To look and feel good in anything, the first thing you need is to be happy in your own skin. So, forget trying to look like someone else with bigger this or smaller that—it’s best to be happy with who you are and what you have because, with the right clothes, you’ll feel good and it will show. We are all made differently.
We all have a basic shape, and your shape and height do have an impact on how you look, but dressed up properly, we can all look and feel like a million dollars.
Using our guidelines, identify your shape and then find the look that suits you best. Put together a few outfits that you can dress up or down, and you’ll always have that perfect something to wear for any occasion.
If you’re pear-shaped, your hips are wider than your shoulders and the widest part of your body is below your waist. You can be tall, short, heavy or skinny and still be pear-shaped. If you are pear-shaped, your fashion goal is to elongate your figure so that you look less bottom-heavy.
You will look good in straight-legged trousers, jeggings or drainpipes with loose tops or wrap dresses. You can accentuate your bust with low neck lines, halter or corset style tops and try bright beads or a colored scarf at your neck to accessorize and draw attention away from the hips.
Look for tops that help to balance your lower half while accentuating your defined waist. Tops with nipped or fitted waists, off the shoulder boat-neck tops, wide v or U necks… Beyonce and J Lo are considered to be pear-shaped, and they always seem to look good, don’t they?
If you are apple-shaped, your top is usually bigger than your bottom. Choose a v-neck to make the neck look longer and flared or full skirts to add proportion.
If you have an apple-shaped body, then your body is top heavy, so you’ll have a wide torso, broad shoulders and a full bust, waist and upper back.
Apple shapes can have thinner arms, legs and hips, and tend to gain weight at their waistlines. A protruding tummy is also common among apple shapes.
Choose clothes that skim rather than cling. Flowing silks and soft cottons tailored in simple designs give you soft silhouettes rather than emphasize your wide bits and, best of all, these fabrics are comfortable.
Dress in monochromatic or shades of a single color rather than many colors. Different colored tops and bottoms cut your body in half, but monochromes will make you look longer. Darker, solid-colored tops with small designs make your top half look slimmer.
Wear tops with a long shirttail and rounded hems to camouflage your tummy. Wraparound tops, fitted but not tight, create folds over the stomach area.
Tops with v-necks are a good choice because they pull the eye away from your shoulders while accentuating your best features. Famous apple shapes are Tyra Banks, Jennifer Hudson and Rosie O’Donnell
If you are straight up and down with no real waist, your shape is considered rectangular—the same top as bottom; your bottom is probably more flat than round and your legs tend to be very shapely.
To get the best look for a straight body type, proportionally dress the top and bottom of your body while enhancing your waist. Wear form-fitting clothing, such as a tube-type dress, and create a waist by adding a wide belt in a darker shade than the main fabric.
To create a more curvaceous effect, wear wide-legged trousers, cargo trousers with side pockets, off the shoulder tops, full tops rushed around the bust, wide waist bands and various fancy belts to define your waist.
Celebrities like Meg Ryan, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Hudson and Keira Knightly have managed to look sexy despite having a straight or rectangle shape.
Hourglass or curvy
If you are curvy, you should feel lucky! Don’t hide your curves underneath baggy clothes: flaunt what you have.
The curvy or hour glass figure is the most envied, the sexiest and contrary to the body shapes of most supermodels, usually with a well defined waistline fuller hips and bust as well as generous thighs.
It really is considered to be the perfect feminine shape, and there is not much to be done but to accentuate what you have. If you are one of these lucky few, all you really need is to dress smartly and look for clothes that silhouette your figure rather than hide it.
Pencil skirts are very flattering. They will cling to your figure coming right in at your waist to show off your sexy curves. If you’re a on the shorter side, wear three-quarter length skirts or skirts just below the knee with a slit to make you look taller.
There are lots of Hourglass shaped celebrities who have been celebrated over the years including Marilyn Monroe, Kate Winslet, Mariah Carey, and Salma Hayek.
It’s important to know what length skirt is right for you whatever your height. Wearing skirts that end at the thickest part of your legs, whether it be the widest part of your thighs or calves, will just made you appear a lot shorter and wider then you actually are.
Knowing your shape and what is most flattering for it will make an enormous difference to your overall appearance—at no additional cost! It’s the easiest, and cheapest, way to dress things up and make the most of your best features.
Sometimes, you spend days planning the perfect outfit only to wake up on the day feeling bloated because your period has just started. Then, it’s time to kiss that awesome outfit goodbye and go back to the drawing board.
According to The Telegraph, a study found that women spend a year of their lives choosing the right outfit. The reasoning behind this is simple: what woman doesn’t want to dress to impress?
The only problem is you now have limited time. Here’s where these outfit for any type of date can come in handy.
1. Movie night
Who doesn’t love a date night where you stay in, make microwave popcorn and watch movies while cuddling. The tricky part is finding the right outfit that is comfy, but isn’t your oversized flannel pajamas.
A great outfit for a movie night at home is classic black leggings and an oversized plaid shirt/sweatshirt/boyfriend shirt with minimal to no makeup and a messy bun—cozy, but also cute and stylish.
2. Mini golf
Playing a game of mini golf is not only a fun date, but also one that makes you feel like you’re in a romance movie. However, playing mini golf in a dress or skirt is a bad idea.
The perfect outfit for mini golf is denim shorts or cropped skinny jeans and a cute tank top, tucked in, with flats or Converse sneakers. Don’t be afraid to add cute sunglasses or a hat!
Spring is here and hiking dates are always great, but choosing the right outfit can be tricky. It’s the inner fight of “I want to look cute” vs. “I need an outfit that is functional for me to sweat and hike through a forest in”.
No worries: both sides can easily win with a pair of running or hiking shoes, workout leggings/shorts (both are very flattering) and a t-shirt or tank top. It’s cute, but also says that you’re ready to hike.
Needless to say, no make up or very little is a good idea for this date along with a cute ponytail and headband.
4. Dinner date
Picture this: a romantic night out in the city, enjoying a nice candlelit dinner. It sounds perfect—until you need to find an outfit. This is where it gets tricky. Your outfit all depends on where you’ll be dining.
Sometimes, a dressy tank top with heels and nice jeans or leggings works perfectly, while other times, you need to wear a dress. Some would say that a little black dress is what’s needed.
Regardless, dress to impress, but also dress for what is suitable for the place you’re going to. If you need a longer dress, just remember that a leg slit never hurts. Feel free to dazzle with a bright and bold lipstick for a pop of color to go with your beautifully done hair.
5. Family events
Whether it’s your family or his, you want to dress nicely. This always makes a great impression and can sometimes show how happy you and your partner are. If it’s your first time meeting the family (no pressure), the perfect outfit can go a long way towards establishing a good relationships with them.
We all get nervous—especially if the person you’re with means the world to you. It’s hard to say what the best outfit is for such a meeting, but jeans/leggings and a nice blouse or dressy shirt—just make sure it isn’t too low cut—is often a safe choice.
You want to look casual while making a good impression. Also, consider wearing minimal makeup and definitely make sure your hair is neatly done. You’ll not only wow them with your charm and personality, but also with your great outfit.
6. Sports games
It doesn’t matter which person in the relationship is the sports fan, if you don’t like sports, be open-minded and excited to see what your partner likes. Your choice of outfit can really help with this.
If you like the team, even remotely, then wear a team jersey (some are cute and form fitting) with a pair of jeans or leggings. This is an outing where you should feel free to wear Converse sneakers or cute flats.
If you have zero positive feelings for the teams or the sport, then wear just wear a casual tee with jeans or leggings and try to pay attention. It’s a sports game, not a runway so don a baseball hat and remember that casual and relaxed always looks great for this date.
Like sport games, it doesn’t matter who loves the band, just go and have fun—in a killer outfit, of course. Some people go overboard when dressing for concerts, which doesn’t really match the date.
A great outfit would be the band’s t-shirts or a cute tank, crop top or graphic tee with skinny jeans, or even ripped jeans, with comfortable shoes. Your hair can be worn in any way that looks great and makeup is definitely a great idea for a night of music and partying.
The perfect outfit varies for every woman because we all have our own styles. However, these are all trendy, cute, flirty and fashionable outfits for these dates. Dress for the occasion and to impress, but remember: don’t let the outfit wear you; you wear the outfit.
Be fun, happy, adventurous and, most importantly, confident! If you have any great outfit ideas for specific types of dates, feel free to comment below and share them with us.
In this woman’s world, we need to look utterly professional whilst holding on to all our sass, so we’ve come up with some fabulously stylish but professional business casual for women. Whilst none of us want to be stuck in the white-shirt-black-skirt rut, finding the balance between smart and fashionable workwear can be tricky.
We’ll be conquering trends such as the leather pencil skirt, wide-legged trouser and the figure hugging Kim-K work dress for all you office professionals, as well as some great business casual style options for a more relaxed look that’s still uber smart and oh so chic. We’ll also be showing you which styles work best with your figure and why… so let’s get started!
Wide leg black trouser
Style: Smart business casual
Great for: Slimming hips and bum and lengthening legs.
Top tip: Always tuck in top/shirt with high-waisted items.
First up is the classic black trouser with a twist. The wide-leg trouser is back and it’s looking fabulous! With an array of styles to choose from, this style is amazing for slimming down wide hips and lengthening those legs.
Whilst the high-waist accentuates your smallest part, it also creates the illusion of a higher starting point for your legs, making them look super long. The wider leg cut skims your hips and bottom, taking the fullest part of your shape further down the leg instead of highlighting your behind, plus, like our mums told us… black is always slimming!
If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, why not try an interesting texture or print for your outfit? Team this lovely leather pair with something softer such as a blue cotton shirt, then work your fashionable workwear to its advantage by swapping your top or simply adding a statement necklace and wear them right through ‘till night on a Friday!
For added slimming powers (and added pizzazz) give vertical stripes a go. Team them with a soft white shirt or blouse such as this one, for a super smart and stylish combo.
Leather pencil skirt
Great for: Accentuating or creating curves.
Top tip: Wear a loose-fitting blouse or shirt to contrast the leather.
Next up is the oh so chic leather pencil skirt. While there are many shapes, lengths and colors available, we chose some light-colored items in preparation for spring. Smart, sexy and super flattering, the pencil skirt has been a favorite for women for years, and we think it’s probably because it is flattering on pretty much every body shape.
Whether you already have that fabulous hourglass shape or are more of an apple or tube or anything in-between, the pencil skirt will either accentuate the curves you have, or create them!
Clinching in at the waist, tuck in a loose-fitting cotton or chiffon blouse into your leather pencil and let your body do the talking. Keep it classy and elegant with neutral tones and a classic pointed-toe heel to compliment this fashionable workwear look.
Kim-K work dress
Great for: Showing off curves
Top tip: Wear with a pointed toe heel.
Next up in the fashionable workwear collection is what we like to call ‘The Kim-K Office Dress’. If you have curves to die for, like Kim’s, you absolutely must invest in at least one of these dresses for work.
Super flattering, these body-con style numbers highlight all your feminine best bits whilst keeping the flesh on show to a minimum; they are the absolute epitome of sexy and smart in one! Since they are so figure-hugging, we’d recommend keeping the color fairly neutral, although a dark colored hue, such as teal or mauve, would be fine too.
High necks are very fashionable at the moment, and we just love this nude colored number (fourth in line) and the grey sleeveless beauty with a gorgeous roll-neck. Whether you keep it simple in black or go for color, it is your shape in these dresses that will make the impact… whoever knew we could look so fabulous at work?
Great for: Creating curves on slim figures
Top tip: Be adventurous with color and print!
The tapered trouser is great for a number of reasons. Not only is it super comfortable whilst looking really smart, it’s also very versatile. Wear these trousers with a fantastic pair of heels when you’re feeling sassy, or a simple pair of pumps or slippers (not the wear-in-the-house kind) on days when you need to be more on your feet.
Go for a leather brogue or velvet slipper for an added touch of jazz, they look great with both! The other reason that tapered trousers are so fab is because you can get away with a crazy print and they’ll still look mega smart.
Just be sure to team a printed trouser with a plain colored shirt or vice versa, and you’re ready to knock ‘em all out with your fabulously fashionable workwear!
Bold pencil skirt
Great for: Accentuating or creating curves.
Top tip: Wear with collared shirt or structured crop.
Whilst we’re on the jazzy vibe, let’s talk about the vast array of bold pencil skirts ready to be introduced to your wardrobe! It is our belief that a fashionable workwear wearer simply must own at least one bold colored or printed pencil skirt, because, well because they’re fabulous.
Don’t be shy to wear a print on your bottom half, it seems we are all up for a printed top or blouse, but when it comes to skirts or trousers, we tend to be a little scared. Come out of that non-printed shell, ladies! It’s time to embrace pattern, color and texture and show them what we’re made of.
It’s always good to show some personality through your clothing and a bold pencil skirt shouts fun, confidence and strength all in one. Stand out at work by expressing your inner power and stupendous style!
Casual wool dress
Great for: Comfort & smartness combined
Top tip: Pair with a chic leather ankle boot
Now, moving on to the slightly more relaxed workwear style, we have four great business casual wool dresses. Dresses are always a winner on those days when you’re not feeling inspired to bother putting an outfit together, or the days when the desire for those few minutes of extra sleep override getting ready time!
Simple, clean-cut and super chic, these dresses combine comfort and smartness together perfectly. They can be worn with tights in winter, or bare-legged in autumn, making them a really versatile, essential wardrobe piece. Also, try layering up with a crisp white shirt underneath in winter for added interest and warmth!
Minimal Mango T-shirt dress
Great for: Showing off legs and hiding lumps and bumps
Top tip: Wear a good T-shirt bra underneath to ensure a smooth silhouette
These gorgeously stylish numbers from Mango ooze the ultimate blend of business casual. Effortlessly chic, you’ll be smart, professional and oh so stylish strutting your stuff at work in one of these monochrome T-shirt dresses.
Whether you go for plain black, white, V-neck, round neck or a hint of leather, you really can’t get better than these for comfortable and stylish workwear. At these high street prices, we think it’s well worth having a white one for Spring/Summer and a black one for all year round.
Wear the white bare-legged with a chic leather pump or slipper, and in the winter the black with opaque black tights, again with a pump, slipper or leather ankle boot.
Casual monochrome work dress
Great for: Bloated days
Top tip: Add some simple silver jewelry for added chicness
Whoever thought workwear could be so comfortable? These fashionable workwear dresses will have you feeling comfortable all day, whilst looking smart, stylish and sophisticated. Let’s be honest, some days, work or no work, we just don’t feel like squeezing into a skin tight body-con number, and ultimately, why would we when there are these gorgeous casual options on offer?
The oversized bag shape looks great on slim or larger frames and highlights a great set of legs! These monochrome numbers are proof in the pudding that smart needn’t be stiff. Wear with a classic pair of ankle boots or leather loafers for an all-round relaxed fashionable workwear look.
Loose-fitted black dress
Great for: Understated fabulousness
Top tip: Wear all year round, with or without tights
As Neiman Marcus once said, “Women who wear black lead colorful lives”. This, plus the fact that black always has and always will be effortlessly stylish, is why every woman needs one of these laid-back black dresses hanging in their wardrobe for all those rainy days when you want to inject some color into your lives… with well, black (it made sense when he said it)!
A loose fitting black dress will not only make you look great on days when you maybe don’t feel so, you can be sure that it will pretty much never go out of fashion, so it’s actually more of an investment than a purchase, even if you buy all five, right? (ahem). But seriously, this sort of elegant style is timeless and you can also wear it at any time of year, with or without opaque black tights.
Try adding a black roll-neck or white button-up shirt underneath for winter… layers can add a dimension to an outfit, so experiment, see what works best! Lastly, add an ankle boot, this style of dress looks fab with an ankle boot.
So there you have it! Fabulously fashionable workwear, from the minimalistic Mango T-shirt dress, to the full blown Kim-K body-con. Don’t think for a second that smart and professional need mean boring, be it smart or business casual, get creative with your workwear! You’ll feel more creative, more confident and more excited to wake up in the morning for it. Let’s play dress up every day, not just at the weekends!
Combined with those in Paris, London and Milan, it makes up the “Big 4”. But what shows the real importance of the Big Apple in the world of fashion and style is the fact that NYFW is the one that opens the fashion week season. NYFW is one of the four major fashion weeks.
New York City has been fighting for its place in the fashion scene since 1943, when it hosted the first fashion week. Today, it is one of the fashion capitals of the world.
As we wait for the new creations of fashion designers with great impatience, we are also waiting to feast our eyes on the stylish outfits of fashion trendsetters who are attending the fashion shows.
What makes fashion in the streets of New York so special? It’s the New Yorkers! They make it look so casual and relaxed… so relaxed that sometimes it feels like they spent less than five minutes planning what to wear, and the result is a simply perfect outfit!
How do they do it? It’s about the mixing and matching of colors, prints, fabrics… Unusual, almost unimaginable outfits, but in the end they work perfectly. What would you say to a floral print silk dress with a fur coat and Converse sneakers? Impossible to pull off? Well, not in New York!
That’s why we decided to introduce you to NYFW street style and its trends. These are the ultimate trends and the best street style outfits from the latest New York Fashion Week, so let’s take a look and get inspired.
1. Fur it up
You think the cold makes it hard for you to look fashionable? Take your fur coats out of the closet, because furs are the statement pieces of every other winter outfit this year!
2. Matching outfits
We’ve seen this trend before: fashion couples wear them a lot, but now, even single ladies can finally rock matching ensembles! We suggest you pick a cool matching outfit and wear it with your bestie.
3. White all over
Head-to-toe white. Like an Ice Princess!
4. Wide leg pants
Exchange your skinny jeans for a pair of wide leg pants. Leather, denim or the ones with print – they’ve all been seen on the streets of New York.
5. Orange is the new black
Orange, such a bold color… Love it or hate it, it doesn’t really matter; wear it and you will not go unnoticed!
6. Layers all around
Coat over coat… Why wear one when you can wear two? Pair your favorite leather jacket with another winter coat and voilà!
7. Blue domination
Blue is one of the colors that dominated the streets of the Big Apple this winter. For extra points – pick an oversized blue coat!
8. Sneakers with everything
A NYFW street style can’t go without them. New Yorkers really know how to rock good sneakers! They wear them with casual outfits, but also with fancy dresses and elegant fur coats, and they still look fabulous!
9. 50 shades of grey
If you are not a fan of the book or the movie, maybe this name will work for a description of a trend… 50 shades of grey, ladies!
10. Fury sweaters
You like fur coats, but that leaves you craving for more furry items? No worries – furry sweaters are super trendy this season.
11. Oversized leather jackets
This leather jacket from Acne is a simply irresistible piece you want to have this winter.
12. Army green is going big
Army green will be a must for this spring – just wait for it – so find your favorite army green piece on time! Whether it’s a bomber jacket, a coat, pants or a skirt… the choice is yours, as long as the color is right.
13. Big, fuzzy, stylish scarves
When it’s cold outside and all you need is to feel warm and cozy, you’ll opt for a stylish scarf, of course! But this time, your scarf should be as big and as fuzzy as possible! Extra tip: try the new trend and make a scarf from your favorite sweater… so chic!
14. Hats on!
One hat can change your whole outfit and make it more chic, elegant and glamorous. New Yorkers know it darn well!
How did you like the NYFW street style? Would you give a chance to these fashion trends? Leave your comments below, and tell us what you think!
“Are you festival-ready?” the headlines scream out at you. Your inbox has probably been flooded with images of cut-off denim and Hunter wellies paired with embroidered floral peasant blouses more than once this past summer, and you feel like you’re going to scream if you see even one morespiwatches floral headdress on anyone’s Pinterest board. If you’ve seen it once, you’ve seen it a million times.
You get it. Summer music festivals are a time for easy, effortless, bohemian chic. No problem. You’ve got this.Except it’s the dead of winter, you’ve just been invited to the rock extravaganza of the year, and it’s in three days time. Your usual summer music festival fashion game is not going to work. Not this time. What now?
Luckily, we here at the I’ve Nothing To Wear Institute have been doing a little research in-between lengthy bouts of internet shopping, and we’ve come up with a foolproof strategy to keep you looking good at concerts that may happen during the other (i.e. not summer) times of the year. This way, you’ll always be ready and won’t need to ask yourself what to wear to a concert.
So grab a cup of coffee (actually, you’d better make that water. You’re going to a concert, you need to stay hydrated), and join us as we explore a few different looks for a few of the concert venues you might encounter during those non-summer months.
An event at an indoor stadium
As cliché as it sounds, comfort should be your top priority when dressing to attend an indoor rock concert. If you’re lucky enough to get close to the front of the venue, you are likely going to be crushed-up against a lot of other people, so make sure that you are wearing appropriate footwear.
Tall, spiky stilettos, flip-flips, or any other kind of shoe that leaves any part of the foot exposed is simply a bad idea. Opt for a pair of well-loved motorcycle boots or high-top sneakers instead. If you must wear heels, make them of a reasonable height, and make sure that they are comfortable. The night of the concert is not the time to wear that untested pair of brand new heels. Try a pair of stacked heel boots or very on-trend wedge-heeled high tops.
Denim paired with a tee is one of the best options for a rock concert, although you should avoid wearing the actual concert tee of the band you are there to see, lest you appear to be a bit over-eager (that’s our polite way of saying “like a crazed groupie”). A simple black or white tee or tank with a pair of destructed denim has been a pitch-perfect look for just about any rock concert for the past thirty years, and you are sure to stay comfortable all night long.
Avoid layering, as indoor venues heat up incredibly fast when things get going, and you will soon overheat if you are crushed in the middle of a throng of people while wearing multiple layers of clothing. If you must layer your look, make sure you layer with something that you can easily tie around your waist for safekeeping, as anything that you leave sitting on a chair or table unattended while you are off dancing can easily be lost or stolen.
Want to really commit to the look? Channel the 90’s and layer a plaid lumberjack shirt over a tank, tie it around your waist, et voila.
If you don’t have adequate secure pockets to carry any of your belongings, put your valuables in a small, cross-body bag that hangs close to the body, leaving your hands free and your valuables safe. If you do keep any valuables on you, either in a pocket or in a bag, make sure that it has a zipper closure on it to discourage potential pickpockets.
The winter festival concert venue – outdoor edition
While everyone thinks of summer as festival season, the winter festive season brings with it a bevy of outdoor concerts as well, whether it is a concert at an outdoor Christmas market or a show ringing-in the New Year. If you live in a warmer climate, this is an easy thing to prepare for, and really requires nothing other than a festive touch to your normal concert going attire. However, if you live in a cold climate, some preparation is necessary before heading out.
Many winter concerts that are put on during the festive season are affairs where you will be standing for long periods of time. Even in the mildest of winter conditions, it is easy to get cold quickly when standing around in the winter weather.
Dressing in layers is essential for such events, and in some cases you may even want to arm yourself with a pair of thermal underwear (merino wool base layers are great) that insulates you from the cold. Overall, to keep things festive, you can think along the lines of a look that is similar to what you might think of as an “Aspen après-ski look”.
Oversized knitwear layered over a pair of skinny trousers (yes, I suppose you can wear that Christmas sweater if you must), down vests, fur gilets (real or faux), and luxuriously chunky knitted hats, mittens, and scarves are all appropriately casual for these types of events. Most importantly, you want to make sure you are wearing a pair of warm and comfortable boots that keep your feet toasty warm and dry.
Granted, there are many more potential venues in which you might attend a concert outside of the summer festival season, but the tips given here in these two examples will work for most concert venues, give or take a few layering pieces, accessories, or pieces of outerwear. However, once you’ve gotten your concert look sorted, there is one final step that is non-negotiable – have fun.
Dress codes are just one of those talking points that seem to cause more confusion than they dispel, regardless of whatever good intentions may be behind them. There is nothing that induces eye-rolling and a unison chorus of reluctant groans like a discussion about the office dress code…or at least, it has that effect on me.
Add to that the ever-increasingly casual culture of public life (sweat suits, flip-flops, yoga pants…argh!), and it is no small wonder that many of today’s office workers are left scratching their heads as to what the rules of what to wear to work really are.
If this sounds familiar to you, you should know that help has arrived. After an exhaustive research process in which many potato chips and soy chai lattes sacrificed themselves to the cause, I have been able to compile a handy quick-reference guide to help you dress for the office, whatever type of office that may be.
Take your fashion cues from those around you
Don’t misunderstand me; I’m not saying that you have to start dressing like Mabel from Accounting, with her calf-length dirndl skirts and a pair of orthopaedic shoes that could blot out the small island nation of Vanuatu in one stomp. The goal here is not so much to imitate, but to try to determine exactly which way the sartorial wind is blowing.
To do so, you want to look beyond the cubicle next to you. Instead, look to the most successful people in your office. Look at the way they put themselves together, and try to envision what kind of wardrobe combinations you already have hanging in your closet that might fit the prototype for your particular institution’s culture.
If you find yourself falling short of clothing options, chances are you are probably going to have to go shopping. Don’t let this overwhelm you. Think about what you have seen on some of the most successful people in your work environment, think about what you have in your closet, then pick up a magazine or two or go online and have a look at some of the fashion blogs and websites out there.
Choose some pieces that speak to you and that you think might work for your body type, and formulate a tactical shopping plan.
Does this work? Choosing the right clothes for the right office
While no two work environments will ever be alike, there are certain pieces that will work in some environments and not others. Knowing your own (and its official policies) is the key to getting it right ultimately.
That said, there are a few clothing items in particular that seem to consistently pop-up as sticking-points for employees struggling with dress codes.
As old-fashioned as it sounds, hosiery is something that is still required in many more formal corporate environments. Those who work in more casual or creative environments (think call centers, fashion magazines, or art galleries) will invariably be allowed more freedom to ditch the pantyhose, especially in the warmer summer months.
If you are in doubt as to whether or not your office frowns upon a pair of bare legs and you can’t find any answers by looking at your company’s dress code, take your cues from senior members of staff. If they are able to go without hose, you should be fine. However, even if you are able to ditch the hose in an office environment, it’s best to choose a shoe that has more coverage to avoid looking and feeling too exposed.
If you work in finance, law, or any other type of formal corporate environment, you can forget about denim – it’s never going to happen.
Less traditional offices (including creative environments) usually have a casual dress policy on either a given day of the week, or more and more frequently, all the time. While denim is almost always allowed in this environment, it is important to choose your denim carefully.
Leave your distressed, acid-washed, and tie-dyed denim at home and opt for clean, solid dark washes. Avoid anything too tight or with too low a waistband; nobody wants or needs to see what you have on underneath your jeans.
Unless you work in fashion or in the kind of relaxed, start-up venture environment that seems to only exist in the television programs I watch, shorts are probably a no-go. Even if you are lucky enough to be able to wear a pair of shorts to the office, make sure that they are a longer, Bermuda type style and pair them with closed toe flats or loafers if you are planning on wearing them with bare legs.
Paired with a boyfriend blazer and a button down shirt, this is a look that can be chicly androgynous and unexpected if the environment allows.
4. Spaghetti strap anything
Nope. Not going to work. Even if you think you’ve covered your bases and styled your thin strap top with a cardigan or jacket, you may need to remove the jacket at some point, and then you will be out of luck. Always be prepared to have to remove a layer, even in the dead of winter.
In any work environment where you might be tempted to wear a thin strap top, opt instead for a sleeveless blouse that extends to the edge of the shoulder. If you have to think about what to do with your bra strap, or think you might need to wear a strapless bra, the strap is too thin and you should choose another top.
5. Open-toe shoes or sandals
In formal corporate environments, a sling back pump may be appropriate, but an open toe shoe is probably not acceptable. Just make sure that your shoes look conservatively sophisticated (by which I guess I mean expensive), and that they don’t make that “slap, slap, slap” noise when you walk.
For less formal office environments, open toe shoes should be fine, just choose a pair that is not too sexy (i.e. no glitter, platforms, or (shudder) clear heels). More coverage is better than less, although those who have a lot of creative freedom at work will probably be able to wear even the strappiest of sandals with ease.
However, flip flops do not belong in any office environment, no matter how relaxed. If you are still knocking sand out of your shoes from your last beach holiday, they’re probably not appropriate for the office.
Your grandmother was right
As they say, sometimes the best ways are the old ways. One of the easiest ones to keep yourself in check if you’re unsure something is appropriate is to ask yourself if your Grandmother would approve of it. Consider each piece of clothing individually rather than as the sum of all of the parts to your look, and ask yourself, “What would Grandma think?” If you’re pretty sure that Grandma would send you home to change, choose another piece.
While you can certainly find any number of office environments that will prove to be exceptions to these guidelines, overall they are an excellent way to keep yourself on the right side of your boss (and your Grandmother) when you dress for work in the morning. What do you think is appropriate to wear to work? Share your experience in the comments below!
Even those of us who are normally a bit color shy during the rest of the year can’t help but find ourselves seduced by the pull of a fire engine red manicure or lip color during the festive season. We all feel it…go on, admit it. Resistance is futile. During the holiday season, a “more is more” approach to dressing seems to have become a permanent part of our cultural vernacular. Main street shops are packed with sequins, theme sweaters (ugh, I know…why!?), and other varieties of embellished goodies.
This sudden omnipresence of all of this holiday bling often means that a majority of us are thinking along the same lines when it comes time to prepare for upcoming holiday parties. It is not uncommon to see more than one person at a party dressed so similarly that you would swear that they had planned it.
Hence the conundrum: How does one satisfy that insatiable holiday desire we all have for all things festive and sparkly, yet still appear effortless and unique? The following few strategies should show you how to look perfect at a celebration and stay on the right side of chic this holiday season.replica shop
1. Prep like a Parisienne
Those of us who take an interest in fashion are always holding-up the French as the benchmark of chicness against which we should all measure ourselves. As you might have guessed, dressing for holiday parties is yet another of those areas where French women seem to excel at the sartorial side of life.
The French are used to having fewer, higher-quality pieces and wearing them more often, which definitely comes into play during the holidays. This was the subject of a recent article in Vogue magazine, in which several Parisian women were interviewed on the subject of their holiday party dressing strategies.
The consensus was that the most important thing was to “not overdo it”, to take pains to not end up the girl who is wearing one too many reflective fabrics or tottering around in a pair of ridiculously high platform heels. The goal is to look effortless – to look like yourself.
The Parisian strategy for dressing for a holiday party is one of subtle shifts in one’s personal style. You don’t necessarily need to do anything different at all, and probably have plenty of things in your wardrobe already to create a memorable and sophisticated holiday look; the key is just combining the pieces differently.
If you are inclined to wear skinny trousers and jackets, perhaps you should swap the trousers for a pencil skirt. If you love girly dresses, try something a bit more tailored. The key is to select one element that stands apart from your normal “uniform”, and augment it with quality footwear and a few well-appointed accessories. Just not too many accessories – that would be gauche.
2. Take it easy and save money
As with the Parisian approach, there is no need to rush out and buy a whole new wardrobe for the holiday season. Finding that perfect party dress (the thing that we all agonize over finding year after year) is not only a waste of money, it’s a waste of energy. Dressing for a holiday party can be as easy as dressing for any other day of the week using just a few well-appointed pieces in your closet.
A peplum and skinny trouser combination is a sure bet for any holiday party. Clean, sophisticated lines, feminine detailing, and the ability to dress it up or down with shoe and accessory choices make this a very easy option. Add a jacket and a flat, and you’re ready for the office. Take off the jacket and add a strappy sandal or metallic stiletto and you’re ready for the office Christmas party.
3. Go ahead, if you must
For those of you who simply cannot give up the bling (hey, don’t feel bad…I count myself among you), all is not lost. A bit of holiday dazzle can also be simple and sophisticated, provided you choose your silhouette wisely.
Select a simple sequinned or beaded shift dress in a cut that has some ease to it; body conscious bling is just trying way too hard, so pick something with the smoothest, cleanest lines you can find. A short hemline is fine, but keep in mind that you want to look effortless and the shorter the hemline, the more difficult this can become.
Choose a solid metallic fabric (no prints!) like burnished gold, silver, or bronze (depending on your skin tone), and pair it with a quiet pair of pumps in a shade that disappears into the leg – either a nude or matching metallic shade works best. Austerity reigns here, so leave the platforms and crazy colors at home and focus on elegant simplicity.
The easiest part of this look is that with a blingy outfit, you are one walking accessory, so you can leave everything but the simplest pair of stud earrings at home; you are the accessory!
While not everyone will be able to give up the mad dash to the shops at the start of the festive season to find that perfect holiday party outfit, it’s most likely that your perfect look is already in your closet. Even those of us who are addicted to a bit of holiday bling can benefit from the aforementioned three strategies; you’ll not only look chic and sophisticated, your bank account will likely thank you as well.