIL- friendly Spring 2015 handbags.

Balenciaga came out with a work tote size of this mini tote.  What beautiful yet simple detailing.  I visualize stopping by a big client’s home for an afternoon meeting by the pool.

This amazing picture was taken by Chriselle Lim who has a style blog The Chriselle Factor. I have always admired her artistic blogging style and work ethic. She just had a baby, and this was her “push present” to herself. Great choice!

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11 Spring 2015 Trends to Wear to Work Today

 

This winter is too cold! But warmer days are around the corner. I love snow and the fun layering opportunities winter allows, but right now I can’t wait for spring! How about you?

Now is the perfect time to start popping little bits of spring happiness into your work week rotations. To get you going, here are 11 spring 2015 trends that work right now for women in leadership:

Floral– Try working pops of floral into your work looks- perhaps in the form of a shell, a scarf or a belt.

I know what you are thinking -“Florals for spring – groundbreaking!”But really, every year florals for spring seem fresh all over again. Note, that is one of my favorite lines from the movie The Devil Wears Prada. Yay, I got to use it.

 

Head to Toe Blue – Blue is still the new black.  I love these powder blue pumps paired with the model’s navy dress. You could also try powder blue earrings, necklace, or a statement ring instead.

 

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What Not to Wear To The Corporate Gym

 

 

When you are a woman in leadership, many responsibilities are competing for your attention. It’s hard to find time for exercise. Luckily, some companies have facilities on site, which cuts down on traveling time at least. When using the corporate gym however, you may run into colleagues, employees, and superiors. To help you maintain a professional image here are five things to avoid when using the corporate gym:

Worn Out Sneakers – Footwear in bad condition sends the wrong message, and is bad for your body anyway. Try to replace your shoes every 500 miles. That is about every 6-9 months. Source

Unsupportive Bras – Not only is this uncomfortable, but it looks unprofessional. A good rule of thumb is to replace sports bras every 6-9 months as well. source

Loud Ear Gear – 
Listening to your favorite music is a great way to stay motivated at the gym; however, overly loud headphones limit awareness of your surroundings. For example, if you are sitting on a piece of equipment someone’s been waiting for, you’ll want to somehow have a clue in order to maintain a professional image. source Continue Reading →

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6 Best Ways to Wear Your Winter Scarf to Work – For Your Body Type

Scarves are one of my favorite accessories. For a small investment, your entire look changes.

And scarves are practical- they keep you toasty warm.

One thing about scarves though-  they can look amazing, or they can look frumpy. It depends on the scarf, your body type, and the way you wear it.

Since we are nestled in the middle of winter’s coldest months,  I researched scarves and body types. Here are six ways women in leadership can stay classy, and fashionable with scarves at work:

 

1. Belted – this is a new, classy yet fun, way to wear a scarf to work. This style works best if you are tall, or your top and bottom are evenly proportioned. You can wear a light scarf indoors over your dress, or a heavier scarf outdoors, over your coat like Wendy did here.

How to wear a belted scarf tips by DC style expert Naina Singla.

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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

You
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?

xo,

Jamie

 

 

 

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