The Fashion Formula

Here is a simple guide to follow when getting dress.

1 Basic ~ Dark jeans, pencil skirt, basic top

1 Interest Piece ~ Color, pattern, texture, shine

1 Completer Piece ~ Jacket, cardigan, belt

Now add accessories (jewelry, handbag, shoes, scarf) and out the door you go all put together!!  Quick, easy, simple!

Must Haves for Fall

Soon the weather will be cooling down (hopefully), and we will start to feel a bit of a chill in the air. I know some of you up north are already experiencing cooler temps.  As summer draws to a close, you may be wondering what items to pull from storage and what you should buy new to transition into a fabulous fall wardrobe. Just follow my basic guidelines and start with these fall wardrobe essentials. You will be on your way to a stylish autumn season. Deep, rich colors and pieces for layering on cooler days are essential to the fall wardrobe. Earthy fabrics and knits bring warmth to a cold season, and subtle metallics and leather also make a comeback this time of year.

1. Long sleeved tees  Perfect for layering, long sleeved tees will keep you warm and add depth to a fall outfit. Blacks, grays, and creams are good colors to start with and can be layered under some of your more versatile warm weather clothes if needed.

2. A pullover sweater  A pullover can be a lifesaver when weather suddenly changes. Choose close knit styles for a tailored look or bulkier knits when you just want to cozy up with a good book and your favorite cool weather beverage.

3.  Boots This one is almost self-explanatory, but there are many styles, heights, and colors when it comes to boots. Choose a pair or two of favorites like ankle, knee-high, or mid-calf boots and switch things up depending on the weather.

4. Leggings and tights – Leggings and tights come in a huge variety of patterns and colors. There really is something for everyone. The bare legged styles of summer may not be warm enough for the fall months, but a good set of leggings can extend the life of some of your favorites, and tights make any skirt more practical.

5. Scarves – Another accessory worth stocking in many colors and styles is definitely the scarf. You can still wear scarves made of sheer fabrics during autumn, but can also start to introduce bulkier, warmer varieties.

6. Cardigans – Cardigans are another versatile essential for the fall. They can be found with or without buttons, long-sleeved, ¾ sleeved, colored, patterned, with hoods, and in all kinds of fabrics. For a staple, go with a neutral color that you can get a lot of wear out of, but if you have the budget for a second cardigan choose something fun.

7. Leather  I could be more specific, but if you choose even a single leather item for your closet this year, you will be on the right path. A leather pencil skirt, pants, or a jacket are great additions to any outfit.

8. A loose blouse  You just cannot go wrong where a blouse is concerned, no matter the season. Plus, they are perfect for pairing under a cardigan or pullover if it turns extra chilly.  For fall, choose darker, rich colors (try jewel tones) or creamy neutrals.

9. A sweatshirt / hoodie  There are going to be gray, drizzly mornings this autumn when you wake up and think one thing….I wanna be comfy. Those are the mornings to don your favorite hoodie and jeans. But a comfy outfit does not have to be a frumpy one. Go for a more fitted sweatshirt that flatters rather than covers your curves.

10. Metallic accessories If you have got your other essentials hanging in the closet it is time to add some bling. A little bit of metallic jewelry will go a long way in jazzing up your basics and you can start to look for clothing with built-in sparkle as well. Keep it subtle at first – bronze, gold, brushed metallics – then slowly kick things up by adding in more silver and sparkle as the weather cools.

Do Not Wear the Same Pair of Shoes Two Days in a Row

Trust me, I know the feeling….you find the perfect pair of shoes, and you want to show them off every chance you get.  However, there is a real reason you should not re-wear your shoes day after day.  During the day, your feet sweat…a lot. Your feet have more sweat glands than any other part of your body!!  And, they do not just sweat when you are hot or exercising.  They sweat all the time, which is also why you get smelly feet by the end of the day.   Naturally, that sweat gets onto your shoe and can stay there if you are not careful.  If you wear the same pair every day, then your shoes do not have ample time to dry and they will not maintain their shape.  So, it makes sense that the more you wear shoes, the quicker they will wear out. Without time to air dry, the moisture just sits in your shoes, so they are more likely to wear down the next time you slip them on. Waiting a day to let them dry off will keep your shoes looking like new!

How to Dress APPROPRIATELY on Casual Friday

Casual Friday, two words that are often a source of frustration for employers and confusion to employees. What once began as a means of feeling more relaxed at the office prior to the weekend has ended in horror for some businesses and refused completely by others. I have been asked my opinion on what is appropriate on a casual Friday. The question is often followed by stories of past coworkers showing up in mesh tops, mini skirts and logo tee shirts. While many businesses have become okay in allowing a casual Friday, many have yet to enforce a dress code for it. The end result is far from desired or what the original message was intended to be.

Furthermore, the business game has changed, especially in terms of fashion. Twenty years ago, most dressed in a suit and went to work. Business was more formal. It required people to be more polished during the day. Today’s market has vastly changed. The number of people working in creative job fields is constantly growing as are the number of individuals working from home. While this should not effect how professionals get dressed in the morning, it unfortunately does. Magazines and other media outlets are constantly creating work inspired outfits that allow us to reflect our personal style. While articles like these can be a great piece, the readers will not look at an article like that and know if the outfit in question is one that is appropriate for their job in particular. Recently, I had seen a blog post about the best interview outfits. I have to admit to being horrified with the results. While the pictures were attention grabbing, the outfits themselves were far from appropriate for the office.

So what is appropriate for casual Friday? The answer varies depending on your employment. The first thing many businesses need to establish is a dress code. While many say they have one, they are often very vague and almost never enforced. Secondly, you need to establish what level of dress your day to day business requires and what type of field you are in before a more casual mode of dress can be established. Generally speaking, if you are in a traditional business role such as an accountant, lawyer, or banker, you should wear more traditional business outfits such as suits, or business casual modes of dress from Monday to Friday. The higher your position, the more formal you need to dress. Those in creative industries such as fashion, graphic designer, PR should opt for a business casual mode of dress, but would be able to style themselves with more creative leniency because of their field.

In terms of casual Friday, the rule of thumb is to style yourself a business level lower than how you would normally dress from Monday to Thursday. For example, someone that wears a full suit during the week would dress business casual come Friday. It does not mean that you automatically jump into denim. Those that dress business casual during the week could choose to dress smart casual at week’s end. The more casual you become, the more you can incorporate your personal style, whatever that may be. Make a note, if you are going to be in meetings or seeing clients on Casual Friday, then that attire is out for you.

Here are a few general rules and things to keep in mind for casual Friday:

1. If you are going to wear denim, remember no rips and no wild washes.
2. Putting a blazer over casual items such as a tee shirt or jeans instantly makes you look more professional.
3. No sandals. If you are looking for comfort on Friday, opt for flats or loafers.
4. No mini skirts or short shorts. They just are not appropriate.
5. If you are going to wear a sheer shirt, make sure a camisole or tee is underneath.
6. No gym clothes (including yoga pants, ladies) at work. Ever!!!
7. Your neckline should never be lower than the top of your cleavage.

The key is to remember that when you enter the office, no matter what field you are in, you represent yourself and the company you work for. How you dress says something about who you are. Reflecting your personal style while still being appropriate at work will not only make you feel good, but your employers will too.